Futerro: the transition towards a greener economy

Who are Futerro?

Founded in 1992, the Galactic company has been a pioneer in the field of bioplastics and the development of lactic acid use. Based on this experience and expertise, the company created its offshoot – Futerro – in 2007, concentrating on the production of Polylactic Acid (PLA). The company has played an innovative role in the sector, building its first PLA production unit in 1994, and launching out on the international stage in 2002, notably in China. PLA is a biopolymer, recognised as a way of replacing many plastics derived from petrol. It is used across many fields such as 3D printing, injection moulding, films and packaging. The biopolymer is made from renewable vegetal resources, such as sweetcorn, offering a more sustainable alternative to conventional plastics.  

In which field does the company operate?

Futerro is an innovative company in the bioplastics field, offering decarbonised and recyclable solutions. Its “RENEW” solution offers many advantages over petrol derived plastics. Futerro offers solutions to businesses wanting to become more sustainable. It is also the only company in the world offering a circular economy principle in this field, with its LOOPLA technology for recycling, available in Belgium. All of its skills and knowledge has allowed Futerro to join the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI), which encourages research into solutions on sustainability and the reduction of carbon footprints.

“It is urgent to reduce our carbon footprint to limit climate warming. So, we have to find solutions to overcome the impact of fossil fuels.”

as the CEO, Frédéric Van Gansberghe notes

Why choose Normandy?

With an aim of continuing its worldwide expansion, Futerro decided to set-up a second company in Europe. After studying a number of sites, its choice was to set-up in France, and more precisely in Normandy. The factory will be located in the industrial zone in Port-Jérôme, and will include a PLA production unit as well as a recycling unit, making this a one-of-a-kind site in Europe. The choice of Normandy was driven by a number of advantages: this is an industrial site that can be expanded, allowing for a future plant. It also offers low-carbon energy, as well as agricultural inputs. The logistics infrastructure and access to the Seine will facilitate trade across France and the world. And the presence of the Eastman plant in Port-Jérôme was also a motivating factor for the Belgian company.   

Strong regional assistance:

Futerro has benefitted from guidance from AD Normandie to help with its set-up project. Thanks to this collaboration, the company was able to find a suitable location and will benefit from assistance to ensure a smooth opening of the plant. AD Normandie plays an essential role in the support and implementation of this expansion by Futerro in Normandy.

What is the future for Futerro in Normandy?

The company is planning to invest €500m to build its French plant. The work is due to begin in 2024, the testing phase should begin in early 2026 and it should come into service at the end of 2026. The plant should have a production capacity of around 75 000 tonnes of PLA per year, and create 250 direct jobs.    

With this set-up, Normandy’s position as a key producer of bioplastics is strengthened. This project also underlines the commitment of the region in the transition towards a decarbonised and sustainable economy.

Sustainable chemistry

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