Carbios said its first commercial facility, which is due for commissioning in 2025, will play a key role in the fight against plastic pollution by offering an industrial-scale solution for the enzymatic depolymerisation of PET waste to accelerate a circular economy for plastic and textiles.

Under the agreement, De Smet will be responsible for project management and detailed engineering, including procurement assistance and Carbios partners’ management to ensure the execution of the plant’s commissioning in Longlaville, France.

Carbios chief executive officer Emmanuel Ladent said: “De Smet was selected after a comprehensive bidding process, and we are very confident in our successful cooperation. De Smet has an excellent track record in the engineering and management of complex industrial projects and has extensive experience in water-based technologies. With our combined expertise and shared ambition, this collaboration marks a significant step towards fulfilling Carbios’ vision of a sustainable future for plastic and textiles.”

De Smet Engineers and Contractors (DSEC) CEO Dimitri de Suraÿ added: “Perfectly aligned with our ambition to contribute to the environmental transition by implementing novel biotechnology process and by boosting the bio-economy, we are proud to support Carbios’ groundbreaking investment, thanks to our agility in project execution which ensures its timely and competitive industrial realisation. We are thrilled to have been entrusted by Carbios with the construction of the plant and are fully committed to the success of this innovative project.”

Carbios highlighted the construction is underway and on schedule.

Last October Carbios inaugurated its textile preparation line at its demonstration plant in France. Carbios explained at the time that its textile preparation line aimed to optimise the sorting and preparation of textiles, especially those with challenging components like zips and buttons, resulting in higher yields and accelerating bio-recycling in the industry.

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The biotech company added that it has developed a highly selective enzyme capable of depolymerising polyester in textile material, which is said to be a challenging task due to the complex nature of textiles.