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Danimer Scientific and Kemira expand exclusive partnership to commercialize fully biobased barrier coatings

New multi-year license and supply agreement builds on successful joint development of biobased coatings for paper and board products using sustainable biopolymer

May 3, 2022 by Richard Ivey

BAINBRIDGE, Ga., May 3, 2022Danimer Scientific, Inc. (NYSE: DNMR) and Kemira announced today a multi-year license and supply agreement, exclusive in Kemira’s core markets, to commercialize biobased barrier coatings for paper and board products. The companies will introduce the newly developed coatings for food and beverage industry applications within North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming years. The relevant dispersion barrier market size is currently around EUR 500 million and is expected to grow around 10% per annum.

“This new, exclusive agreement is a major step in realizing our biobased strategy to deliver high-quality, sustainable and circular packaging solutions to our customers,” said Antti Matula, SVP, Global Product Lines & Business Development for Kemira Pulp&Paper. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with Danimer to harness the full potential of PHA globally. Together we will bring new biobased and circular products to markets, an important milestone in reaching our biobased growth targets and differentiating from competitors.”

“This expansion of our partnership with Kemira represents several important milestones in Danimer’s mission to reduce plastic waste,” said Stephen E. Croskrey, Chairman and CEO of Danimer Scientific. “First, this successful project reflects the potential for PHA to serve as a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic across multiple categories. Second, this new license and supply agreement establishes a new revenue stream that will further support the global commercialization of this material. We are grateful for Kemira’s continuing partnership and look forward to helping them bring these coatings to market.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Danimer Scientific and Kemira Oyj partnership

How is this agreement different from the collaboration announced in 2020?

  • This new agreement is an expansion of the companies’ ongoing collaboration. The arrangement announced in December 2020 involved the companies’ plans to develop biodegradable aqueous coatings for more sustainable paper and board products. That project was a success, and this new multi-year agreement, which is exclusive in Kemira’s core markets (North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa), sets the stage for the companies to commercialize the coatings.

What were the pilot phase outcomes and customer feedback?

  • The companies announced a partnership to develop biodegradable aqueous barrier coatings for more sustainable paper and board products in December 2020. This pilot phase has been successful and has resulted in the new multi-year partnership. Technical viability of the coating solutions was established via lab testing and key customers have validated the market demand. Several industrial scale customer trials were conducted successfully and first sales were made in 2021.

How will the companies continue to work together?

  • Through this licensing and supply agreement, Danimer will provide Kemira with access to its proprietary technology and material supply to scale up production of biodegradable aqueous coatings on a commercial scale. Kemira’s expertise is in creating the aqueous dispersion and applying it in different coating applications. Kemira is also responsible for the commercialization activities in the said core markets.

What material did the companies use to create the coatings? 

  • The companies jointly developed the coatings using Danimer’s biopolymer polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), which serves as a biodegradable alternative to traditional plastic.

What benefits do the coatings offer?

  • The coatings are biodegradable, which means the paper and board items that have this coating on their surface will reliably biodegrade in soil and water. The coatings are also repulpable, a quality that enables paper recyclers to disintegrate the material for fiber recovery. The combination of these features ultimately supports a circular economy and reduces the environmental impact of plastic waste.
  • These coatings serve as a sustainable alternative to the coatings that currently surface most paper and board products. Traditional coatings are made with fossil fuel-based polyethylene, which hinders the recyclability of the products and creates plastic waste.

Where and when will these coatings be available?

  • Kemira will introduce the coatings to the food and beverage industries within North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming years.

Will the coatings be available for other applications or industries?

  • At the present, this agreement is focused on commercializing the biodegradable aqueous barrier coatings within the food and beverage industries.

PHA facts

  • PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) are polyesters biosynthesized by a bacterium fed inexpensive oils derived from the seeds of plants such as canola.
  • PHAs can be used to replace a wide variety of traditional plastics.
  • PHAs have a wide range of applications, including straws, cups, lids, bottles, produce and shopping bags, seals, labels and glues.
  • The PHA coatings can replace polyethylene.
  • PHAs provide a viable and significantly more sustainable alternative to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are increasingly being phased out in food packaging around the world due to potential health risks associated with their use.

Link to 2020 announcement:

Danimer Kemira Partnership

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