Prospects for resumption of activity at the Amiens plant
Clermont-Ferrand, June 1, 2021 - (FR0004177046 METEX), METabolic EXplorer (METEX), specialized in the design, development and industrialization of eco-friendly bioprocesses for the production of functional ingredients, outlines the prospects for business recovery following the event that occurred on May 21 at its amino acid production site in Amiens, which was recently acquired from the Japanese Ajinomoto Group.
As a reminder, on Friday May 21st around 1 p.m., the rupture of the inspection hatch of a storage tank containing around 170 m3 of hydrochloric acid led to the announcement, on May 26th, of the shutdown of production for several days by May 28th, in order to carry out an in-depth assessment of the installations and to draw up a plan for resuming activity in complete safety.
The assessment, which will be completed Friday June 4th the latest with the results of a soil survey of the truck unloading area, has already led the plant management, in agreement with the METEX group, to make the following decisions:
- Stop using existing hydrochloric acid storage facilities, including the 2nd twin tank of the one damaged on May 21st.
- Rethink with engineering firms the hydrochloric acid storage area to take into account this incident by improving safety and make the associated investment to replace the tanks before the end of the year, as planned in the 2021 investment plan.
- Gradually restart production not immediately requiring hydrochloric acid as of June 7th, provided that the soil survey allows it.
- Implement a temporary solution for limited storage of hydrochloric acid in compliance with safety rules which should be operational the week of June 7th. This temporary installation will allow the plant to run rapidly at 100% of its capacity, in perfect safety conditions, until the new hydrochloric acid storage area is delivered.
The company remains at the disposal of the DREAL of the Somme and will continue to maintain a constructive dialogue with the Authorities to allow the plant to resume normal activity as soon as the safety conditions are met.
"Our teams have been working around the clock to come up with a temporary solution that will allow us to restart as soon as possible. However, we will not confuse speed with haste by waiting to receive the latest expert reports and by ensuring with the DREAL of the Somme that these temporary installations meet required safety standards," said David Demeestere, Director of the plant.
"The plant shutdown due to force majeure has of course had consequences for our customers. We have done our utmost to minimize the impact by honoring all our delivery commitments until May 26, 8:30 a.m. The reactions of our customers show that they fully understand that our decisions are based on the safety of people and property. We would like to thank them warmly and assure them of our full mobilization to enable the plant to restart as soon as possible", said Etienne Corrent, Business and Innovation Director.
The cost of the event and of the loss of sales generated by the shutdown of the plant is currently being estimated in conjunction with insurance companies. As a reminder, the subsidiary's net cash position at the end of April 2021 was 19.1 million euros, enabling it to cope with this event
The next update will be made at the end of the day on June 4, the date of receipt of the last expertise, to inform our partners of possible adjustments in the prospects of resuming activity.
About METabolic Explorer – www.metabolic-explorer.com
Using renewable raw materials, the company develops and industrialises innovative and competitive industrial fermentation processes as alternative to petrochemical processes to meet consumers' new societal expectations and the objectives of the energy transition. Its functional ingredients of natural origin are used in the formulation of cosmetic products, nutrition-animal health or as intermediates for the synthesis of biomaterials.
The construction of its first production unit, through its subsidiary METEX NØØVISTA, will bring 1.3 propanediol (PDO) and butyric acid (BA) on the market.
The acquisition of AANE, the leading European producer of amino acids for animal nutrition, enables the METEX Group to realize its ambition to become one of the world market leaders in functional ingredients produced by fermentation.
Based at the Clermont Limagne technology park, near Clermont-Ferrand, METabolic EXplorer is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is included in the CAC Small Index.
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