Black Bear Carbon (“BBC”), the Dutch technology provider for upcycling End-of-Life Tire rubber into recovered Carbon Black and renewable petrochemicals, is proud to announce that is has successfully completed a first closing of €7.5M , this is the first step in a fundraising campaign of €78M for its new BBC flagship plant at Chemelot Industrial Park, the Netherlands. The investment round was led by Capricorn Partners from the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, with support from Invest-NL, joined by current investors; Brightlands Venture Partners, Siam Cement Chemicals and others.
BBC was confronted with a fire that destroyed its first demo-plant in February 2019 and as a result, the company faced operational and financial challenges. Nevertheless, Black Bear Carbon has shown resilience through improving its technology and commercializing its end-products. The new flagship plant, to be constructed at the Chemelot Industrial Park in Limburg, The Netherlands, is expected to become operational by mid-2023. The plant will be the first of many to be built globally.“This financing is a crucial first step to allow BBC to scale up production and contribute to the development of a circular economy. We are delighted, this funding round couldn’t have come at a better moment. It marks the belief of our investors, partners and employees in our mission and strategy”, Silvio Ghyoot, CEO of BBC says.
“The world is gearing up to further tighten the global CO2 emission and carbon neutrality measures, embracing the importance of using valuable recovered raw materials and circular products. We at BBC are ready to start the global roll out of our state-of-the-art technology for upcycling End-of-Life Tire rubber into circular products like high quality recovered Carbon black and renewable Petrochemicals”, he adds.
Ruud Zandvliet, Senior Investment Manager at Invest-NL says: “BBC is a text-book example of a promising scale-up which got into stormy waters and had to reinvent itself. BBC has strengthened its team, improved its technology and business plan and was successful in raising funds for its flagship plant. It is to the credit of BBC and its investors that they managed to reverse the tide and keep the ship afloat. As Invest-NL it is our ambition to support and contribute to the future success of BBC and its mission of upcycling waste tire rubber into circular products”
Invest-NL is providing a € 2.5M convertible loan. The transaction is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.
Daniela Arruda Costa and Rob van der Meij, Capricorn Partners, further comment that: “BBC is an excellent example of the high potential of circular economy. The recycled carbon black is not only recovered, but due to its unique properties it fits upcycle applications in paint, plastics and other materials better than the virgin carbon black. Furthermore, the positive environmental impact of BBC is enormous due to the large CO2 savings by using recycled Carbon Black. The technology of BBC not only generates the best recycled carbon black, it’s also very competitive compared with traditional carbon black production technologies, while bringing significant CO2 savings to society.”
The Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, with a committed capital of € 86.5 million, is aiming to capture the growing opportunities emerging from novel feedstocks, innovative and sustainable processes, better performing functional materials, and smarter use of precious raw materials.
Patrick Claessen, Senior Investment Manager at Brightlands Venture Partners concludes: “We are already a long-time investor in BBC and we are excited to see the first commercial plant coming to Chemelot. BBC is an excellent addition, fitting into the Chemelot Circular Hub and the strategic ambition of Chemelot to become the most competitive and sustainable materials and chemicals site in Western Europe. The infrastructure and ecosystem provide BBC with a lot of advantages and as Brightlands Venture Partners we are excited to continue our support for BBC.”