Sweden's biopolymer barrier material maker to expand pilot plant; fetches new investors

Xylophane, a Swedish company providing unique biopolymer barrier packaging material recently announced that it has raised US$4.1 mln from a shares issue for the expansion of its pilot plant in Göteborg. The capital contribution, it says, guarantees the expansion and operation of the pilot factory and company for three years and the pilot facility is expected to start operations by early October 2009. The Göteborg-based site will enable production of material for pilot projects for potential customers as well as the optimisation of Xylophane's manufacturing process for future full-scale production. Two firms - SEB Venture Capital and Capricorn Cleantech fund - have also joined the ownership group. The company claims that the renewable, environment compatible packaging material prolongs the shelf life of sensitive food products and is a new alternative to packaging industry seeking replacement for the old barrier solutions. "The issue is further proof of the great confidence that exists in our products and our production engineering on the part of both investors and customers. In addition to our ongoing co-operations with existing customers, we receive new inquiries each and every week," said Håkan Grubb, managing director of Xylophane. The need for cost-efficient barrier material and production techniques has increased in recent years within the packaging industry, due to factors such as the rising price of raw materials currently used in barrier packaging (i.e. oil and aluminium). Another advantage with Xylophane, the company says, is that its technology does not demand complicated building alterations for producers with modern manufacturing facilities.
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