Tricoya Technologies Ltd (TTL) has announced that it has entered into a joint development, production and distribution licence agreement with Medite Europe Ltd to build and operate a plant to manufacture, market and sell Tricoya®.
The plant will have an initial capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes per annum of Tricoya® - equivalent to approximately 42,000m3 of Tricoya® MDF panels.
Tricoya Technologies is an equal joint-venture between Ineos and Accsys Technologies.
Ineos is a leading global chemicals company and process technology licensor which has sold more than 360 licences around the world with an aggregate licensed capacity exceeding 62 million metric tonnes per annum.
Accsys Technologies PLC is an environmental science and technology company focused on the development, commercialization and licensing of technologies for use in a wide range of everyday materials. These include Accoya® solid wood and Tricoya® wood elements production technology.
The licence is conditional on Medite obtaining approval from its Board of Directors prior to proceeding with construction of the plant. Board approval is targeted for mid-2014 with mechanical completion of the plant targeted by the end of 2015.
Welcoming the announcement, Pierre Lasson, general manager of Tricoya Technologies, said: “TTL was formed in October 2012 and we have established a tremendous team, bringing together the critical skills of both parent companies with great energy and vitality.
“We are delighted that we have achieved this landmark agreement with Medite, which marks a significant step towards full-scale commercialization of this game-changing technology. The agreement builds upon the commitment and expertise that Medite, our first licensee, has demonstrated in its successful launch of Medite Tricoya® MDF products in Europe.
Lasson continued, “During the coming period we will be working hard to finalize the process design package, as well as continuing to work closely with Medite to market and promote Medite Tricoya®. If we continue to see the growth in uses of Tricoya-based products that we have witnessed in the past 18 months, the prospects for Tricoya Technologies are truly remarkable.”
Paul Clegg, CEO of Accsys and chairman of TTL, added: “Our relationship with Medite is long standing and I am delighted that TTL has been able to strengthen it by formalizing this licence agreement. The work carried out and sales volumes achieved by Medite have already proved there is a strong and growing market for Tricoya® and I look forward to a continuing successful collaboration with Medite as we move towards the licence becoming unconditional and plant construction commencing.
Clegg continued, “The agreement provides further evidence of the progress that Accsys has made in marketing, selling and licensing its award-winning products and technologies on a global basis. As recently announced, sales of Accoya® are expected to have increased in excess of 50% in the first quarter of the current financial year when compared to the same period last year and we continue to work hard on developing further licence opportunities for Accoya® and Tricoya®. These are exciting times for our business and developments such as this licence agreement will help us to move closer to our short-term goal of becoming a sustainably profitable business.”
TTL is responsible for producing a detailed engineering plan, called a Process Design Package, which scopes out the core areas of the plant.
Part of the PDP is expected to be delivered prior to the licence becoming unconditional following Medite Board approval, with the final PDP delivered after approval.
Medite has secured exclusive rights to market and sell Tricoya® MDF in Ireland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom and non-exclusive rights to market and sell Tricoya® MDF or Tricoya® wood elements, subject to certain restrictions, in other territories.
Medite also has the right, within a certain time frame, to expand its capacity upon pre-agreed terms.
The licence has been granted in return for a series of technology-based licence payments that Medite will begin making to TTL upon signature of the agreement, and royalty fees payable per metric tonne of production.
Under the agreement, Medite will also provide technical support services and, if required, a guaranteed proportion of its output to support other prospective Tricoya® licensees, in exchange for which it will receive certain conditional future payments from TTL.
Medite and Accsys Technologies initially entered into a Joint Development Agreement (‘JDA’) in June 2009. Following the formation of TTL by Accsys and Ineos, Heads of Terms were signed with Medite in December 2012 and, with this licence agreement, the JDA has been transferred to TTL and amended to reflect progress made since 2009.
Medite has been producing Medite Tricoya “Extreme Durable MDF” since the end of 2011 and selling into countries including Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Sales in all markets in which Medite Tricoya® has been launched has met or surpassed expectations, with customers willing to pay a significant premium over conventional MDF material due to the greatly enhanced properties of Medite Tricoya®.
This material provides all of the inherent advantages of MDF, such as ease of cutting, forming and fixing, relatively low density, smooth surface properties and attractive surface finishing options, with durability and dimensional stability that match or exceed almost all known commercial alternatives for exterior applications (whether wood, metal, plastics, composites or fibre cement).
The Medite Tricoya® MDF produced and sold to date has been manufactured using acetylated material provided by Accsys, who will continue to supply increasing volumes of material as Medite continues to seed its markets prior to the expected launch of production in 2016 using the new, continuous production process developed by Accsys with the input and support of INEOS through the TTL JV.
The process is based on the same underlying acetylation technology principle as Accsys uses to manufacture Accoya® solid wood, which is enjoying rapidly increasing sales around the world.