Published On:March 4 2016
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Corbion to open bioplastic PLA plant in 2018.

Corbion is aiming to open its polylactic acid (PLA) plant, with an annual capacity of 75,000 tonne per annum (tpa) and located in Rayong Province of Thailand, in 2018. The company has completed the pre-engineering for a PLA polymerisation plant and has entered the basic-engineering phase. PLA or polylactide - derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, tapioca roots, chips or starch, or sugarcane - is a unique bioplastic being both biobased and biodegradable.

Following strong customer interest in PLA, Corbion commenced with pre-engineering in 2015. “We have now obtained the necessary technical and financial validation for such a plant,” commented Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion.

It will be able to produce a complete portfolio of PLA polymers, ranging from standard PLA to innovative high-heat resistant PLA.

Additionally, Corbion will expand its existing lactide plant in Thailand by 25 kilo tonne per annum (ktpa). With this expansion, the company will be able to serve both its own PLA plant and current and future lactide customers. The lactide expansion will also enable the production of a wider range of lactides than is currently possible.

Construction, which is expected to require capital expenditures of approximately Euro 65 million for the PLA plant and Euro 20 million for the lactide plant, is expected to start later this year with a targeted start-up in the second half of 2018. Corbion’s pre-marketing activities continue and a portfolio of PLA resins is commercially available for technical validation.

As part of its strategy Disciplined Value Creation, announced on 30 October 2014, Corbion is accelerating its thrust into the biotechnology arena, making the next step in the bioplastics value chain by becoming a PLA producer. Corbion will also continue to explore strategic opportunities as part of its PLA growth strategy.

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