Corbion expands its production of PLA bioplastics in Thailand

Tierk de Ruiter, Ceo Corbion
Tjerk de Ruiter, Ceo Corbion

Dutch biochemical company Corbion is building its new PLA bioplastics polymerization plant at the existing Corbion site in Rayong, Thailand. Upon completion in 2018, it will be able to produce the complete Luminy® portfolio of PLA neat resins: from standard PLA to innovative, high heat resistant PLA.

PLA is a biobased, biodegradable polymer obtained by fermenting renewable resources (sugar or starch) to produce lactic acid. PLA is mainly used for food packaging, disposable tableware and textiles, as well as in numerous other industries such as oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing. PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment, with an estimated average annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025.

“At Corbion – Tjerk de Ruiter, Ceo Corbion, highlighted – we believe in building a great future for the people of today and generations to come. That’s what we do here in Thailand with the construction of this plant, biobased and biodegradable plastics will certainly help to minimize adverse impacts on human health and the environment.” He added: “We are now entering the next stage of construction, and we are confident that our world-class facility will deliver the innovative solutions that our customers are seeking.”

The new 75,000 tons per year PLA plant will be constructed, joining forces with French oil giant Total and using Corbion’s and Sulzer’s proprietory  polymerization technology. Key equipment will be supplied by Sulzer Chemtech Ltd (Switzerland).

In addition to the construction of this new PLA polymerization plant, Corbion will expand its existing lactide plant in Thailand by 25,000 tons. With this expansion, Corbion will be able to serve its current and future lactide customers. The lactide expansion will also enable the production of a wider range of lactides than is currently possible.

The targeted start-up date for the PLA polymerization plant and the lactide expansion is in the second half of 2018.

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