Total Corbion PLA yesterday officially launched its operations to produce and market Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) polymers. PLA is a biobased and biodegradable polymer made from annually renewable resources. As announced by parent companies Total and Corbion last November, the new company is a 50/50 joint venture based in the Netherlands.
Total Corbion PLA’s world-class PLA polymerization plant, with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year, is currently under construction at Corbion’s site in Thailand. The plant start-up is planned for the second half of 2018 and will produce a full range of Luminy® PLA neat resins: from standard PLA to specialty, high heat resistant PLA.
Corbion’s existing lactide plant has been transferred into Total Corbion PLA, as well as the existing Corbion bioplastics commercial and technical teams, who will continue to market lactide and PLA resins and support current and future customers.
“In the fast-growing bioplastics arena – Stéphane Dion, newly appointed CEO of Total Corbion PLA, stated – our new company is committed to supplying a versatile and innovative material that is both biobased and biodegradable, bringing added value to customers and contributing to a more sustainable world for ourselves and future generations.”
François de Bie, Total Corbion PLA’s Senior Marketing Director, commented that “the start-up of operations marks an important milestone for PLA, and our commercial and technical teams are delighted to have two strong parent companies supporting the future of bioplastics.”
PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment with an estimated annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025. Biodegradable and industrially compostable, PLA is one of the first renewable polymers able to compete with existing polymers, combining unique functional properties like transparency, gloss and stiffness.
PLA is currently used in a broad range of markets, including food packaging, single-use tableware, textiles, oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing.