The company suffered after its Rayong factory was shut down for a month in June by the Industry Ministry after complaints from nearby communities about air pollution. Purac had argued the one-month closure was too long and that the company had fixed the problem with urgency. Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukvanich told Purac executives at a recent meeting that officials would work on speeding up regulatory processes. Plant director Sander van der Linden said the minister's words would instil confidence in the company to carry out its plan to spend 10 billion baht in 2016 to expand its production capacity for bioplastics, which are exported mostly to China, Australia, Taiwan and Europe.
Purac has vowed to develop value-added products with the expansion, using advanced technology for emissions control. The project has already received Board of Investment approval. Purac is a subsidiary of the Amsterdam-based Corbion, which employs 1,885 workers in 20 countries.
The Rayong operations received investment incentives to make lactic acid and lactic acid derivatives with annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes.
Its new board of directors will visit Thailand next month to discuss business strategies. The board also plans to meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.