THAILAND: Corbion is advancing in bioplastics with plans for production of PLA

The company plans to invest about EUR 60-million in a new 75,000-t/y PLA plant in Thailand. "Worldwide PLA capacity is almost sold out and with the PLA market expected to grow to 600,000 t/y by 2025, the market is seeking additional PLA suppliers," Corbion explained.

"Given our strong position in lactic acid, or unique high-heat technology and the market need for a second PLA producer, we plan to forward integrate in the bioplastics value chain," the company added. A schedule for the project was not disclosed.

Corbion will only proceed with the project "if we can secure at least one-third of plant capacity in committed PLA volumes from customers," noted Tjerk de Ruiter, chief executive. The company will also continue exploring strategic alliances as part of their PLA growth strategy, in order to enhance business opportunities while mitigating the associated risks.

Source: Weekly "PetroChemical News", Durham, NC, USA; 10 Nov 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)