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New PLA plant in Thailand
Source：Plastics News Asia
Date Published：12/4/2018 06:12:41 PM
Total Corbion PLA starts-up its 75,000tons/year bioplastics plant in Rayong, Thailand in response to the region's growing demand for biobased materials.
Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, has started operating its 75,000 tons/year PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) bioplastics plant in Rayong, Thailand. The plant has successfully produced Luminy® PLA resins. This bioplastic provides a valuable contribution towards the circular economy being biobased and biodegradable and offering multiple environmentally-friendly waste solutions.
The new facility will produce a broad range of Luminy® PLA resins from renewable, non-GMO sugarcane sourced locally in Thailand: from standard PLA to innovative, high heat PLA and PDLA with unique properties. The products will meet customers’ needs in a wide range of markets notably packaging, consumer goods, 3D printing, fibers and automotive and are specifically optimized for extrusion, thermoforming, injection molding and fiber spinning processes.
At the end of their useful life, PLA products can be mechanically or chemically recycled, or in some cases composted and returned to the soil as fertilizer.
Total Corbion PLA will leverage on the integration with its Lactide plant, the monomer required for the production of PLA, that has simultaneously been expanded to 100,000 tons per year production capacity. Furthermore, the 1,000 tons per year PLA pilot plant, which has been operational since the end of 2017, is located on the same site and will be used for product development.
The start-up marks a major milestone for both the joint venture and the bioplastics market. With this additional 75,000 tons/year facility, the global production of PLA bioplastics will increase by almost 50%, to 240,000 tons per year. PLA is a fast-growing polymer market with an estimated annual growth rate of 10% to 15%.
The start-up of this state-of-the-art plant establishes Total Corbion PLA as a world-scale PLA bioplastic producer, ideally located to serve growing markets from Asia Pacific to Europe and the Americas, according to Stephane Dion, CEO of the company. Mr. Dion added that the increase in global PLA capacity will enable manufacturers and brand owners to move into the circular economy and produce biobased products with lower carbon footprints and multiple end of life options.