LG Chem, a leading global diversified chemical company, and ADM, a global leader in nutrition and biosolutions, held a signing ceremony launching two joint ventures for U.S. production of lactic acid and polylactic acid to meet growing demand for a wide variety of plant-based products, including bioplastics. Pending final investment decisions, the joint ventures have chosen Decatur, Illinois, U.S., as the location of their intended production facilities.
The first joint venture, GreenWise Lactic, would produce up to 150,000 tons of high-purity corn-based lactic acid annually. ADM would be the majority owner of GreenWise, and would contribute fermentation capacity from its Decatur bioproducts facility to the venture. The second joint venture, LG Chem Illinois Biochem, would be majority-owned by LG Chem. It would build upon LG Chem’s expertise in bioplastics to build a facility that will use product from GreenWise Lactic to produce approximately 75,000 tons of polylactic acid (PLA) per year.
Global demand for lactic acid – which is used broadly in food, feed and cosmetics in addition to industrials like bioplastics – was valued at approximately USD 2.9 billion in 2021, with an expected annual growth rate of 8%. Global demand for bioplastics and biopolymers is projected to grow from USD 10.7 billion in 2021 to USD 29.7 billion by 2026, representing annual growth of 22.7%.
The joint ventures, which are subject to required regulatory approvals, hope to make final investment decisions around the Decatur projects in 2023. Pending final investment decisions and approvals, construction would be targeted to begin in 2023, and production in late 2025 or early 2026, with the two joint ventures supporting more than 125 jobs in the
Both ventures are participating in the State of Illinois’ Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, which provides incentives to job creators who plan to make investments in Illinois.
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