Bioplastics firms expand
Institutional investment firm Ironridge Technology has invested US$5 million in American bioplastics manufacturer Cereplast, which has been beset with low sales and production stoppage. It will also allow the firm to expand in India. Meanwhile, PLA maker NatureWorks is increasing its capacity to 150,000 tonnes/year, using new equipment from Swiss firm Sulzer Chemtech.
Cereplast Chairman/CEO Frederic Scheer has said the investment will allow the firm to restart its production schedule and access raw materials. The funding will also allow it to support its recently opened office in Hyderabad, India, where the firm sees interest from potential customers totalling more than 1,800 tonnes of its materials. The firm also posted a loss of US$6.3 million in the first half of the year, compared to the US$4.1 million loss it made in the same period in 2011.
NatureWorks, on the other hand, is increasing its production capacity and ability to make speciality products with proprietary equipment from Swiss manufacturer Sulzer Chemtech.
The new equipment will be installed in early 2013 and will increase the site’s production capacity by 7%.
NatureWorks says it will abe able to make speciality grades of high-performance resins and lactides based on its Ingeo-brand biopolymer. The new materials can be used in injection moulding applications and in fibres.
NatureWorks owns patents to the process used to make the new materials, while Sulzer has exclusive worldwide sublicensing rights to the process.