Expansions: Marie Tecnimont to build Total Corbion PLA plant in France; Covestro invests EUR100 mn in German film production

Marie Tecnimont to build Total Corbion PLA plant in France

Engineering firm Maire Tecnimont says that its subsidiary NextChem has been awarded a contract by Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, to carry out a Front-End Engineering Design for their 100,000-tonne/year Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) plant in Grandpuits, France.

The plant, due to be operational in 2024, will be the first of its kind in Europe. It would make Total Corbion PLA the global market leader in PLA, firmly positioned to cater for the rapidly growing demand for Luminy PLA resins.

Pierroberto Folgiero, Maire Tecnimont Group and NextChem CEO, commented: "This award is a confirmation that our group is a trusted and valued technological and engineering partner for large-scale, innovative and complex projects. We are proud to work with a joint venture of our long-time client Total to increase the availability of sustainable plastics in Europe."

Luminy PLA resins are biobased and made from annually renewable resources, offering a reduced carbon footprint versus many traditional plastics. At the end of its useful life, PLA products can be mechanically or chemically recycled. The biodegradable and compostable functionalities of PLA make it the material of choice for a wide range of markets and applications including fresh fruit packaging, food service ware, durable consumer goods, toys and 3D printing.

Covestro invests EUR100 mn in German film production

In other news, German materials firm Covestro has started up additional production lines for its specialty films at its Dormagen site in Germany. The new coextrusion lines are designed to meet a rising demand worldwide. The project is part of a global programme to expand film capacity with a total investment of more than EUR100 million and was completed as planned despite restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Around 30 new jobs will be created to operate the new lines.

The competence centre in Dormagen houses production, a technical centre for film processing, as well as a showroom and research laboratories. Covestro operates two other German competence centres for semi-finished products in Leverkusen and Bomlitz, as well as several competence centres worldwide.

The new lines will mainly produce multilayer flat films. These products, for example, play an important role in identity documents in order to embed security features and ensure the best possible protection against counterfeiting. They are also used in medical technology and car interiors.

As a further measure of the global investment programme, Covestro started up a new production facility for polycarbonate films in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, last year. Previously, a coextrusion film plant in Guangzhou, China, was converted for the future and the efficiency and quality of production in South Deerfield, US, were improved.

"With this expansion in capacity, we are strengthening our Dormagen site as a production and competence centre for specialty films," says Dr. Klaus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer at Covestro. "At the same time, we are investing in future-oriented technologies and applications."

Michael Friede, Global Head of the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties segment: "These high-quality products and applications represent an important future business for Covestro. With the new capacities and their integration into our film centre, we are emphasising our proximity to the customer and our service."

"Our new production lines are equipped with state-of-the-art technology," emphasises Dr. Thorsten Dreier, Global Head of Covestro's Specialty Films and Thermoplastic Polyurethanes business. "That's why we can now supply our customers faster and with higher quality. We also want to improve our development work and bring new products to market even faster."


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