Corbion constructing 75 ktpa PLA plant in Thailand; to open in 2018


Dutch chemicals firm Corbion says it has completed the pre-engineering for a PLA polymerisation plant and is entering the basic-engineering phase.

Following strong customer interest in PLA, Corbion commenced with pre-engineering in 2015. “We have now obtained the necessary technical and financial validation for such a plant,” comments Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion.

The plant, with an annual capacity of 75 kilotonnes, will be located in Thailand, Rayong Province at the existing Corbion site. It will be able to produce a complete portfolio of PLA polymers, ranging from standard PLA to innovative high-heat resistant PLA.

Additionally, Corbion will expand its existing lactide plant in Thailand by 25 kilotonnes/year. With this expansion the company will be able to serve both its own PLA plant and current and future lactide customers. The lactide expansion will also enable the production of a wider range of lactides than is currently possible.

Construction, which is expected to require capital expenditures of approximately EUR65 million for the PLA plant and EUR20 million for the lactide plant, is expected to start later this year with a targeted start-up in the second half of 2018. Corbion’s pre-marketing activities continue and a portfolio of PLA resins is commercially available for technical validation.

The plants are part of its strategy to accelerate its thrust into the biotechnology arena, making the next step in the bioplastics value chain by becoming a PLA producer. Corbion will also continue to explore strategic opportunities as part of its PLA growth strategy. PLA is a unique bioplastic, being both biobased and biodegradable.

In 2014, Corbion generated annual sales of EUR770.1 million and had a workforce of 1,893 employees.


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