Expansions: Braskem opens Japan office to market bioPE; LG Chem sets up research hub in US

Braskem opens Japan office to market bioPE

Brazil’s Braskem has opened a representative office in Tokyo, being Japan one of the key markets for Braskem’s I’m green bio-based polyethylene (PE). By having its own staff on the ground, Braskem says it will be able to focus on continuous commitment to the Japanese market and to further develop the biopolymer solutions based on renewable feedstock.

For over 15 years, Braskem has provided biopolymers to the Japanese market as part of its sustainable solutions, in line with the country goals to become a circular low carbon economy.

Braskem’s biobased PE is said to deliver an important contribution to a carbon-neutral society and mitigation of climate change as the product has a negative carbon footprint, from the sugar cane crop to the polymer production, in a process that removes CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and stores the carbon in the biopolymer that can be further mechanically or chemically recycled.

Braskem recently increased the production capacity of biopolymers in Brazil by 30% and has established a joint venture with Thai chemical firm SCG Chemicals to develop a project in Thailand to increase the regional availability of its biobased PE in Asia.

Brasken says its biobased PE is made from sugar cane ethanol, sourced according to a responsible sourcing protocol that encompasses requirements in terms of biodiversity, labor rights, social responsibility and best agricultural practices. It is used in a variety of products, including packaging for food and beverages, personal and home care products, toys, houseware, and safety equipment.

LG Chem sets up research hub in US

In other news South Korea's LG Chem Ltd recently announced it has opened its North America Innovation Centre in Georgia, US.

The company also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) for new technology R&D.

LG Chem said it plans to internalise R&D capabilities related to three new growth engines in the North American region: next-generation battery materials, recycling, and bioplastics. The company also aims to identify top talent in these fields.

The North America research centre will play a key role in expanding LG Chem's R&D capabilities and talent pool in the region. The centre will focus on local technology surveys and task development, joint research with local universities and research institutions, securing local talent, and independent R&D.

LG Chem also plans to expand and reorganise the centre by 2025 to establish it as a core research hub in North America with independent facilities.

LG Chem said it intends to collaborate with Georgia Tech across a wide range of fields, leveraging its R&D capabilities from foundational technologies to commercialisation, innovative business model development, and training.

LG Chem is pushing for expansion in the North American market, with the construction of a cathode factory in Tennessee and a biodegradable bioplastic factory in Illinois.


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