Corbion begins construction of PLA plant in Thailand

By Corbion | November 14, 2016

The ground breaking ceremony that took place on Nov. 9 marked the official start of construction of the new polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics polymerization plant at the existing Corbion site in Rayong, Thailand. Upon completion in 2018, it will be able to produce the complete Luminy portfolio of PLA neat resins: from standard PLA to innovative, high heat resistant PLA.

The Honorable Minister of Industry Atchaka Sibunruang was the chair lady in the ritual and spiritual ceremony of the ground breaking. Furthermore, the governor of Rayong and the deputy secretary general of the Thai Board of Investment were present. The Netherlands was officially represented by the Deputy Ambassador Guillaume Teerling.

The minister of industry and Corbion have a long standing relationship given that Sibunruang was already involved in the building of the lactic acid plant back in 2004 in her role as senior executive investment advisor at the office of the BOI. She reinforced the significance of this development for Thailand in the field of sustainable solutions.

In his speech, Tjerk de Ruiter highlighted the importance of this milestone, “At Corbion, we believe in building a great future for the people of today and generations to come … that’s what we do here in Thailand with the construction of this plant, biobased and biodegradable plastics will certainly help to minimize adverse impacts on human health and the environment." He added: "We are now entering the next stage of construction, and we are confident that our worldclass facility will deliver the innovative solutions that our customers are seeking."

The new 75,000 ton-per-year PLA plant will be constructed using Corbion's and Sulzer's proprietory polymerization technology, and key equipment will be supplied by Sulzer Chemtech Ltd. (Switzerland).

In addition to the construction of this new PLA polymerization plant, Corbion will expand its existing lactide plant in Thailand by 25,000 tons per year. With this expansion, Corbion will be able to serve its current and future lactide customers. The lactide expansion will also enable the production of a wider range of lactides than is currently possible.

The targeted startā€up date for the PLA polymerization plant and the lactide expansion is in the second half of 2018.