Purac to build bioplastics feedstock plant in Thailand
Netherlands-based Purac is to build a lactides production plant in Thailand to manufacture feedstocks for bioplastics production
The company, part of CSM, said the new 75,000tpa production unit will start up in the second half of 2011. It will be located at the existing Purac site at Rayong in Thailand. Around €45m is being invested in the unit, which is designed to produce both L-lactides and D-lactides to enable production of more heat resistant PLA grades. It will be fed with lactic acid sourced from the existing Purac plant. “This investment will take us to the next step in our bioplastics program, where our proprietary technology gives us a considerable opportunity together with our partners, to grow the PLA market,” said Gerard Hoetmer, CSM CEO. The products will enable Purac to produce bioplastic products with heat resistance up to 180ºC, according to Hoetmer. “We have made good progress in co-developing commercial applications for this next generation of PLA, such as in the packaging, foam and fibre industries. This is supported by the drive to reduce CO2 emission with commercially attractive products,” he said. Purac is working with Sulzer Chemtech of Switzerland and Akzo Nobel of Germany in development of its PLA polymer production technologies. The first commercial user of the technology is Netherlands-based packaging company Synbra, which is building a 5,000tpa plant to manufacture expanded PLA foams to be sold under the BioFoam name.