Corbion PLA polymers
Corbion said it will be able to produce a complete portfolio of PLA polymers at the new plant.

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Corbion said it has completed the pre-engineering for a 75,000-tonne polymerization plant and is entering the basic-engineering phase. The plant will be located in Rayong Province, Thailand, at an existing Corbion site.

Tjerk De Ruiter, Corbion
Tjerk de Ruiter, c.e.o. of Corbion

“We have now obtained the necessary technical and financial validation for such a plant,” said Tjerk de Ruiter, chief executive officer of Corbion.

Corbion said it will be able to produce a complete portfolio of PLA polymers at the plant, ranging from standard PLA to innovative high-heat resistant PLA. Additionally, Corbion will expand its existing lactide plant in Thailand by 25,000 tonnes per 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 also will enable the production of a wider range of lactides than is currently possible, Corbion said.

Corbion has estimated the capital expenditures cost for the PLA plant at approximately €65 million ($70.5 million) and at €20 million ($21.7 million) for the lactide plant. Construction is expected to start later this year with a targeted start-up in the second half of 2018.

As part of its “Disciplined Value Creation” strategy launched in October 2014, Corbion has been accelerating its efforts into the biotechnology arena, making the next step in the bioplastics value chain by becoming a PLA producer. Corbion said it will continue to explore strategic opportunities as part of its PLA growth strategy.