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11-04-2014

Corbion to Construct a PLA Production Plant in Thailand

Corbion Purac biochem bv, Gorinchem, The Netherlands, will accelerate its thrust into the biotechnology arena, making the next step in the bioplastics value chain by becoming a PLA producer. With entry into PLA, Corbion Purac intends to bring new biodegradable solutions to the plastics industry, and increase global PLA production capacity by a further 75 kt/a.

Tjerk de Ruiter (figure: Corbion)

This announcement forms a part of Corbion’s updated strategic direction for 2015–2018. Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion, comments: “As part of our strategic review we confirmed there is an attractive demand outlook for PLA, albeit at a lower growth pace than previously assumed. Given our strong position in lactic acid, our unique high heat technology and the market need for a second PLA producer, we plan to forward integrate in the bioplastics value chain, from being a lactide provider to a PLA producer.”

Corbion intends to invest in a 75 kt/a PLA plant (estimated EUR 60 million capex) in Thailand. “We will only commence with this investment if we can secure at least one-third of plant capacity in committed PLA volumes from customers”, states de Ruiter. Corbion will also continue exploring strategic alliances as part of their PLA growth strategy, in order to enhance the business opportunities while mitigating the associated risks.

Corbion Purac will continue selling lactides to both existing and new PLA polymerization customers. Lactide sales for the coatings and adhesives markets will also continue. Many of Corbion’s existing polymerization customers have already successfully built a strong local presence and distribution channel, with great market coverage. Worldwide PLA capacity is almost sold out and with the PLA market expected to grow to 600 kT/a by 2025, the market is seeking additional PLA suppliers.

Company profile

Corbion NV Corporate Communications department

Tel.: +31 20 5906911

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