NatureWorks Broadens Ingeo Product Portfolio
NatureWorks, Minnetonka, MN/USA, and Sulzer’s division Sulzer Chemtech, Winterthur, Switzerland, have shipped proprietary production equipment to NatureWorks’ Blair, Neb.,facility that will enable NatureWorks to increase production of Ingeo biopolymer and produce new, high-performance resins and lactides.
Nameplate Ingeo production capacity at Blair will rise from 140,000 to 150,000 metric tonnes per annum. Commissioning of the installed new equipment is expected in the first quarter of 2013 with capacity increases and new products becoming available in the second quarter.
NatureWorks and Sulzer have been working on this improvement project for more than a year. Each company has contributed to the project with NatureWorks bringing its operational experience and intellectual property in lactides processing, and Sulzer bringing its proprietary equipment and engineering design expertise in this field. NatureWorks owns patents to the new process, to which Sulzer has exclusive sublicensing rights worldwide. Technical details concerning the new production equipment and the amount of this major capital expenditure are not being released due to the proprietary and competitive nature of this Ingeo development project.
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