Total and Corbion Join Hands for Bioplastics Venture

Total – a leading French energy company along with Corbion – a leader in the bio-based sector – have announced a 50/50 joint venture to produce and market polylactic (PLA) polymers.

The JV features a PLA polymerization plant with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year. It is expected to be built at Corbion’s existing site in Thailand – which already has a lactide (PLA monomer) production unit and that will be integrated under the JV.

With operations slated to be launched in the 1st quarter of 2017, Corbion will be responsible for lactic acid supplies to the plant – a key raw material for the production of PLA and lactide.

Total and Corbion with this joint venture are eyeing to become a major player in the growing bioplastics market. Corbion already has a unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain and the company delivers high performance bio-based products made from renewable resources that caters  bakery, meat, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, home and personal care, packaging, automotive, coatings and adhesives markets. Total, on the other hand, is among the seven “Supermajor” oil companies in the world and is expanding into biofuels and bioplastics. According to Bernard Pinatel, President of Total Refining & Chemicals, “The joint venture will allow us to supply an innovative material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns.”

A bio-based, biodegradable polymer obtained by fermenting renewable resources such as sugar and /or starch to produce lactic acid, PLA claims to be the first renewable polymer that can compete with existing polymers. With numerous applications from food packaging, disposable tableware and textiles, as well as in industries such as oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing, PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment with an estimated average annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025.

To get first-hand perspective, join the Site Visit to Total Corbion PLA plant on 22 June 2017 organized as part of CMT ’s 6th Biobased Chemicals and Plastics scheduled on 19-22 June in Bangkok, Thailand.

For more information, email Ms. Grace at grace@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9147.

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