10. Sep 2019
Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, officially inaugurated its 75,000 tonnes per year PLA bioplastics plant in Rayong, Thailand on Sept. 09, 2019. The world’s second largest PLA plant is located on the same premises, right next to a lactic acid plant of Corbion. It was finished in mid 2018 and commissioned end of 2018. As of yet, the PLA plant has produced nearly 20,000 tonnes of PLA.
The Grand Opening ceremony was chaired by Ms. Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI). The event was opened with a traditional religious ceremony in which the plant was blessed by Buddhist monks.
The plant was first blessed by monks in a religious ceremony
Honorable guests included Dr. Somchint Pilouk from the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, Mr. Jirasak Tapajot, Banchang District Chief, H.E. Jacques Lapouge, the French Ambassador, and H.E. Kees Rade, the Dutch Ambassador (in absentia). bioplastics MAGAZINE participated in the Grand Opening and will publish a more comprehensive report in the upcoming October issue.
“This opening is an important milestone for us and the circular economy,“ said Stéphane Dion, CEO of Total Corbion PLA. „The strategic fit between Corbion and Total is no less than perfect. Benefitting from the lactic acid supply of Corbion and benefitting from Total’s expertise in polymer technology and its sales network we are poised to become a major player in the PLA industry. With this plant we demonstrate how passionate we are about contributing to a circular economy.”
Stéphane Dion, CEO Total Corbion PLA
“The creation of sustainable growth with PLA bioplastics truly fits with our ambition to build new business platforms, applying disruptive technologies. PLA bioplastics will also drive further development and growth of Lactic Acid, which is at the centre of Corbion’s strategy to develop sustainable ingredient solutions to improve the quality of life for people today and for future generations” said Marc den Hartog, Executive Vice President Innovation platforms of Corbion.
“I’m very pleased to inaugurate Total Corbion PLA’s plant today, which has started up rapidly and now serves customers all around the globe” said Valérie Goff, Senior Vice President Polymers at Refining & Chemicals, Total. “PLA bioplastics will help meeting the rising demand for polymers while contributing to reducing end-of-life concerns.”
The official ribbon cutting was performed by Ms. Duangjai Asawachintachit, the French Ambassador, Stéphane Dion, as well as the two parent companies of the joint venture, represented by Valérie Goff, together with Marc den Hartog. Thereafter, attendees were given a guided tour of the facility.
The new 75,000 tonnes per year facility currently produces ten different grades Luminy® PLA resins from renewable, non-GMO sugarcane sourced locally in Thailand. “We seriously look at the quality of the sugar,” Marc den Hartog told bioplastics MAGAZINE. „This, together with how the sugar is grown and harvested including social responsibility, is more important than sourcing the sugar from the shortest distances.“
In addition to the PLA plant, Total Corbion PLA operates a 100,000 tonnes per year lactide plant, which produces the monomer required for the production of PLA, and a 1,000 tonnes per year PLA pilot plant, used for product development. Combined with Corbion’s lactic acid plant, located on the same site, this enables a fully integrated production chain from sugar to PLA.
(all photos: bioplastics MAGAZINE)