20. Feb 2024

New PLA manufacturer in India

New PLA manufacturer in India

Balrampur Chini Mills (Kolkata, India) is set to venture into poly lactic acid (PLA) manufacturing with a new fully integrated facility.

The new venture will facilitate the establishment of India’s first-ever industrial bioplastic plant.
Balrampur Chini, one of the largest integrated sugar mill complexes in India, announces forward integration, as well as business diversification, with its upcoming PLA (Polylactic Acid) manufacturing venture. The new PLA venture is well-aligned with the sustainability goals envisioned by the Prime Minister of India, in order to combat climate change.

With an estimated investment of 247 million EUR (Rs. 2000 crores) in phases over a period of around 2.5 years, the new project is aimed to fuel India’s journey towards achieving net zero emissions by 2070. Expected to be completed within a period of 30 months, the new venture will mark the establishment of the first-ever industrial bioplastic plant in India. The state-of-art PLA factory will command a whopping capacity at “global” scale of 75,000 t/a. To expedite the construction of the new plant, it will be located on a “greenfield site”, beside one of the existing sugar plants, wherein a significant proportion of the local infrastructure already exists. The efficient usage of sugar as a raw material, to produce PLA and (other) bioplastics marks the onset of a significant shift from the current linear consumption manufacturing paradigm to the one, led by circular and regenerative principles. Additionally, most of India’s current SUP (single-use plastic) consumption and its respective applications can be replaced by PLA and PLA compounds.

To lead the new business, Balrampur Chini Mills has appointed Stefan Barot as the President (Chemicals) in the category of Senior Management Personnel of the Company. With an enriching experience of over 35 years, spent across different geographies worldwide, including 13 illustrated years in the bioplastic industry, Barot is set to engage in the new business and help it soar to greater heights. The new venture is also facilitated by BCML’s minority stake acquisition in Konkan Speciality Polyproducts (Konspec – Mangalore, India), a notable player in the sphere of specialty polymers & biopolymers, intermediaries, and chemicals.

In response to this milestone, Vivek Saraogi, CMD, Balrampur Chini said, “PLA offers dual benefits as a biobased and biodegradable(compostable) material, serving as a sustainable substitute for conventional plastics across different applications. This aligns with our commitment to environmentally conscious practices and enhances our business model, promoting a more sustainable and responsible approach to manufacturing. With this project, Balrampur Chini aims to pioneer an industry-first approach in the country reducing carbon emissions by minimizing reliance on fossil fuels in plastic production, showcasing innovation and environmental consciousness”.

As the Executive Director of Balrampur Chini, Avantika Saraogi said, “I'm thrilled to embark on this new journey, showcasing our commitment to environmentally conscious practices and responsible manufacturing. We see the utilization of sugar as a raw material in PLA production as pivotal for a sustainable future. Through the PLA project, our goal is to not only drive financial growth but also redefine standards in India's sustainable economic landscape”.

Vinod Bondal, Managing Director of Konspec, said, “We are excited to work with BCML on exploring opportunities which will go a long way to create a sustainable and circular economy, thereby contributing to a greener environment and assisting industry at large to fulfil EPR commitments”. AT


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