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Total Corbion PLA's plant in Rayong,Thailand.
Total Corbion PLA's plant in Rayong,Thailand.

Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, announced the start-up of its 75,000 tons per year PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) bioplastics plant in Rayong, Thailand.

As introduced, the plant has successfully produced Luminy PLA resins. This bioplastic provides a valuable contribution towards the circular economy being biobased and biodegradable and offering multiple environmentally-friendly waste solutions.

The new facility will produce a broad range of Luminy PLA resins from renewable, non-GMO sugarcane sourced locally in Thailand: from standard PLA to innovative, high heat PLA and PDLA with unique properties.

The products will meet customers’ needs in a wide range of markets notably packaging, consumer goods, 3D printing, fibers and automotive and are specifically optimized for extrusion, thermoforming, injection molding and fiber spinning processes.

At the end of their useful life, PLA products can be mechanically or chemically recycled, or in some cases composted and returned to the soil as fertilizer.

Total Corbion PLA will leverage on the integration with its Lactide plant, the monomer required for the production of PLA that has simultaneously been expanded to 100,000 tons per year production capacity.

Furthermore, the 1,000 tons per year PLA pilot plant, which has been operational since the end of 2017, is located on the same site and will be used for product development.

The start-up marks a major milestone for both the joint venture and the bioplastics market. With this additional 75,000 tons per year facility, the global production of PLA bioplastics will increase by almost 50%, to 240,000 tons per year.

The start-up of this state-of-the-art plant establishes Total Corbion PLA as a world-scale PLA bioplastic producer, ideally located to serve growing markets from Asia Pacific to Europe and the Americas,” said Stephane Dion, CEO of the company. “The subsequent increase in global PLA capacity will enable manufacturers and brand owners to move into the circular economy and produce bio-based products with lower carbon footprints and multiple-end of life options.”

I’m very pleased that the joint venture has started-up the second-largest PLA bioplastics plant in the world. This achievement is fully in line with our strategy, to expand in petrochemicals and, at the same time, innovate in low-carbon solutions,” said Bernard Pinatel, President Refining & Chemicals at Total.

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