NatureWorks LLC, the world’s number one bioplastic firm, has been in talks with potential partners including PTT Plc to jointly invest in a large-scale bioplastic plant in Thailand worth about $four hundred million.
The plan might make Thailand the situation of the primary polylactic acid (PLA) plant in Asia in 2014 and the second globally, says Marc Verbruggen, president and chief executive of the Minnesota-based firm.
NatureWorks’ PLA plant in Nebraska opened in 2003 as the first of its form in ice machine installation the Large Pressure Vessel On-site Tank world. It doubled its capability to 150,000 tonnes yearly in the midst of last year.
“We’re going to make a closing choice by the top of this year. It is going to take two and a half to three years for the construction, so the plant needs to be operated in late 2013 or early 2014,” stated Mr Verbruggen.
NatureWorks is currently within the process of deciding on the placement of the a hundred and fifty,000-tonne facility. Brazil is among the candidates while other potential areas are Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, he said.
Three primary factors in the ultimate determination are local availability of uncooked materials together with tapioca and sugarcane, markets of the product, and incentive programmes.
“We aren’t taking a look at Thailand because the potential location based mostly on the native market only but additionally the advantages for our product to be simply shipped to North Asian international locations such as China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan,” Mr Verbruggen stated.
Thailand, in the meantime, additionally has an incentive programme in place for bioplastic funding but the query is “is it adequate”, famous Mr Verbruggen.
The corporate can be in search of potential local partners who’ve experience in petroleum-based mostly polymers, he added.
Siriwan Chierapong, govt vice-president for enterprise improvement and undertaking management of PTT’s petrochemical and refining operation, confirmed that the Thai vitality large had discussed a PLA enterprise with potential funding partners, specifically NatureWorks.
A totally built-in PLA complex might costs in a variety of $500 to 600 million. The plant is aimed to be operational in 2014, she said.