Sponsored By

PLA newcomer Corbion launches portfolio of bioplastics for the North American market

Karen Laird

May 27, 2016

2 Min Read
PLA newcomer Corbion launches portfolio of bioplastics for the North American market

The PLA market, which until now has been dominated by Ingeo biopolymer producer NatureWorks, is finally starting to see other players – or at least one other player -  making serious efforts to enter the PLA manufacturing space. Which, as Marc Verbruggen pointed out at this year’s Innovation Takes Root conference in Orlando, Florida, is a good thing. “Customers don’t want to be dependent on a single supplier,” he said. “Competition is more than welcome.”

The competitor that is warming up to the challenge is Corbion, the Netherlands-based biobased products company.  As part of its 'Disciplined Value Creation' strategy, the company, which originally produced lactides and lactic acid (among other products) announced in 2014 that “given our strong position in lactic acid, our unique high heat technology and the market need for a second PLA producer, we plan to forward integrate in the bioplastics value chain, from being a lactide provider to a PLA producer." To that end, the company declared, it would be investing in a 75 kTpa PLA plant (estimated EUR 60 million capex) in Thailand.

Fast forward to May, 2016 and Corbion has already begun to test, validate and sell pre-marketing volumes of PLA in the European and Pacific market. The company’s new 75 kTpa PLA production plant is expected to come on stream sometime during the second half of 2018. And the company has now announced that these PLA resins are now also to be launched in the North American market.

"Making these pre-marketing resins available in the USA will accelerate market acceptance of PLA and will allow Corbion to gain a deeper insight into the various product-market combinations", explained Derek Atkinson, Senior Business Director for the Americas. Echoing NatureWorks sentiments, he emphasized that "Many customers have expressed a need for a credible and high quality 2nd source of PLA resins.”

Corbion's portfolio for the Americas markets includes a range of high heat, high performance PLLA and PDLA homopolymer resins, specifically targeted at those applications where durability and/or high heat resistance are key requirements. Furthermore, various standard PLA grades compliment the Corbion product range. The range of PLA products is tailored for use in injection molding, film and sheet extrusion, thermoforming and fiber spinning, and ideally suited to packaging and disposable as well as durable applications.

In order to service customers in a timely manner, Corbion has set up a local warehouse on the US continent to ensure short delivery times.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like