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Plantic to add production in the U.S.

Bioresin supplier Plantic (Melbourne, Australia) will expand global production of its high-amylose corn starch based polymer by partnering with National Starch on a new U.S. manufacturing facility. Plantic’s resins and sheets are derived from a specialized hybrid corn, which results in biodegradable and compostable products.

on a new U.S. manufacturing facility. Plantic’s resins and sheets are derived from a specialized hybrid corn, which results in biodegradable and compostable products. Brendan Morris, Plantic CEO, said the company will relocate one of its existing manufacturing lines from Australia to Indianapolis with production beginning in the fourth quarter of 2010. The line has a nameplate capacity of 10,000 tonnes/yr, according to Morris. It will create the new site in collaboration with National Starch that will shorten the supply chain by more closely integrating National Starch’s raw materials with Plantic’s manufacturing. The companies believe that in addition to cost reductions, the move will mean closer collaboration between R&D and manufacturing. National Starch is Plantic’s main supplier of specialty modified starches.

In October 2007, Plantic and National Starch signed a joint-collaboration agreement to develop new starch and starch-modification technology that they hoped would result in new and enhanced functional properties for Plantic’s materials and ultimately broaden the performance spectrum of its products. They are currently used in rigid sheet, injection molding, blowmolding, and flexible packaging. In addition to Melbourne, Plantic has offices in Jena, Germany and Boston, MA. National Starch has North American sales and technical support sites in Bridgewater, NJ and Brampton, ON, with additional sales offices in Lincolnshire, IL and Berkley, CA.

National Starch also operates a 10,000 ft2 Process Innovation Center (PIC) at its Bridgewater, NJ headquarters, where the company can scale down manufacturing steps from its global production facilities and run all its common starches, including corn, waxy maize, tapioca, sago palm, rice, and more. Equipment and processes include corn wet milling, starch slurry reactions, starch dewatering and drying, blending, and separation.

On Nov. 23, National Starch acquired Penford’s Specialty Starch Business in Australia, including its specialty grain wet milling and manufacturing facility based in Lane Cove and certain other intellectual property and assets. In addition to expanding its regional capabilities, the company said the acquisition also added two new product lines: Penford’s “clean label” starch and resistant starch products that expand its nutrition and health application reach.

In November 2008, Plantic expanded manufacturing beyond Australia with the founding of Plantic Technologies GmbH in Schorba, Jena. By the end of the first quarter of 2009, a thermoforming operation was to be installed in the newly leased factory in Jena, with the second phase calling for rigid sheet extrusion to be added to the plant, with altogether Euro 8.3 million to be invested. — [email protected]

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