TotalEnergies Corbion today officially launches its operations to produce and market Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) polymers. PLA is a biobased and biodegradable polymer made from annually renewable resources. As announced by parent companies Total and Corbion last November, the new company is a 50/50 joint venture based in the Netherlands.
TotalEnergies Corbion’s world-class PLA polymerization plant, with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year, is currently under construction at Corbion’s site in Thailand. The plant start-up is planned for the second half of 2018 and will produce a full range of Luminy® PLA neat resins: from standard PLA to specialty, high heat resistant PLA.
Corbion’s existing lactide plant has been transferred into TotalEnergies Corbion, as well as the existing Corbion bioplastics commercial and technical teams, who will continue to market lactide and PLA resins and support current and future customers.
Stéphane Dion, newly appointed CEO of TotalEnergies Corbion, stated: “In the fast-growing bioplastics arena, our new company is committed to supplying a versatile and innovative material that is both biobased and biodegradable, bringing added value to customers and contributing to a more sustainable world for ourselves and future generations.”
François de Bie, TotalEnergies Corbion’s Senior Marketing Director, commented: “The start-up of operations marks an important milestone for PLA, and our commercial and technical teams are delighted to have two strong parent companies supporting the future of bioplastics.”
PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment with an estimated annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025. Biodegradable and industrially compostable, PLA is one of the first renewable polymers able to compete with existing polymers, combining unique functional properties like transparency, gloss and stiffness. PLA is currently used in a broad range of markets, including food packaging, single-use tableware, textiles, oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing.