Total (U.S. office in Houston) and Corbion Purac (U.S. office in Lenexa, Kansas have formed a 50/50 joint venture to produce and market PLA polymers. The new JV will be headquartered in the Netherlands and will launch operations in first quarter 2017.
The partners plan is to build a world-class PLA polymerization plant with a capacity of over 165 million lb/yr (75,000 m.t.) at Corbion’s site in Thailand, which already has a lactide monomer production unit which will be integral to the new JV. Corbion will supply the lactic acid needed to produce lactide monomer and PLA. Earlier this year, (PT, July 2016), Corbion began premarketing its new PLA grades in North America. Corbion’s portfolio for the Americas markets includes a range of high-heat, high-performance crosslinked PLA homopolymer resins—PLLA & PDLA, which are specifically targeted to applications where durability and/or high heat resistance are key requirements. These materials are tailored for use in injection molding, film and sheet extrusion, thermoforming and fiber spinning, and are well suited to packaging and disposables as well as durable applications.