NatureWorks, the world's leading producer of low-carbon polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers derived from renewable resources, has received final approval from its parent companies, GC International Corporation Company Limited, a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC), and Cargill Incorporated (Cargill), to construct a new Ingeo™️ PLA manufacturing complex in Thailand.
The complex, which will comprise manufacturing facilities for lactic acid, lactide, and polymer, will cost more than $600 million to build, making it the world's first PLA plant designed to be completely integrated.
Rich Altice, President and CEO of NatureWorks, said that their preparations for a second Ingeo PLA production facility are progressing because of the continued backing of their parent companies. This approval is a significant step forward in ensuring that they will be ready to start building on an integrated manufacturing facility in 2022, which will enable them to meet the growing worldwide demand for sustainable materials.
Dr. Kongkrapan Intarajang, GC's CEO, said that GC, Thailand's top chemical business and the world's leading environmentally friendly bio-chemical manufacturer, is committed to operating in accordance with sustainability rules and circular economy principles. Sustainable development produces balanced growth in economic, social, and environmental dimensions, guided by the SDG framework. Following the BOI's investment promotion permission of NatureWorks, GC, and Cargill, joint owners of the top PLA biopolymer producer in the world, are poised to increase investment in the biochemical sector.
Colleen May, president of Cargill Bioindustrial, said, that Cargill is delighted to take this next step alongside GC to support the growth of NatureWorks via its second manufacturing site. This is a significant step forward in their efforts to invest in long-term solutions for bio-industrial clients throughout the world.
In the second quarter of 2022, work on the new manufacturing complex at the Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex (NBC) in Nakhon Sawan Province will commence. The plant, which is slated to operate in 2024, will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tonnes of Ingeo biopolymer and will produce the whole Ingeo grade portfolio.
NatureWorks has also chosen engineering partners for the next project phase as a result of shareholder approval. Jacobs already completed the project's front-end engineering design and will now finish the project's final detailed engineering. IAG has also been selected as NatureWorks' engineering and construction partner, providing project management, project controls, and procurement services. Both firms were picked for their experience in completing large-scale international capital projects.
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