Total and Corbion form a Joint Venture in bioplastics
Paris/Amsterdam, November 16, 2016 - Total and Corbion are joining forces to develop bioplastics by creating a 50/50 joint venture to produce and market polylactic (PLA) polymers. The two partners plan to build a world-class PLA polymerization plant with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year at Corbion's site in Thailand that already has a lactide (PLA monomer) production unit that will become part of the joint venture. Corbion will supply the lactic acid necessary for the production of the PLA and the lactide.
"I'm very pleased with this joint venture, which aims to become a major player in the growing bioplastics market. This investment is consistent with our One Total ambition of expanding in biofuels and bioplastics, in addition to our more traditional oil- and gas-based products," commented Bernard Pinatel, President of Total Refining & Chemicals. "Corbion's unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain makes it a natural choice for Total. The joint venture will allow us to supply an innovative material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns."
PLA is a biobased, biodegradable polymer obtained by fermenting renewable resources (sugar or starch) to produce lactic acid. PLA is mainly used for food packaging, disposable tableware and textiles, as well as in numerous other industries such as oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing.
PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment, with an estimated average annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025.