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Joint bio-plastics venture between Total and Corbion formed; operations launch Q1 2017

Posted on Nov 16, 2016 9:39:00 AM

 Joint bioplastics venture between Total and Corbion formed; operations launch Q1 2017 (Polymers pic courtesy of Cobion) " an innovative material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns.”

A big announcement today that energy firm Total and bio-based leaders 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 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. The new company will be based in the Netherlands and will launch operations in the 1st quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

It’s an interesting partnership with both parties bringing extensive experience and resources to the venture. Total, the French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the seven "Supermajor" oil companies in the world have over 96,000 employees operations in more than 130 countries, Whilst Dutch-based Corbion’s global workforce of 1673 delivers high performance bio-based products made from renewable resources and applied in global markets such as bakery, meat, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, home and personal care, packaging, automotive, coatings and adhesives.

“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 ( @Total ) . “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.”


Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion ( @CorbionBioplast ) , stated: “PLA is one of the first renewable, biodegradable polymers able to compete with existing polymers. The joint venture, which will combine Total’s technical and marketing knowledge and leading position in polymers with Corbion’s expertise in lactic acid and biopolymers, will enable us to supply innovative products and will accelerate market acceptance.”

PLA is a bio-based, 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.

You may also be interested in... 

Ask the industry: Frédéric Meyer, Director Strategy and Growth at TOTAL Fluides.

Industry insights: TOTAL's BioLife range.

Corbion on track for major PLA plant construction in Thailand.

Novamont opens world’s first plant for the production of bio-based butanediol on industrial scale.

Big oil meets bio-based as Saudi Aramco buys a $100m sustainable polyol technology. 


Topics: BBWNChemicals, ProcessRefining&Plants

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About the Author

Luke Upton
Luke Upton
Luke is the editor and co-founder of Bio-Based World has edited this site since its launch and previously worked for b2b media companies across industries including energy, advertising and sport. His more