Total and Corbion formed their PLA joint venture on March 2nd 2017.
The parent companies bring different strengths for the table. Total has extensive experience in the product and marketing of various commodity polymers, primarily PE, PP and PS. Corbion is the world’s largest producer of lactic acid with extensive skills in extremophylic fermentation. Corbion is the exclusive supplier of lactic acid, both D and L, to the joint venture. Total Corbion PLA was formed to commercialize, essentially to produce and market, PLA based on the manufacturing technology developed by Corbion in association with Sulzer. Total Corbion PLA’s assets consist of a 75kT lactide plant in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, which is currently being expanded to 100kT, a 1kT pilot plant which is currently being installed at Map Ta Phut and a 75kT PLA plant currently under construction. The PLA plant is on time and is expected to be fully commissioned sometime around the middle of 2018.
The PLA pilot plant will be used to train the operators who will run the large plant, to develop novel grades and to get FDA FCN approval for the latest Total Corbion PLA recipes to facilitate market entry.
Currently Total Corbion PLA is having the full range of PLAs toll manufactured from its lactides. These include various homopolymer PLLA and PDLA grades that have pushed the operating window for PLA’s into durable and high heat applications previously not open to conventional optical isomerically impure PLA’s that currently comprise the majority of the market as well as standard grades. Total Corbion PLA also offers the option of 100% non-GMO grades where preferred. Corbion ensures that all its feedstocks are sustainably sourced and is currently leading the push for Bonsucro accreditation of its suppliers in Thailand.
The presentation will cover our progress to commercialization and how the use of homopolymers are being used to address significant end of life issues for applications such as coffee pods.