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Cargill JV to Build New PLA Biopolymer Manufacturing Site

Image courtesy of PTT Global Chemical Public Co. Ltd. (GC) S__1671854.jpg
The $600 million production plant in Thailand will process sugar from local farmers into the sustainable material.

Nature Works LLC, a joint venture between American agribusiness Cargill and GC International Corporation Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical Public Co. Ltd. (GC), is moving forward on plans to build a new $600 million polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers production plant in Thailand after receiving investment promotion approval from the country’s Board of Investment (BOI) this May, a GC release announced this week.

“Cargill is excited to take this next step with GC to support the expansion of Nature Workers through its second production facility,” said Cargill Bioindustrial Group President Coleen May in a statement. “This marks an important milestone in our continued efforts to invest in sustainable solutions for bioindustrial customers around the world.”

The plant will be constructed in the Nakhon Sawan Bio-complex (NBC) in the country’s Nakhon Sawan province and have production capabilities for lactic acid, lactide, and polymer. Nature Works will source 110,000 tn/yr of sugar from area farmers to produce the sustainable products.

“GC, Thailand’s leading chemical company and the world’s leading environmentally friendly bio-chemical producer, is committed [to] operating in accordance with sustainability guidelines and circular economy principles,” said GC CEO Dr. Kongkrapan Intarajang, in a statement. “Sustainability creates balanced growth in economic, social, and environmental dimensions, driven by the framework for SDGs. Today, GC and Cargill, joint owners of NatureWorks, the top PLA biopolymer manufacturer globally, are ready to expand investment in the biochemical sector following the BIO’s investment promotion approval of NatureWorks.”

PLA biopolymers made at the Thailand plant will be sold under the Ingeo brand when it commences commercial operations in 2024.

Powder & Bulk Solids also reported this week that a joint venture between Cargill and Continental Grain Co. struck a deal to purchase poultry firm Sanderson Farms for $4.53 billion.

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