Norway bioplastic maker enters joint venture in Thailand

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: January 25, 2013 1:41 pm ET
Updated: January 25, 2013 1:44 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Materials, Materials Suppliers

BANGKOK -- Norwegian bioplastics maker BioBag International AS and Thailand's Thantawan Industry Public Co. Ltd. are setting up a partnership to manufacture BioBag products in Thailand, which will be the Scandinavian company's first production base in Asia.

Initially the cooperation will focus on exports to North America, but the two companies hope to do joint market development in Thailand and Southeast Asia, where local demand is still in its infancy, said Peter Lofvenholm, project sales manager for Askim, Norway-based BioBag.

"It's a partner agreement, meaning that we are giving them volumes and they are giving us production capacity," said Lofvenholm in an interview at the Inno Bioplast 2013 conference, held Jan. 24-26 in Bangkok. "Instead of building that capacity ourselves, we went to a very good supplier."

Lofvenholm said the agreement will start with manufacturing products such as carrier bags and sandwich bags. He disclosed the partnership in a speech at Inno Bioplast.

In a follow-up interview, he said the company chose Thailand for its first Asian production because the country is developing quickly as a bioplastics manufacturing location, and companies there are familiar with technical standards for biodegradability and compostability in North America, Europe and other major markets.

"There's a lot of movement in the bioplastics market here," he said. "There are no issues and confusion. They are familiar with certifications. They have all the groundwork. … You see their factory, and the quality systems are very, very good."

BioBag makes compostable plastic bags and film for household food-waste composting and agricultural uses, along with biodegradable carrier bags and retail packaging, all using Novamont SpA's Mater-Bi material.

The company switched entirely to bioplastic in 2003, stopping any work in petrochemical-based plastics, and set up manufacturing partnerships with four companies between 2005 and 2010, giving it production in Norway, Belgium, Portugal and the U.S. Thantawan is its fifth such partnership.

Bangkok-based Thantawan has more than 1,000 employees at factories in the country and makes a range of packaging products. Less than 20 percent of its sales are in biodegradable or bio-based packaging.

In an interview at Inno Bioplast, Thantawan Chairman Phietoon Trivijitkaserm said the partnership could expand to joint investment later. "BioBag is now just starting. We have a very good future because we are very keen in food packaging products," he said.

Lofvenholm said the two companies hope to formally sign their agreement soon.

Beyond manufacturing, Lofvenholm said the two companies want to work together on market development, although he said there "is no market in this region yet."

"That's the other feature … they are also our marketing partner in Thailand," he said. "We're trying to develop some things together. You might see some products from us in high-end shops."

For larger-scale use of biodegradable food packaging, Thailand will need to build more composting infrastructure, Trivijitkaserm said.


Comments

Norway bioplastic maker enters joint venture in Thailand

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: January 25, 2013 1:41 pm ET
Updated: January 25, 2013 1:44 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

2014 US machinery shipments up 6 percent

November 25, 2014 5:17 pm ET

Through the first nine months of 2014 U.S. shipments of primary plastics equipment — for injection molding, blow molding and extrusion —...    More

Image

Globalization brings sizable growth, primarily in Asia

November 25, 2014 1:40 pm ET

In 1990, the year after Plastics News published our first issue, there were 33,000 injection molding machines sold worldwide. Fast forward to 2013,...    More

Image

Taipei Plas vandal and German firm trade lawsuits

November 25, 2014 1:26 pm ET

Taiwan businessman Karma Tang, who splashed red paint at German firm Baumüller GmbH's Taipei Plas booth, is in a messy legal battle.    More

Image

Plastics News by the year: 1991

November 25, 2014 6:00 am ET

As Plastics News marks its 25th year of publication, we take a year-by-year look back at some of the events, people and curious coincidences that...    More

Image

Obituary: Patsy Beall, 79, industry activist

November 25, 2014 1:18 pm ET

Patsy Beall, a plastics industry activist who worked alongside her husband of 61 years, product designer Glenn Beall, passed away Nov. 22.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events