Taiwanese, Thai firms form bioplastics JV

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: January 30, 2013 3:10 pm ET
Updated: January 30, 2013 3:16 pm ET

Image By: Steve Toloken Esmy Huang, Minima vice president

Related to this story

Topics End Markets, Processes, Regions, Suppliers, Asia, Consumer Products, Compounding, Machinery

BANGKOK — Taiwanese bioplastics compounder and equipment supplier Minima Technology Co. Ltd. is making a push into Thailand, setting up a joint venture with one of the country's largest plastic film manufacturers, Thai Plastic Bag Industries Co. Ltd.

The companies say they see opportunities to both export bioplastic products and develop the local market in Southeast Asia, and they believe plans for new biopolymer resin plants in Thailand could provide them with a longer-term advantage.

Nakornpathom, Thailand-based TPBI is majority shareholder in the joint venture, called Minima (Thailand) Co. Ltd., and is providing a blown film line in one of its factories, said Huang Chien-Ming, founder and director of Minima Technology.

TBPI also has bought a small ownership stake in Taichung, Taiwan-based Minima Technology, according to Somsak Borrisuttanakal, managing director of TBPI. He made the remarks in a speech at the Inno Bioplast 2013 conference, held Jan. 24-26 in Bangkok.

Borrisuttanakal also is managing director of the joint venture.

In an interview at Inno Bioplast, Huang said initially Minima will supply the joint venture with polylactic acid resin and other bioplastics from its compounding factory in Taiwan, but he said the companies could in the future establish a compounding line in Thailand.

Based on its abundant agricultural resources, Thailand is beginning to attract attention as a site for bio-resin manufacturing.

For example, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and Thailand's PTT Chemical Public Co. Ltd. plan to open a bioplastic polybutylene succinate plant in Thailand, and the country seems to be the front-runner for the site of the second manufacturing plant for American PLA resin maker NatureWorks LLC of Minnetonka, Minn., which is 50 percent owned by PTT.

"We think it will be a very good business here because in the near future, after 2015, we can have all the materials derived from the local producers, and at that time we will make some compounds here," Huang said. "We will set up the compounding system before they start to supply the resin here."

The first product the company is making is a paper coffee cup using a liner of biodegradable plastic film, but it plans to launch other bio-based plastic products. Those could include thermoformed meat trays or injection molded cutlery, Huang said.

Borrisuttanakal said Minima's long background in the bioplastics industry also will help identify and develop opportunities in the local market, and help to improve the properties and lower the price of bioplastic resin, a key requirement in the Thai market.

Minima started operations in Taiwan in 2000. Huang is also currently president of Taiwan's Environmentally Biodegradable Polymer Association.

The joint venture also can help Minima access the free-trade zone planned for the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, because Thailand is a member but Taiwan is not, said Esmy Huang, Minima's vice president.


Comments

Taiwanese, Thai firms form bioplastics JV

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: January 30, 2013 3:10 pm ET
Updated: January 30, 2013 3:16 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

2014 leaves some resin firms in the black while others struggle

January 23, 2015 2:37 pm ET

On the financial side, 2014 was good for Hexcel Corp., so-so for Celanese Corp. and it could have been better for Omnova Solutions.    More

Image

Berry's rebranded Blue Clover expands packaging design reach

January 23, 2015 1:59 pm ET

As design director of Berry Plastics Corp.'s rebranded packaging design studio, Scott Fisher believes the new name of Blue Clover Studios cuts the...    More

Image

Clariant's ColorForward predicts future consumer trends

January 23, 2015 1:33 pm ET

Clariant International Ltd. is marking a decade of color forecasting with the 10th edition of its ColorForward program.    More

Image

The future for PolyOne is colorful

January 23, 2015 1:28 pm ET

PolyOne Corp. is writing four color stories for 2016.    More

Plastics executive pleads guilty in federal firearm case

January 23, 2015 12:37 pm ET

Richard Cummings, 43, a former manager at Tri Town Precision Plastics Inc. in Deep River, Conn., has pleaded guilty to violating federal firearms laws...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

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 Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

More Events