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

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

Axiall resumes operations at damaged Lake Charles PVC feedstock plant

April 15, 2014 4:41 pm ET

Axiall Corp. has resumed operations at its PVC feedstock plant that was damaged by a fire in December.
More

Image

Austria's Greiner building a foothold in the US rigid packaging market

April 15, 2014 1:22 pm ET

Greiner Packaging International GmbH, one of Europe's largest makers of rigid plastic packaging, now wants to make its mark in the United States.    More

Image

Power failure shuts down two PE resin units in Texas

April 15, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Two polyethylene resin units operated by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP in Baytown, Texas, were closed from April 8-11 because of a power failure.    More

Shell Chemical to host public meetings to discuss plans in Pennsylvania

April 15, 2014 3:27 pm ET

Shell Chemical LP will host two public meetings on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major petrochemicals plant in the Pittsburgh...    More

Image

Despite struggles, Europe still key market in global resin picture

April 15, 2014 2:06 pm ET

Challenges and opportunities facing international plastics and chemicals markets were tackled by a trio of top executives at the IHS World Petrochemic...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events