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

Image

Bayer spinning off plastics business

September 18, 2014 8:49 am ET

Bayer AG will spin off its MaterialScience plastics group into a separate, publicly-traded company within the next 12 to 18 months.    More

Image

Study: 75 percent of Australia's ocean debris is plastic

September 18, 2014 7:48 pm ET

About 75 percent of the trash found in the waters off Australia's beaches is plastic, with most of that coming from local sources rather than sea-...    More

Image

Investor group wants DuPont to split in two

September 18, 2014 7:37 pm ET

Investment firm Trian Fund Management LP is calling for plastics and chemicals giant DuPont Co. to split itself into two firms, one of which would...    More

Image

P&G removing PE microbeads from its Crest brand toothpaste

September 18, 2014 1:57 pm ET

After months of prodding, Procter & Gamble Co., the makers of Crest brand toothpastes, say polyethlene microbeads will be completely removed from its ...    More

Image

Smartphone work adds 52 percent to sales for China's Eva Precision

September 18, 2014 4:37 pm ET

Growth in supplying the smartphone and automotive industries helped Chinese processor Eva Precision Holdings Ltd. push injection molding sales up 52 p...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events