Chronopol Inc., a subsidiary of Golden Technologies Co. Inc., plans to construct a $4 million plant in Golden, Colo., to produce Chronopol-brand polylactic acid resin. Chronopol recently announced construction of a lactide monomer plant in Johnstown, Colo. Production will begin later this year.
The polylactic acid plant will produce engineered polymers from the lactide and will be located less than an hour from the Johnstown plant. Although Chro-nopol officials do not know how large the resin plant will be, it will have an annual capacity of 2 million pounds and is scheduled to be operational in the first half of 1997.
The lactide plant is at the site of a corn wet mill. At first, the mill will be used for power, but later will be used to extract sugar from the corn to be turned into lactic acid, then lactide. Until then, the company will buy lactic acid, said Chronopol spokesman Tom Rogers.
Currently, a pilot plant in Golden polymerizes the lactide and can produce 100,000-200,000 pounds per year. The new plant will be needed to keep up with lactide production.
Rogers did not know how many people the plant will employ, but said the work will not be labor-intensive.
Polylactic acid resins are marketed as fully compostable thermoplastics derived from 100 percent agricultural products.
``Our objective now is to help our customers develop their products,'' Rogers said. ``If there's any left over, we'll sell it. I'm surprised at the level of interest in the marketplace, even at the international level. A lot more people are wanting it than we have right now.''
The resin plant will help Chronopol determine the timing, capacity and size of a commercial plant planned for the future. Chronopol has targeted its polylactic acid resin for packaging, medical, agricultural, consumer product and waste management applications.
Golden Technologies is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACX Technologies Inc. of Golden.