TAIPEI, TAIWAN — A cash injection of more than $10 million from a new owner has Taiwanese bioplastics firm Green Miracle Technology Co. Ltd. planning for a new compounding factory, after opening molding and extrusion plants in mainland China this year.
The Taipei-based company, which currently has a compounding plant with about 5,000 metric tons of capacity in Taiwan, manufactures its own formulations of biodegradable PLA from Natureworks LLC and other suppliers.
The new investment, disclosed during a recent interview at a trade show in Taiwan, came this year from Hong Kong businessman Kong Ho Pak, who owns local travel agency Lotus Tours Ltd., along with real estate and car dealerships, said Green Miracle Managing Director Kevin Chiang.
Kong invested $400 million Taiwan dollars (US$13.1 million) and took a majority stake in the company, Chiang said.
The investment was made through Hong Kong-based Ever Gainer Technology Ltd., with Chiang and additional investors, said Evan Cheng, financial controller for Ever Gainer.
Chiang and Cheng spoke in an interview at the company's booth at the Taipei Plas trade fair, held Sept. 26-30 in Taipei.
Chiang said the company sees opportunities both to export products from China and to manufacture bioplastics for China's local market, because it believes local government policy will increase support.
As one example, he pointed to increasing concerns about the use of polyethylene agricultural film in China, because of the damage to the soil from long-term use of the PE materials.
Those PE films are often plowed into the soil at the end of growing seasons but over time contaminate the fields, which is increasing interest in fully biodegradable films, he said.
One of Natural MT's two new China factories, in Xiamen, Fujian Province, is an extrusion plant making PLA film and bags.
The other facility is an injection molding operation in Shenzhen, where the company has 16 molding presses.
Both facilities are small, employing 10 to 20 people each, with total investment of about 10 million Chinese yuan ($1.62 million), Chiang said.
Products manufactured by Green Miracle include biodegradable bubble wrap, coffee cups and plastic bags. The company said it has proprietary formulas that can make PLA easier to process on plastics equipment, while still being compostable.
Opening two processing factories in China this year is also an attempt to boost demand for its compounded materials, said David Li, who manages the Shenzhen factory.
Chiang said the company, which started in 2009, hopes to double its production of compounded materials in the next year, to 10,000 metric tons.
Natural MT officials said Taiwan is one of the larger spots in the world for manufacturing finished plastic goods using PLA, because the government limits the use of traditional petrochemical plastics in food packaging.
The company said all of its products meet technical standards for compostability, including ASTM D6400 and EN 13432.