Bioplastics company Total Corbion PLA, has started up its 1 kilotonne-per-year pilot plant for production of polylactic acid (PLA) and lactide monomers in Rayong, Thailand.
The pilot plant started up in December and over the past two months has produced a broad range of Luminy PLA resins, the company said in a March 15 news release.
The 50/50 joint venture between French chemical company Total SA and Nethrlands-based Corbion NV for development of bioplastics was set up in the Netherlands in late 2016.
The JV has now provided samples from its pilot plant to customers, while also using the product for certifications and regulatory procedures.
With the start-up of the pilot plant, Total Corbion is gearing up for large-scale production.
On the same site, Total Corbion PLA's lactide plant is being expanded to 100 kilotonnes per year and a 75 kilotones per year PLA polymerization plant is under construction.
According to plant director Simon Goldney, the PLA polymerization plant is on track to deliver its first commercial quantities of PLA during the second half of 2018.
Upon completion, Total Corbion PLA's production facility in Thailand will produce a broad portfolio of Luminy PLA resins for a wide range of markets from packaging to consumer goods, fibers and automotive.