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NatureWorks Thailand on course for 2024

New plant will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer for plastics and fibres.

3rd June 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Nakhon Sawan, Thailand


NatureWorks, the world’s leading manufacturer of low-carbon PLA biopolymers made from renewable resources, has marked key milestones in its global manufacturing expansion plan for a new fully integrated that will open in Thailand by 2024, subject to shareholder approval.

When fully operational, the new plant will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

The Thailand Board of Investment has now announced its approval of the project that will be located at the Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex (NBC) in Nakhon Sawan province. The NBC is the first biocomplex project in Thailand.

Final detailed engineering for the plant is currently underway, and NatureWorks expects to announce further details later this year.

“We are pleased to share these significant accomplishments as part of our next phase for global manufacturing expansion,” said Rich Altice, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “The approval and support from the Thailand Board of Investment was a critical milestone on our path towards opening our new facility in Thailand. With both the recently announced capacity expansion at our facility in Blair, Nebraska, and this new manufacturing complex, we can further address the global market demand for sustainable materials and continue leading the development of high-performance applications that capitalise on Ingeo’s unique material properties.”

The new manufacturing complex will include production for lactic acid, lactide and polymer, making it the world’s first polylactide facility that is fully integrated. NatureWorks will build and operate all three facilities which will have both process and energy integration to increase efficiency.

In 2002, NatureWorks became the first company to produce PLA biopolymers at commercial scale. In 2013, the company expanded its plant in Blair, Nebraska to an annual capacity of 150,000 metric tons, making it the largest PLA manufacturing plant in the world. NatureWorks also completed a portfolio of enhancements to the Blair site, enabling the plant to establish a new record production level in 2019.

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