Industry News
Natureworks picks Asia for second PLA plant location
6 years ago Posted in: Industry News 0

By Steve Toloken – PLASTICS NEWS CHINA

MINNETONKA, MINN. (April 19, 2011) — American bioplastics maker NatureWorks LLC has chosen Asia as the location of its second world-scale manufacturing facility for its Ingeo polylactic acid resin, saying the continent is its fastest-growing sales region.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company did not release details but company executives had said as far back as NPE 2009 that they had been looking for a second facility, to complement their existing American plant in Blair, Neb., and were considering either Asia or Europe.

In an unrelated late March announcement that it planned to start directly selling its Ingeo packaging resin grades in Taiwan, rather than through an exclusive distributor there, NatureWorks said it planned to announce a location in Asia later this year for its second world-scale Ingeo facility.

Newspapers in Thailand reported in September 2010 that NatureWorks President and CEO Marc Verbruggen said in a visit to the country that Thailand was under consideration for the US$300 million to US$400 million facility, although they also said the company was also considering locations in Europe and South America.

About NatureWorks LLC
What began in 1997 as a Cargill research project looking for innovative uses of carbohydrates from plants as feedstock for more sustainable plastics has quickly matured into the innovative materials for which we are known today. NatureWorks LLC is an independent company wholly owned by Cargill. Our company is the first to offer a family of commercially available biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with cost and performance that compete with petroleum-based packaging materials and fibers. We apply our unique technology to the processing of natural plant sugars to create the proprietary polylactide polymer marketed under the Ingeo™ brand name.

NatureWorks LLC represents one of the largest efforts ever in green chemistry and biorefinery.

Our manufacturing facility, located in Blair, Nebraska, USA, has a name plate capacity of 300 million pounds (140,000 metric tons) of Ingeo biopolymer. Our plant came online in 2002. In 2003, we built the world’s largest lactic acid manufacturing facility to feed our polymer plant. Then in 2009 we opened a state-of-the-art applications lab, and announced we were assessing locations for a 2nd manufacturing plant.

Today NatureWorks LLC does business in North America, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. We continue to work with converters, brandowners and retailers around the world to help introduce innovative eco-friendly products made with Ingeo plastics & fibers.

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