French oil firm Total is joining forces with a Dutch bio-products firm to create a joint venture that will make polymers.
They will build a polylactic (PLA) polymer plant at Corbion’s site in Thailand.
The joint venture will be based in the Netherlands and will launch operations early next year, subject to regulatory approvals.
PLA is mainly used for food packaging, disposable tableware and textiles, as well as in numerous other industries such as oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing.
Bernard Pinatel, president of refining and chemicals at Total, said: “I’m very pleased with this joint venture, which aims to become a major player in the growing bioplastics market.
“This investment is consistent with our One Total ambition of expanding in biofuels and bioplastics, in addition to our more traditional oil- and gas-based products.
“Corbion’s unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain makes it a natural choice for Total.
“The joint venture will allow us to supply an innovative material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns.”
Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion, said: “PLA is one of the first renewable, biodegradable polymers able to compete with existing polymers.
“The joint venture, which will combine Total’s technical and marketing knowledge and leading position in polymers with Corbion’s expertise in lactic acid and biopolymers, will enable us to supply innovative products and will accelerate market acceptance.”