GC International Corporation Company Limited, a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC) and Cargill Incorporated (Cargill), joint owners of NatureWorks LLC (NatureWorks), announced the construction of a new fully-integrated biopolymer production facility in Thailand to meet increased demand for sustainable materials in the global market after receiving investment promotion approval from the Board of Investment (BOI) in May. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, joined remotely to congratulate the project’s success.
This project supports sustainable development in Thailand, specifically, the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy model, further driving economic growth, improving competitiveness and helping the country achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr. Kongkrapan Intarajang, CEO of GC, said, “GC, Thailand’s leading chemical company and the world’s leading environmentally friendly bio-chemical producer, is committed operating in accordance with sustainability guidelines and circular economy principles. Sustainability creates balanced growth in economic, social and environmental dimensions, driven by the framework of the SDGs. Today, GC and Cargill, joint owners of NatureWorks, the top PLA biopolymer manufacturer globally, are ready to expand investment in the biochemical sector following the BOI’s investment promotion approval of NatureWorks.” The new fully integrated biopolymer production facility will use the world’s most advanced biopolymer technology and sugar from Thai sugarcane farmers as raw materials, which will expand partnerships in the bio-polymer market including the production and development of various products to meet demand for the sustainable use of materials. With an investment value in excess of USD 600 million or 20 billion baht, the production facility, to be located at the Nakhon Sawan Bio-complex (NBC) in Nakhon Sawan Province, will be the first bio-complex in Thailand established in accordance with the BCG Economy model, supporting the Thai government’s policy to enhance competitiveness and expand trade opportunities with partners internationally, contributing to sustainable economic growth.
“Cargill is excited to take this next step with GC to support the expansion of NatureWorks through its second production facility,” said Ms. Colleen May, President of Cargill’s Bioindustrial Group. “This marks an important milestone in our continued efforts to invest in sustainable solutions for bioindustrial customers around the world.” A new, fully integrated biopolymer production facility in ThailandThis second polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer production facility for NatureWorks, operating under the Ingeo™ trade name, will add value to Thai agricultural raw materials, meet the needs of an expanding market and is expected to begin commercial operations in 2024.
Ingeo™️ PLA, a compostable biopolymer with a low carbon footprint, can be used in a variety of applications, such as tea bags, coffee capsules, food packaging, 3D printing filament, diapers, wiping cloths, hygiene masks, and home appliances, among others. The plant will use approximately 110,000 tons of sugar annually from Thai sugarcane farmers as raw materials. The new manufacturing complex will include production for lactic acid, lactide, and polymer making it the world’s first polylactide facility designed to be fully integrated, and will have an annual biopolymer capacity of 75,000 tons. With production processes and energy consumption designed specifically for Ingeo™ biopolymer, the plant can further address global market demand for sustainable materials.
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GC is Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining business and a leading corporation in the Asia-Pacific region, both in size and product variety including upstream, intermediate, and downstream petrochemical products consisting of eight core businesses. At present, GC has a combined petrochemical and chemical capacity of 12.79 million tons per year, together with a refining capacity of 280,000 barrels per day of crude oil and condensate. GC ranks among the top ten in ethylene production capacity in Asia and is the world’s top environmentally friendly biopolymer manufacturer. The company is committed to strengthening its leading position in the chemicals business by combining environmentally-friendly innovations with advanced technologies to develop products that improve people’s lives. GC strives to continually create sustainable growth by maintaining a competitive and prominent position in the industry and investing in countries with high growth potential. The company was rated number one in the world for sustainability in the DJSI Chemicals Sector in 2020 for the second consecutive year.