September 6, 2012

NatureWorks expands PLA capacity

Polylactic acid (PLA)-based bioplastic producer NatureWorks announced yesterday that it will increase production of its Ingeo biopolymer capacity at Blair, Nebraska, US, from 140,000 tonnes/year to 150,000 tonnes/year -- a 7% increase -- because of a proprietary production equipment developed by engineering firm Sulzer Chemtech.

NatureWorks said the companies have been working for more than a year on this capital improvement project where NatureWorks contributed its lactides processing knowledge and Sulzer its equipment and engineering design expertise. NatureWorks owns patents to the new process but Sulzer has exclusive sublicensing rights worldwide.

Commissioning of the installed new equipments is expected in the first quarter of 2013. The facility will also now be able to produce new, high performance resins and lactides, according to NatureWorks.

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