Canadian Plastics
News

NatureWorks gets US$150 million equity investment from leading Thailand chemical company

In a move to propel Thailand into becoming "an Asian bio-hub", PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, said to be that country's largest chemical producer, is investing US$150 million in bioplastics manufacturer NatureWorks LLC.


Print this page

October 12, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

In a move to propel Thailand into becoming “an Asian bio-hub”, PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, said to be that country’s largest chemical producer, is investing US$150 million in bioplastics manufacturer NatureWorks LLC.

The investment will go, in large part, towards building a planned NatureWorks bioplastics plant in Thailand.

PTT Chemical’s investment in NatureWorks, which until now has been wholly owned by Cargill, is subject to regulatory approval.

“The Thai Government encourages an investment in green chemicals, and particularly bioplastics, which have high growth potential in the Southeast Asian market,” said Thailand’s Minister of Energy H.E. Mr. Pichai Naripthaphan. “By attracting what could be the most advanced biopolymer processing plant in the world to Thailand, PTT Chemical has made a significant step in achieving Thailand’s strategic objectives of becoming a regional hub for green technologies and solutions.”

Minnetonka, Minn.-based NatureWorks supplies its broad family of renewable Ingeo biopolymers made from plants to plastics and fibers markets worldwide.

“This is a significant investment by a leading chemical company, which will allow NatureWorks to continue its aggressive growth while expanding its capacity to meet global demand for bio-based products,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “PTT Chemical’s investment supports NatureWorks intent to globalize its Ingeo manufacturing capability by building a new production facility in Thailand, supporting our Asian customer base and delivering on our commitment to renewable feedstock diversification. We anticipate bringing the new plant online in 2015 and expect to announce further details on this expansion later this year.”

According to NatureWorks, the company has seen steady 25 per cent to 30 per cent increases in annual product demand. In the last two years, NatureWorks doubled its Ingeo supply availability by bringing online additional production capacity at its Blair, Neb., processing facility.

“The proposed new Ingeo facility in Thailand would be NatureWorks’ second production plant,” Verbruggen said.