MOSCOW (MRC) -- US agribusiness giant Cargill Inc and Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical Pcl announced they will build a biopolymer production facility at a cost of more than USD600 million in Thailand, reported Reuters.
The plant will be built through their joint venture, NatureWorks, and will help meet increasing demand for sustainable materials, PTTGC said in a statement.
The manufacturing complex will use about 110,000 tonnes of sugar annually from Thai farmers as a raw material and have an annual biopolymer capacity of 75,000 tonnes. Its products can be used to make hygiene masks, wiping cloths and food packaging.
The new plant is due to begin operations in 2024.
The investment comes less than a month after PTTGC announced a USD4.75 billion acquisition of German coating resins maker Allnex.
As MRC wrote previously, PTTGC abruptly shut down three crackers at its petrochemical complex in Map Ta Phut on 14 April 2021 after a thunderstorm caused a power outage. No. 1 and 4 crackers and the recently launched No. 5 cracker on the site were off-line for around one week. The production capacities of No. 1 and 4 crackers are 461,000 and 515,000 mt/year of ethylene, whereas the new cracker can produce 500,000 mt/year of ethylene and 260,000 mt/year of propylene.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.
PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.