Futerro inaugurates PLA bioplastics production unit in Belgium

16 April 2010 15:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Futerro has inaugurated its polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics production unit at Escanaffles, Belgium, the company said on Friday.

Futerro, a 50:50 joint venture between Galactic and Total Petrochemicals, built the unit to test a technology for the production of PLA from renewable vegetables, the company said in a statement.

By bringing this plant on stream, Futerro said it had become the first producer of this type of bioplastics in Europe, which could allow it to now produce a range of products from lactic acid, including lactide and PLA oligomers and polymers.

This project is perfectly aligned to the Total Group’s research and investment policy for renewable resources,” says François Cornélis, Total’s vice-chairman of the executive committee and president of chemicals.

Frédéric Van Gansberghe, CEO of Galactic, said: “Futerro will allow us to diversify to an even greater degree with regard to the raw materials used in the production of our plastics. This technology could then be used in international projects.”

“This pilot unit is the result of more than 15 years of development. PLA will play an increasingly important role in the plastics industry and will in the medium term become the main product of lactic acid,” Gansberghe added.

The pilot unit, which started up in November 2009, has a capacity of 1,500 tonnes/year and represents an investment of €15m ($20.3m), Futerro said.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Franco Capaldo
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