Development in bioplastics industry post covid-19 lockdown
Covid-19 pandemic has shown the biggest fall in various industries, though the coverage of entrepreneurs brought the businesses back to motion within a short time. Few industries are still at the recovering stage and will recover very soon.
The bioplastic industry has been criticized in the pandemic time by the plastic industry, the plastic industry is explaining the importance of the plastic product to fight against covid-19. But, they do not want to see the larger picture and the consequences of it. However, reality can never be abandoned for a longer time. We are witnessing significant growth in the bioplastics industry at the moment. Frequently, we are hearing two words, shortage and demand for PLA (polylactic acid) in the market this year.
World’s largest PLA manufacturer, Natureworks is expanding its PLA production capacity by 10% and will be ready by 2021. Expansion of monomer lactide purification will be done at the same location Blair, Nebraska. Moreover, as per the statement from Natureworks, “we continue to pursue a potential future second manufacturing site outside the U.S. to serve our growing international markets.”
Total-Corbion, the second-largest manufacturer of PLA has announced to set up another manufacturing facility for PLA in Grandpuits, France. The intended capacity of this facility would be 100,000 tons per annum, a significant increment in the production capacity to meet current and future market demand. It shows that the 50-50 joint venture of Total and Corbion is very ambitious to bring the biopolymer industry to the next level.
Futerro (a collaboration between Belgian company Galactic and BBCA Biochemical) has started manufacturing PLA with a capacity of 30,000 tons per annum located at Bengbu, Anhui. After its important step of the first manufacturing facility, Futerro is planning for a lactic acid manufacturing facility of 180,000 tons per annum capacity and a PLA manufacturing facility of 100,000 tons per annum capacity. They are forecasting the huge demand for PLA in the market in near future.
Thyssenkrupp, an engineering and technology provider for PLA plant has received an order to build 30,000 tons per annum capacity PLA manufacturing plant in South China. It will be ready to start production by the end of 2021. This will be Thyssenkrupp’s 2nd plant after its 1st plant for COFCO in Changchun, China; which went into operation at the end of 2018.
To sum-up, the significant expansion plan of all the bioplastic industry leaders depicts the growth of the bioplastic market in the near future. In addition, the current demand and shortage of material also motivate them to go to the next level. Besides, it shows higher growth of the industry than the expected growth.
[Source: news articles and company statements]