US Company to Produce Polylactic Acid from Agricultural Feed in Thailand

Jun 2021

In May 2021, the Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand announced to have approved an application from American-headquartered company NatureWorks to invest around USD 490 million in a project to produce Polylactic Acid (PLA), a low-carbon-footprint polymer derived from agricultural feedstocks. The new manufacturing facility will be located at Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex, a project established in line with the country’s BCG concept (Bio-Circular-Green economic activities), 200 kilometers north of Bangkok.

This development is considered to be illustrative of Thailand’s attractiveness as a bioplastics production base for foreign investors. In effect, the country enjoys a strong agricultural industry, which provides the required raw materials, together with its competitive logistics infrastructure and strategic location.

According to the BOI, NatureWorks’ will produce around 75,000 tons of PLA per year, and it will be used to manufacture biodegradable goods ranging from compostable food containers to filament for 3D printing, hygiene masks, and household appliances.

The announcement of the investment reflects Thailand’s attraction to foreign investors as a bioplastics production base. From 2015 to March 2021, the BOI approved 21 projects in the bioplastic value chain, with a combined investment value of approximately USD 1 billion.

(Sources: PRNewswire; Bangkok Post)