Home Materials NatureWorks receives 350 million US dollars for the production of Ingeo PLA...

NatureWorks receives 350 million US dollars for the production of Ingeo PLA in Thailand

NatureWorks, a leading producer of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers from renewable resources, has secured historic financial support from Krungthai Bank PCL to optimize the capital structure for its new fully integrated Ingeo PLA production facility in Thailand.

Krungthai Bank, the third largest bank in Thailand, has granted this loan as one of the largest in its history. This underlines the confidence in NatureWorks’ market position and global economic influence.

The financing will support the construction and operation of the new plant, which is fully integrated with the production of Ingeo PLA biopolymers. These bio-based materials are used in various applications such as plastics and fibers and contribute to the advancement of Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy. This economy utilizes technological advancements and the country’s biodiversity to create a sustainable and innovation-driven economy.

The new plant will be built at the Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex, Thailand’s first bio-complex in line with the BCG economic model. The location was chosen due to its proximity to sugarcane fields, which are an abundant and locally available source of raw materials. The infrastructure to process sugar cane and the required utilities are also available.

The plant will have an annual production capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymers and will produce a wide range of Ingeo grades. These biopolymers will be produced from sugarcane grown within a 50-kilometer radius of the Nakhon Sawan site.

“This backing from Krungthai Bank not only validates our strategic global positioning within Thailand and the Asia Pacific region but propels us toward continued expansion to support the worldwide bioeconomy,” said Erik Ripple, President and CEO of NatureWorks. “The funding will enable us to expand our international customer access to fully biobased, low-carbon biomaterials that feature unique performance attributes valued by global downstream packaging and fiber markets.”

“Thailand is a regional and global leader in driving the development of a global bioeconomy, and commercial banks play a crucial role in driving this transition,” said Suratun Kongton, Chief Wholesale Banking Officer of Krungthai Bank. “We’ve provided NatureWorks with the financing because it is a world leader in manufacturing biomaterials, meets the requirements to drive our country’s BCG model forward, and aligns with our commitments to address climate change and facilitate the transition to a circular economy. NatureWorks is also creating additional high-value downstream opportunities for existing sugarcane farmers in the Nakhon Sawan region.”

The new production facility is designed to meet the growing demand for PLA biopolymers and support the market in the Asia-Pacific region. This includes applications in 3D printing, hygiene products, compostable coffee capsules, tea bags, flexible packaging and compostable disposable tableware.

“This investment is monumental for NatureWorks, Cargill, and GC as it moves our joint commitment to environmentally friendly bio-chemicals and biomaterials forward at a time where global demand is increasing,” said Narongsak Jivakanun, NatureWorks Board Chair, CEO of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC). “With this infusion of financial support from Krungthai Bank for NatureWorks’ new PLA manufacturing facility, NatureWorks will continue to be competitive in the biomaterials market, pioneering new frontiers for bioplastic applications and advancing biobased solutions with sufficient capacity to capture customer needs across the growing Asia Pacific bioeconomy.”

With the financial support of Krungthai Bank, NatureWorks will be able to strengthen its position in the biopolymers market and create new opportunities for bio-based applications. Construction of the plant is on schedule and full production is expected to start in 2025.

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