IN BRIEF... Above: Total Corbion plans to build its second world-scale PLA facility at Grandpuits in France

Total Corbion to build PLA plant in France

Total Corbion PLA, the 50/50 joint venture set up by Total and Corbion to produce polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic, is to build a second industrial-scale plant at an existing Total refining site at Grandpuits in France. Due for completion in

2024, the project represents an investment of around €200m and will take capacity for Total Corbion’s Luminy brand of PLA resins to 100,000 tonnes/year (the JV currently has a 75,000 tonnes/year facilty in Thailand, which started up two years ago). It will be the first large scale PLA produc- tion operation in Europe. Luminy resins include high

heat and standard PLA grades and are used in

markets including packaging, consumer goods, fibres and automotive. They are made from renewable resources and can be mechanically or chemically recycled, as well as being compostable and degradable, according to the company. The investment is part of a €500m ‘net zero’ strategy for the Grandpuits refinery which also includes produc- tion of renewable diesel from used vegetable oils; a chemical recycling plant joint venture with Plastic Energy; and operation of two photovoltaic solar power plants. Total is ending crude oil refining at the site. n Meanwhile, NatureWorks — also a key player in PLA production — has announced

multiple technology projects that will increase capacity at its facility at Blair in Nebras- ka, US, by 10% be the end of 2021. These include enhancements to its lactide monomer purification processes. Natureworks CEO Rich Altice said the PLA market “continues to rapidly evolve due to the COVID-19 pandemic” and that de- mand is still growing strongly in many end markets. He said the company continues to pursue potential opportuni- ties for a second manufac- turing site outside of the US to serve growing interna- tional markets. � �

Nordmann is expanding its distribution partnership with Spain’s Repol to cover the full European market. The UBE Group company Repol produces a range of engineering compounds including Dinalon PA6 and PA 66, Dinarex ABS, Dinaxan PC, Dinadur PBT and DinatronPPS.

Carbon black producer Birla Carbon has extend- ed its joint development agreement with nanotech- nology firm Chasm Advanced Materials to include commercialisation of novel nanomaterials.

LyondellBasell and Sasol are to form a 50/50 joint venture through which LyondellBasell will acquire 50% of Sasol’s 1.5m tonne/ yr ethane cracker and 900,000 tonne/yr polyeth- ylene plants for a total consideration of $2bn. The JV will operate under the name Louisiana Integrated PolyEthylene JV.

M Holland makes first moves in Europe

US-based resin distributor M Holland has announced a partnership agree- ment with JL Goor Materials, a polymer distribution company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. It is the US company’s first formal

venture in Europe and will allow it to better support global clients and expand the reach of its Mtegrity generic prime resins and compounds


to Ireland and the UK. “Our partnership with JL Goor

Materials provides a value-added logistical solution to support our clients who have international business locations or expansion plans,” said Josh Blackmore, Global Healthcare Manager at M Holland. JL Goor Materials Managing Director Gearoid Clarke said: “This partnership


and the quality product offering will strengthen our growth plans for the UK, complement business with our existing polyolefin partners in Ireland, and enhance our supply options to existing and new customers. We will also be working with M Holland to grow our medical polymer portfolio.” � �


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