September o1st 2022
LG Chem and ADM to build two bioplastic facilities in Decatur, Illinois (USA).
LG Chem Ltd., the largest Korean chemical firm, has reportedly announced a partnership with the US-based food processing organization Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) to build two manufacturing plants in Illinois, USA.
The production facilities will be manufacturing biodegradable plastics that are extensively used in food packaging applications.
In a press release, the South Korean chemical giant stated that the two companies would be constructing a plant to generate 75,000 tons of PLA or polylactic acid annually in Decatur under the two joint ventures.
The construction of a separate facility will take place in the same location to generate a feedstock for PLA, up to 150,000 tons of pure corn-based lactic acid.
The demand for PLA, a bioplastic created from natural materials like sugar cane and corn starch, is rising quickly as a substitute for plastics generated using fossil fuels. Lactic acid, its primary ingredient, is produced through the fermentation of corn starch. The 100% bio-based plastic takes several months to decompose naturally and can be used to make tableware or food containers.
As per reports, the company will release detailed information about the investment size and breakdown in H1 2023. The construction will begin in 2023 and is aimed to be completed in 2025.
Post the project’s completion, LG Chem will become the first Korean firm to establish a PLA factory.
According to Shin Hak-cheol, CEO of LG Chem, the strategic partnership is one of the sustainable growth initiatives that may directly contribute to alleviating environmental problems, including climate change and plastic waste.
The demand for biodegradable plastics has increased due to the continual efforts made by multinational corporations to go green.
As per LG Chem, the size of the global bioplastics industry, which is projected to be $10.2 billion this year, will increase to around $25.9 billion by 2026.