Chemical manufacturing company NatureWorks has gained financial support from Thailand’s Krungthai Bank for its new fully integrated polylactic acid (PLA) manufacturing facility in the country.

The Bt12,600M ($350m) financing from Krungthai Bank, Thailand’s third largest, is one of the largest loans in the bank’s decades-long history.

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The funding will support the plant’s construction and its ongoing manufacture of PLA biopolymer, a biobased material created by NatureWorks under its Igneo range, used in plastic and fibre applications such as packaging.

NatureWorks chose a site in the Nakhon Sawan biocomplex for its strong agricultural base providing abundant, locally available feedstock of sugarcane and established infrastructure to process this into a sugar feedstock for the fermentation process.

The new manufacturing facility includes production sites for lactic acid, lactide and polymer. With an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer, it will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

NatureWorks intends to achieve rapid market growth in the Asia Pacific region, including 3D printing, nonwovens for hygiene, compostable coffee capsules, tea bags, flexible packaging and compostable food service ware.

NatureWorks CEO and president Erik Ripple commented: “The funding will enable us to expand our international customer access to fully biobased, low-carbon biomaterials that feature performance attributes valued by global downstream packaging and fibre markets.”

Krungthai Bank chief wholesale banking officer Suratun Kongton added: “We’ve provided NatureWorks with the financing because it meets the requirements to drive Thailand’s bio-circular-green model forward, and aligns with our commitments to address climate change and facilitate the transition to a circular economy.”