Bioplastic, Investments

Meredian aims 30 ktpa PHA capacity in 2014

Tecnon OrbiChem’s 2nd issue of its Bio-Materials & Intermediates newsletter is now out, and I am really excited for this one as we were able to get several major updates for bio-PET and bio-MEG including price premiums, the future of bio-PET commercialization, and new R&D developments. It also has an update on several PLA capacity coming out of Asia, and many more news and analysis for various renewable chemicals products (50 pages in total!).

This is why the blog was silent last week, and unfortunately, I was unable to posts several interesting news that recently came out (although all those news are now in the newsletter as well). I will try to post some of them today but this week starting Oct. 29, the blog (via twitter) will be covering the World Bio Markets USA conference so stay tune for that.

In the meantime, let me start posting…this one is from Georgia-based Meredian on their goal to operate its new PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) polymer facility at full capacity by the second quarter of 2014. The company started operations of the PHA plant in Bainbridge late last year. The PHA plant is reportedly the largest of its type in the world. During the start-up, the company’s plans is to initially have a production rate of 15 ktpa and then expand 30 ktpa at full capacity.

Not much information on the recent press release with the exception that the company plans to produce another 4m lbs (1,800 tons) of PHA in the near term, which means that the facility is still producing in small, batch quantities. According to this article from European Plastics News, Meredian plans to produce volumes of around 5,000-10,000 pound level in December and then 5m-10m pounds in the second quarter of 2014. — I’m pretty sure that’s still not the 30 ktpa full capacity target but the article noted that Meredian is committed to double the capacity shortly thereafter.  When exactly remains to be seen. That will probably depend on customer/market demand for PHA.

Metabolix and Meredian are the two largest PHA players here in the US. Metabolix is planning its own commercial production in the US but currently sourcing its materials in China with partner Tianjin GreenBio Materials. Metabolix has been busy last month introducing several new products such as its new film grade resin for compostable bag and film markets, and new biobased polymeric performance additives for recycled PVC as well as modifier for PVC formulations.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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