Russian company LLC MC “Natural materials” from Dubna (Moscow region) and the Swiss company “Sulzer” signed the Agreement of intent for the transfer of a license and supply of technological equipment for the production of polylactide (PLA).
Production will be created at the territory Special Economical Zone (kind of internal offshore) in Dubna.
The parties agreed to sign a binding contract no later than March 2021, the start of production commissioning is expected in the first half of the year 2023.
The production capacity will be 10 thousand tons of polymer of various grades per year, the cost of the technological part of the project is estimated at approximately 20 million Euros.
The agreement was signed on behalf of “Natural materials” CEO of the company Eric Grinenko, on behalf of “Sulzer” – CEO of Sulzer’s Russian subsidiary (LLC “Sulzer Chemtech”) Arnold van Sinderen. PLA is a biopolymer produced from renewable resources – products of deep processing of plant raw materials (wheat, corn, sugar beet, sugar cane, etc.).
`PLA application is very wide – from disposable tableware, packaging and containers, to medical implants and construction materials.
Features of the technology allow to get varieties PLA with a short biodegradation cycle under composting conditions (where plastic products break down into water and carbon dioxide), which is attractive for solving the problem of recycling polymer waste like packaging, bags, disposable tableware and containers.
You can also get the types PLA with high temperature and mechanical resistance and stability – even today children’s toys, Bank cards, mobile phone cases are made from this polymer.
Industrial production technology PLA now is the most developed among biopolymers with a wide range of applications, although polymer production is still very small (there are only existing industrial facilities in the United States, Thailand and China).
Growing environmental problems and widespread restrictions on the use of single-use polymer products (plastic bags, disposable tableware) have spurred interest to PLA.
Now a number of projects for creating new production facilities are being discussed in many countries (including Russia). “Natural materials” (www.imnotplastic.ru) is a young Russian company that launched at the fall of this year at Dubna first in Russia’s production of biodegradable bags based on corn starch compounds.
Contracts have already been signed with major Russian retailers and in 2021 the packages will be available for sale.
New PLA production will offer this polymer in the Russian and foreign markets to the largest manufacturers of packaging and containers.
The company is confident in the success of the project due to the current acute shortage of PLA in the world. Production in Dubna will not be a full-cycle production.
Semi-product lactide will be used for it as raw and will be imported from Asia. In the future it is possible to scale the project with the creation of a full production cycle from plant raw materials to polymer.
“Sulzer” (www.sulzer.com) is multi-profile Swiss machinery and technology company well known in Russia for its pumps, technologies and devices for various reactors and apparatuses in chemical and petrochemical industry, oil refining, and turbine equipment service.
In recent years, Sulzer has paid considerable attention to the development of technologies related to solving environmental problems.