Summary: The strictest plastic ban in China became effective on 1 Jan. This favors industries related to biodegradable materials, making lactic acid and PLA capacity expand rapidly.
On 1 Jan., China officially commenced its strictest plastic ban, which is regarded as a policy favoring industries related to biodegradable materials. Polylactic acid (PLA), one of the major degradable plastic products synthesised from lactic acids and widely used in the food packaging, plastics, textile, and agricultural plastic film sectors, has entered a rapid expansion period, with 5 large lactic acid / PLA projects publicised or signed successfully between late Dec. 2020 and Jan. 2021.
Shouguang Golden Far East Modified Starch Company Limited (subordinated to Shandong Shouguang Juneng Golden Corn Co., Ltd.):
On 24 Dec., 2020, it published the construction land planning of its 20,000 t/a lactic acid, lactide (intermediate of compound PLA), and PLA project before the licensing approval
Project details are as follows:
- Total investment: approximately USD86.66 million (RMB560 million)
- Floor areas: about 133,333 m2
- Capacity: 20,000 t/a of lactic acids, 5,000 t/a of lactide, and 5,000 t/a of PLA
- Annual sales revenue: USD64.99 million (RMB420 million)
Anhui Fengyuan Taifu Lactic Acid Co., Ltd. (Anhui BBCA Taifu):
On 30 Dec., 2020, its 500,000 t/a lactic acid project was approved by the Ecological Environment Bureau of Bengbu City, Anhui Province
With the total investment of approximately USD360.55 million (RMB2.33 billion) and floor areas of 179,467 m2, this project will be built for 24 months and produce 500,000 t/a of lactic acids upon completion
Anhui Fengyuan Taifu Polylactic Acid Co., Ltd.:
As with Anhui Fengyuan Lactic Acid, its 300,000 t/a PLA & 50,000 t/a lactide project was approved by the same bureau on the same day
Project details are as follows:
- Total investment: about USD345.08 million (RMB2.23 billion)
- Floor areas: 88,377 m2
- Capacity: 300,000 t/a of PLA (mainly made from lactic acids of the 50,000 t/a lactide project) and 50,000 t/a of lactide
- Predicted operation: late Oct. 2022
Ningxia Qiyu New Biological Materials Co., Ltd.:
On 6 Jan., it published the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of its 100,000 t/a highly purified L-lactic acid technical improvement upgrading project
The project will effectively use the idle plant and production lines for 120,000 t/a starch, 30,000 t/a L-lactic acid, and 40,000 t/a liquid glucose (which have been still suspended since May 2011 due to unqualified design technology in the L-lactic acid workshop) of state-owned enterprise Ningxia Haokai Biotechnology Co., Ltd.
Phase I project will resume the starch production line, raise technology of the glucose and highly purified L-lactic acid lines, and build boilers, environmental protection & public works and auxiliary facilities
Phase II will optimise the 50,000 t/a highly purified L-lactic acid projection line
Phase III will build a 50,000 t/a PLA production line
On 14 Jan., the signing ceremony of the Ningbo Bio-based New Degradable Material Industrial Base Project was held in Xiangshan County, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province. With total investment of about USD789.19 million (RMB5.10 billion), it is meant to be a production base with 300,000 t/a lactic acid, 200,000 t/a PLA, and 100,000 t/a PLA fibre capacities, centered on the 3rd generation straw lactic acid technology, expected to reach annual output values as high as USD1.67 billion (RMB10.80 billion).
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