thyssenkrupp Uhde has secured a contract from Gulf Biopolymers Industries Ltd, an expert in the production of PLA biopolymers for the consumer packaging and textile industries, for a Basic Engineering Package (BEP) and a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) for the construction of a biopolymer plant on the Arabian Peninsula. According to a press release, the plant will produce polylactic acid (PLA) on an industrial scale using lactic acid from maize as the primary raw material. The BEP for PLA production will be built by polymer specialist Uhde Inventa-Fischer using its own state-of-the-art technology. Sister company thyssenkrupp Uhde India will carry out the FEED, which includes the entire production complex including the associated ancillary facilities and utilities.
The design of the biopolymer plant focuses on strictly optimised utilisation of raw materials at all stages - from conversion of starch to lactic acid production to the production of polylactic acid. A key aspect of this project is the plant's ability to sustainably produce a range of PLA grades that meet the different requirements of various industries such as packaging, textiles and hygiene products.
"Replacing fossil-based raw materials with renewable ones can minimise the environmental impact of entire value chains," said Dr Cord Landsmann, CEO of thyssenkrupp Uhde. "This project is further proof that we can make a significant contribution to more sustainable production of urgently needed materials for key global industries."
Harald Kroll, CEO of Gulf Biopolymers Industries: "We are proud to announce the construction of the first large-scale biopolymer plant in the MENA region. This project is a milestone in reducing fossil-based plastics and promoting the adoption of environmentally friendly PLA polymers."
PLA, derived from lactic acid, is a true biopolymer. It is produced from renewable biomass sources and is also biodegradable. This makes PLA a sustainable alternative to conventional fossil-based plastics and offers a pragmatic solution for reducing the environmental footprint associated with the production and consumption of plastics.
thyssenkrupp Uhde GmbH, Dortmund, Germany
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