Anticipating rising global demand for alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, NatureWorks LLC, maker of Ingeo natural plastic resin, is assessing locations for a second manufacturing plant. With current sales of its Ingeo bioresin in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, NatureWorks will evaluate the location for a potential new resin production facility based on projected growth in these regions and the availability of plant-based feedstock required for Ingeo processing.
“Investing in a second production facility would support brand owners committed to environmentally preferable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics and would be a significant step forward for NatureWorks,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO. “We anticipate continued advancements in the resin’s performance as well as an increase in the number of products and applications using Ingeo. We’re starting our assessment now, recognizing that typical timeframes for design and construction of such facilities can be three years after a decision is made.”
NatureWorks was the first company to produce a natural plastic resin in commercial quantities. Late last year, the Ingeo facility in Blair, NE inaugurated a new manufacturing process that further lowered CO2 emissions and reduced the energy required to produce Ingeo bioresin. By mid-year 2009, equipment installation and commissioning currently underway will enable the Blair facility to produce up to its full Ingeo design capacity of 140,000 metric tons (approximately 300 million pounds).