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LG Chem Emerges as the First Korean Company to Build a PLA Plant

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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The sub-division of LG Group and the largest Korean chemical company, LG Chem, has emerged as the first Korean company to build a PLA plant with integrated production capacities ranging from raw materials to the final product. LG Chem was first established as the Lucky Chemical Industrial Corporation, which manufactured cosmetics, but not been the 10th largest chemical company in the world by sales since 2017.

The firm disclosed the development today in a press release while completing a joint venture agreement for bioplastic PLA with ADM, Archer Daniels Midland, a global leader in nutrition and sustainable products and solutions in Illinois, the United States of America.

According to the Korean chemical company, the two companies will establish two joint ventures to respond to the demand for plant-based products and bioplastics. The LA production corporation ‘GreenWise Lactic’ will be in charge of the raw materials to produce 150,000 tons of high-purity corn-based lactic acid annually.

Meanwhile, the alternate common adventure, LG Chem Illinois Biochem, will use GreenWise Lactic’s lactic acid to produce 75,000 tons of bioplastics annually. However, it can produce about 2; if LG Chem Illinois Biochem makes 500ml eco-friendly water bottles with bioplastics from the plant, it can produce 2.5 billion bottles. The product installation will be erected in Decatur, Illinois, U.S., with the end of completing it in late 2025 or early 2026.

LG Chem is the first Korean company to make a PLA factory with intertwined product capacities ranging from raw accouterments to the final product. With the establishment of these JVs, LG Chem won’t only land product capacities for largely pure lactic acid demanded marketable-scale PLA product but will also be suitable to apply bio-materials in the development of colorful high value-added bio-materials.

PLA is a representative biodegradable bioplastic made with lactic acid produced by stirring sludge and is substantially used in food holders, straws, water bottles, tableware, and tea bags that are inoffensive to the mortal body. PLA naturally perished within many months by microorganisms when certain conditions are met.

Also, it emits only a quarter of hothouse feasts during the production process compared to general plastics and is therefore drawing attention as a sustainable, eco-friendly material. Global demand for bioplastics is projected to grow from USD10.7 billion in 2021 to USD29.7 billion by 2026, representing periodic growth of 22.7.

Speaking on the new development, Juan R. Luciano, ADM CEO, stated that the agreement would prove the firm’s ability to meet the growing demand for plant-based solutions. In his words: “Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends that is powering ADM’s strategy and growth.” “We’re pleased to expand our collaboration with LG Chem, and we’re planning to take the next growth step, greatly expanding our ability to meet the growing demand for plant-based solutions.”

On the other hand, Hak Cheol Shin, LG Chem Chief Executive Officer, pointed out that mutual investment is a sustainable growth strategy that can directly contribute to solving environmental issues such as climate change.

“The establishment of this joint venture is a sustainable growth strategy that can directly contribute in solving environmental issues such as climate change and waste plastics,” and added, “Based on eco-friendly materials, which is an axis for new growth engines, we will respond to the rapidly changing market and customers, while becoming a market leader.” Hak Cheol Shin commented.

SourceLG Chem


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