Sulzer to deliver polylactic acid production technologies to Balrampur Chini Mills

Sulzer to deliver polylactic acid production technologies to Balrampur Chini Mills

Will also supply key equipment to India’s first bioplastics plant to boost sustainable manufacturing

  • By ICN Bureau | March 19, 2024

Sulzer will supply its cutting-edge polylactic acid (PLA) production technologies to Balrampur Chini Mills Limited (BCML) to support the construction of India’s first bioplastics plant.

The new state-of-the-art bioplastics plant will produce 75,000 tonnes of compostable, wholly recyclable bioplastic per year using sugarcane as a feedstock. It will be located adjacent to one of BCML’s sugar cane processing facilities, enabling BCML to use the country’s main agricultural crop to make a major contribution to the nation’s sustainability aims.

Single-use plastic waste has been a major environmental issue in the world and many countries are encouraging the adoption of bioplastics, especially for packaging materials. Polylactic acid is a bio-based, compostable and wholly recyclable biopolymer that is produced from renewable feedstocks, such as sugar cane.

The technologies required to enable the production process for this material have been developed and optimized by Sulzer. They have been designed to help industry meet the increasing global demand for high-performance, more sustainable products in an economically viable way.

The introduction of this new bioplastic manufacturing capability is the next step in the company’s journey to Net Zero. In essence, it will strengthen BCML’s efforts to continuously improve its resource efficiency and environmental footprint.

Playing a key role in the realization of the plant, Sulzer will deliver the manufacturing technologies for the key process stages including lactide synthesis, lactide purification and polymerization. As the leading global supplier of key equipment for bioplastics production, Sulzer’s expertise is used in most PLA manufacturing plants in the world. Once this latest plant is complete, the company’s field service experts will also be on-hand to support the commissioning and start-up procedures.

Avantika Saraogi, Executive Director, BCML, explains: “The integration of a cutting-edge and globally first PLA plant to process right from sugarcane to bioplastic in one location will make a major contribution to our sustainability portfolio, which is very important for our corporate goals. The attractive commercial proposition also offers us an excellent opportunity for further diversification with an excellent market for our end-product. Sulzer has a proven record in delivering the bioplastic production technology needed to optimize this plant and we are confident in the success of this project.”

Sulzer Chemtech Division President Uwe Boltersdorf said: “We strategically aim to support industrialists in executing projects more professionally, thereby enhancing both economic and sustainable performance. The construction of India’s first fully integrated bioplastics plant highlights the tangible benefits available to clients who want to diversify their revenue streams and make a positive contribution to reducing plastic pollutants. We look forward to working with BCML and other forward-thinking clients as we continue to strive to deliver improved energy efficiency, raw material efficiency and higher yields.”

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