SEOUL, Sept. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — SKC Co., a South Korean materials maker, said Monday it plans to build a manufacturing plant in Vietnam to produce materials for biodegradable plastics, as it pushes to expand the eco-friendly materials business.
The factory will be established in Vietnam’s northeastern city of Hai Phong to manufacture polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT), a biodegradable co-polymer widely used as feedstock for general plastics, SKC said. The facility will aim to go operational in 2025.
Ecovance, SKC’s PBAT joint venture with two other South Korean partners, is targeting to produce 70,000 tons of PBAT a year from the plant.
SKC and Ecovance officials visited Vietnam last Friday for a ceremony marking the launch of the investment plan, during which the Vietnamese government presented them with an investment registration certificate, the legal document required by foreign companies to invest in the country.
Ecovance specializes in developing PBAT with enhanced durability by using nanocellulose extracted from trees. PBAT is extensively used in general purpose plastics, from industrial films and food containers to diapers and masks.
SKC will also be building a separate facility to produce an annual 36,000 tons of its biodegradable material, named Limex, at the same site.
Limex is made by mixing limestone with general plastic resins, such as PE and PP, to reduce plastics derived from petroleum products. SKC is seeking to commercialize Limex containing the biodegradable PBAT.
SKC set up SK TBM Geostone, a joint venture with TBM, a Japanese eco-friendly materials company, in 2021 to bolster the biodegradable plastic materials business.
SKC, a chemical unit under the energy-to-telecom conglomerate SK Group, is pivoting to an advanced materials company largely engaged in the manufacturing of secondary battery materials and other advanced components like semiconductor packaging.