LG Chem-ADM Establish Decatur, Illinois, Joint Venture
The joint ventures intend to produce 150,000 tons of lactic acid and 75,000 tons of polylactic acid annually to meet growing demand for plant-based solutions, including eco-friendly bioplastics, according to company officials. Pending final investment decisions and approvals, construction would be targeted to begin in 2023, and production in late 2025 or early 2026.
“Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends that is powering ADM’s strategy and growth. Our BioSolutions platform is helping us meet that demand by redeploying Carbohydrate Solutions production capacity to fast-growing, higher-margin segments, including pharmaceuticals and personal care, textiles and paper products. BioSolutions is already growing rapidly, with $136 million in year-over-year revenue growth in the first half of 2022, and with these two new joint ventures, we’re planning to take the next growth step, greatly expanding our ability to meet growing demand for plant-based solutions. We’re pleased to expand our collaboration with LG Chem, and we’re excited at the opportunity to bring this new intended production and all of its economic benefits to Decatur, our North American headquarters,” said ADM CEO Juan R. Luciano.
The first joint venture, GreenWise Lactic, would produce up to 150,000 tons of high-purity corn-based lactic acid annually. ADM would be the majority owner of GreenWise, and would contribute fermentation capacity from its Decatur bioproducts facility to the venture.
“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,” added LG Chem Chief Executive Officer Hak Cheol Shin. “LG Chem is the first Korean company to build a PLA plant with integrated production capacities ranging from raw materials to the final product. With the establishment of this JV, LG Chem will not only procure production capacities for highly pure lactic acid needed for commercial-scale PLA production, but will also be able to apply biomaterials in the development of various high-value-added products. 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.”
The second joint venture, LG Chem Illinois Biochem, would be majority-owned by LG Chem. It would build upon LG Chem’s expertise in bioplastics to build a facility that will use product from GreenWise Lactic to produce approximately 75,000 tons of polylactic acid (PLA) per year.
“I am thrilled that LG Chem and ADM have chosen Decatur as home for their joint ventures,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “Our state’s talented workforce coupled with our mission of sustainability make Illinois the best place for these lactic and polylactic acid production facilities. To LG Chem and ADM: thank you for your commitment to our state. It is innovative, plant-based solutions like these that will help us tackle the climate crisis head on.”
Both ventures are participating in the State of Illinois’ Economic Development for a Growing Economy program.
"Decatur has a rich heritage in manufacturing products that serve as industry game-changers, and the two ADM and LG Chem ventures announced today are no exception," said Nicole Bateman, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur - Macon County. "Their collective approach to plant-based innovations are a welcomed addition to the global industry leaders who call Decatur home. ADM and LG Chem will find a great partner in the EDC and City of Decatur to support their infrastructure and operational needs to bring this project to life."
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