SKC invests in world’s biggest biodegradable material production facility in Vietnam

SKC and Ecovance plan to commence construction of a polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) production facility with the goal of beginning operations by 2025

  • Received IRC from Hai Phong City, Vietnam on the 22nd ··· putting in high gear the expansion of its global biodegradable material business
  • Production plant capable of producing high-strength PBAT(annual throughput of 70K tons)·biodegradable LIMEX (annual throughput of 36K tons) from 2025
SKC invests in world’s biggest biodegradable material production facility in Hai Phong City, Vietnam. In the IRC handover ceremony held in the city on the 22nd, attendees are clapping their hands, including CEO Park Won-cheol of SKC and Secretary Le Tien Chau of Hai Phong Party Committee (4th from the left) © SKC

SKC announced on the 25th that its biodegradable material production subsidiary, Ecovance, received an investment registration certificate (IRC) from Hai Phong City in the Hai Phong Conference Center, Vietnam on the 22nd (Vietnam local time). The IRC handover ceremony was attended by top leaders of SKC and Hai Phong City, including CEO Woncheol Park of SKC, Secretary Le Tien Chau of Hai Phong Party Committee and CEO Hojin Yang of Ecovance.

Biodegradable material is a ‘perishable plastic’ that can replace conventional plastic. As more people are aware of the needs to reduce the use of disposable goods and relevant regulations increase, the biodegradable material market is growing rapidly. Industry watchers expect the global market for biodegradable materials to grow at an annual rate of over 20% into the future. 

SKC and Ecovance plan to build a PABT (polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate) production plant, which is one of the best known of its kind, in full swing to start commercial operation in 2025 under the auspices of the local government. The planned production facility of Ecovance is intended to produce 70,000 tons a year, the world’s biggest production capacity for a single production site. Moreover, Ecovance has already secured sites for additional capacity in the special economic zone of Hai Phong City as a stepping stone for further global expansion. 

SKC, via Ecovance, has endeavored to commercialize its proprietary biodegradable material, high-strength PBAT. In particular, to address the durability-related weakness of ordinary PBAT, nano cellulose extracted from wood is used as reinforcing material to drastically raise the strength of PBAT to conventional plastic. Accordingly, it can be used for a variety of applications, including mulching or packing film, consumer product containers, felt for diaper or face mask, etc. Buyers of considerable volume are already secured in the global market.

SK TBM Geostone, SKC’s biodegradable LIMEX material subsidiary, will also _ base_ its production facility in the aforementioned plant. SK TBM Geostone intends to build a production plant capable of producing 36,000 tons in the special economic zone of Hai Phong City by 2025. In 2021, SKC incorporated a joint venture, SK TBM Geostone, with TBM of Japan that had the LIMEX technology to combine limestone and conventional plastic resign to suppress plastic usage, paving the way for its commercialization. 

Biodegradable LIMEX is a new eco-friendly material made by mixing natural inorganic limestone with biodegradable PBAT instead of regular plastic. It is expected to deliver superb quality and competitive price thanks to the synergy between Vietnam’s tremendous limestone reserve and Ecovance’s PBAT production capacity. Commercial negotiations with leading hotel brands and manufacturers of household supplies, toy products and cosmetics are already in the pipeline.

One of the top five cities under direct control of the Central Government in Vietnam along with the capital city of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in south, Hai Phong is Vietnam’s best known port city and a key industrial center. In particular, the special economic zone of Hai Phong where SKC’s biodegradable material production facilities will be _ base_d is touted for its optimum mix of sea port and logistic infrastructure. Furthermore, the industrial complex can satisfy the RE100 requirements by covering all energy needs with renewable energy sources, ensuring eco-friendliness of production processes. 

“We can secure global competitiveness by investing in production capacity located in the special economic zone of Hai Phong City, Vietnam, optimized as a _ base_ of biodegradable material business,” said an official at SKC. “We will further our eco-friendly business lineup by drawing upon the high-strength PBAT and biodegradable LIMEX technologies in expanding business portfolio to PBS, etc.” 


SKC, press release, 2023-09-25.


SKC Korea


Renewable Carbon News – Daily Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily email newsletter – the world's leading newsletter on renewable materials and chemicals