Kureha Corp. expects its US$100 mln PGA plant under construction at Belle to be finished in July, with production expected to start in October. Kureha PGA, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Kureha, is building the plant that will produce polyglycolic acid, a high-performance polymer resin, under the brand name Kuredux PGA. The product offers superior barrier performance to carbon dioxide and has controllable biodegradability. PGA is expected to reduce the weight of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soft drink bottles by 20% while providing the barrier needed to keep the fizz in the drink. Kuredux has been certified as a biodegradable plastic in USA, Europe and Japan and is fully compatible with industrial PET recycling processes.
The Belle plant capacity is scalable and can be doubled. Product trials are already under way in Africa. Bottles with PGA will probably start appearing on store shelves within a few years.