BoI gives Natureworks tax privileges for PLA project

BoI gives Natureworks tax privileges for PLA project

The Board of Investment (BoI) has granted tax privileges to polylactic acid (PLA) manufacturer Natureworks Asia Pacific Co for its 15-billion-baht investment in a biodegradable polymer production project in line with the state bio-economy scheme.

The facility, designed to have a production capacity of 75,000 tonnes per year, will be located in Nakornsawan Bio Complex.

PLA refers to polymers made from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca roots and sugarcane.

"PLA is biodegradable and eco-friendly. This material is also extremely affordable," said BoI secretary-general Duangjai Asawachintachit.

The material is used for a variety of products including straws, food packages and wrapping films as well as fibre used to make face masks, she said.

BoI expects this project to support its plan to help farmers turn their produce into value-added products.

The bio-economy scheme is part of the government's Pracha Rat (People's State) initiative, which is aimed at promoting value-added agricultural products and increase household income.

Authorities are keen on the bio-economy, which includes bio-plastic development because they plan to make Thailand a biochemical hub in Asean by 2027.

Biochemical projects are set to be implemented in Nakhon Sawan, Khon Kaen and Kamphaeng Phet as these areas are rich in materials, including cassava and sugarcane.

The government expects the biochemical industry to help stabilise the price of agricultural products and even increase it in the long term.

Starting from 2015 until the first quarter of this year, the BoI has approved applications for investments in bio-plastic projects worth around 31 billion baht for upstream and downstream businesses.

The government is promoting biochemical products through its bio-circular-green economy (BCG) scheme which is aimed to put Thailand on a sustainable path of development.

BCG has a goal to promote the wise use of resources with minimum impact on the environment.

Earlier this year, Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said Thai exports of PLA in 2021 was expected to increase by 16.6% year-on-year, with an export value estimated at more than 2.7 billion baht.

Last year, Thailand exported PLA valued at 2.33 billion baht to global markets.

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