France-based Lactips, specialized in the production of a soluble plastic leaving no environmental trace, has announced plans to build a new plant in Saint-Paul-en-Jarez, in the French Gier Valley.
In an area formerly known for its coal industry, Lactips plans to repurpose a former regional food processing plant that was shuttered in 2018. The existing facilities, which used to house France Crème’s former whipped cream production unit, will be updated and an extension will be added.
The site spans a total area of 12,000 m2. The company is planning facilities that include a 2,500 m2 production building and a 1,000 m2 administrative building, sales offices, a newly equipped R&D laboratory and a dedicated development and testing line, covering a total floor space of 4,200 sq.m.
The project, led by Lactips, brings together a number of industrial, financial and local stakeholders, and marks a major turning point for Lactips, enabling the company to increase its production capacity in order to be able to serve multiple segments across the vast packaging market.
The new premises have been acquired as part of a €6m real estate project through the creation of a dedicated SCI property investment company comprised of Lactips, NOVIM and BPI Investissements,
Early on during the construction phase, Lactips iwill start recruiting for the dozen R&D, commercial operation and production positions to be created, in order to be able to start operations as soon as the construction work has been completed. Going forward, ultimately some 30 additional employees will be added to the workforce when the plant is up and running. Two employees from the whipped cream production plant have already been recruited.
The new plant is part of France’s national Territoires d'industrie industrial regeneration programme. The project will require investments of close to €30m over the coming years.
These investments have been made possible by the recent round of fundraising with the SPI fund, managed by Bpifrance, and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), through Diamond Edge Ventures and will allow Lactips to accelerate the commercial development of its technology.
“The steps that we have successfully taken since 2014 have led us to this major industrial turning point,” said Marie-Hélène Gramatikoff, Lactips CEO and co-founder. ”We are establishing our natural plastic production, based on milk proteins, at a former whipped cream production site. This loop, which is closing, will give us the capabilities needed to develop our solutions for the food packaging market, and will enable us to support regional employment by creating green jobs.”
The new plant is scheduled to launch in 2021 and will have a capacity of 3,000 tonnes of pellets per year - double the company’s current capacity. The ultimate target is 10,000 tonnes per year.
Over time, the number of production lines will be expanded to six. Lactips will also continue to develop its range of solutions for the sustainable soluble packaging and single-use plastic markets.