Belgian bio-polymer manufacturer Futerro has announced it has plans to build a polylactic acid (PLA) biorefinery in Normandy, France.

The company said it was looking into developing a 75,000 tonnes/year plant in the industrial and port area of Port-Jérôme, in the Caux Seine region, on the Seine axis between Rouen and Le Havre.

If it went ahead, the facility would include a lactic acid unit to process raw materials, a PLA conversion unit and a PLA recycling facility, the company said in a statement on 8 December.

We considered many sites for this first European unit. We… appreciated the way in which the local authorities and elected representatives helped us to study the location of our project in the port area of Port Jérôme,” Futerro CEO Frédéric Van Gansberghe said.

The company said other factors, including available supplies of agricultural raw materials and the multiple logistical possibilities offered by the Radicatel terminal and the port of Le Havre, were also taken into consideration when selecting the site.

Futerro said it had started negotiations with Caux-Seine Agglo and its economic development agency Caux-Seine Développement and the project would be the subject of a preliminary consultation this year.

PLA can be used as an alternative to petrol-based plastic used in applications such as injection moulding and 3D printing.