Archer Daniels Midland Company and Metabolix have selected Clinton, Iowa as the location for the first commercial plant for PHA natural plastics. This plant will have an initial annual capacity of 50,000 tons per year, and will produce a new generation of high-performance natural plastics that are eco-friendly and based on sustainable, renewable resources.

"We are pleased to announce Clinton, Iowa as the location for the first commercial plant to produce PHA-based plastics, which are renewable, biodegradable and suitable for multiple applications," stated G. Allen Andreas, Chairman, Chief Executive and President of ADM. "PHA natural plastics offer the global marketplace an alternative to traditional petroleum-derived plastics, and ADM is proud to use the farmers' harvest to create new products for the emerging market for ag-based chemical and industrial products."

The PHA plant will be located adjacent to ADM's wet corn mill in Clinton. The plant will utilize starch from the mill's existing corn grind capacity as raw material for PHA production.

In 2004, ADM and Metabolix announced a strategic alliance to commercialize the Metabolix proprietary PHA technology, which is protected by over 130 issued and pending U.S. patents. Then in February, the companies announced that they would build the first commercial plant to produce PHA natural plastics at a to-be-determined location.
Construction, expected to be complete in mid 2008, is subject to applicable governmental approvals.

PHA natural plastics are a broad and versatile family of polymers that range in properties from rigid to elastic, and they can be converted into molded and thermoformed goods, extruded coatings and film, blown film, fibers, adhesives, and many other products. They have excellent shelf life and resistance even to hot liquids, greases, and oils, yet they biodegrade in aquatic, marine and soil environments and under anaerobic conditions such as found in septic systems and municipal waste treatment plants. They can be both hot and cold composted. They are made using proprietary processes developed by Metabolix from renewable and sustainable agricultural raw materials.

Source: Archer Daniels Midland