NatureWorks, LCC, a Minnetonka-based Cargill subsidiary that manufactures bioplastics, will get a $150 million equity investment from one of Thailand's largest chemical producers. PTT Chemical Public Co. Limited, the world's leading bioplastics manufacturer, will use the investment to build a new plant in Thailand that could start production in 2015.

NatureWorks is the developer and manufacturer of Ingeo, bio-based plastics and fibers for use in a wide variety of products commonly made with oil-based plastics such as clothing, plastic bottles, and diapers. Ingeo is made from sugar derived from field corn.

The proposed facility in Thailand would be NatureWorks' second manufacturing plant. They currently have one plant in Blair, Neb. NatureWorks has an annual Ingeo manufacturing capacity of 140,000 tons.

PTT Chemical's investment in NatureWorks, until now wholly owned by Cargill, is subject to regulatory approval.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926