THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 22, 2018 (CNW) -FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products today announced a significant investment in the implementation of a TMP-Bio pilot project in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The pilot project will focus on developing new ways to efficiently produce and commercialize innovative bio-chemicals derived from wood, contributing to the development of a bio-economy in Northern Ontario, as well as elsewhere in Canada.
The $21 million project is part of an initiative to renew and transform the forest products industry, building on investments made in 2012 by Resolute, the Ontario Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE), and Natural Resources Canada. This investment covers cost of capital and R&D and has the support of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), CRIBE, FedNor, the City of Thunder Bay CEDC and Natural Resources Canada.
Resolute is contributing $3.5 million and hosting the pilot project at its Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill. TMP-Bio is a patented technology developed by FPInnovations with financial support from Natural Resources Canada's Transformative Technologies Program.
This project comes at a very opportune time as market interest for sustainably sourced green bio-chemicals and bio-fuels continues to build. The development and availability in significant quantities of bio-sourced chemicals, such as the cellulosic sugars and high-quality H-lignin produced by the TMP-Bio process, is a key step in growing new market value for the forest products sector by connecting it to the bio-chemical supply chain.
"Northern Ontario has a wealth of innovative thinkers and leading researchers and this project helps to demonstrate how their ingenuity is creating business opportunities and growing the local economy. By investing to capitalize on our inherent strengths, we are helping to strengthen the local economy and create meaningful middle-class employment here in Thunder Bay and across the region." The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North
"The Government of Canada is proud to invest in strategic initiatives that promote public/private-sector partnerships in support of innovation and economic growth. Today's announcement will help establish a fully functioning bio-refinery plant that will speed up the development, production and commercialization of green bio-chemicals derived from wood, helping companies diversifies and create jobs." The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor
"Our Government values innovation and is committed to building collaborative working relationships to help support the forest sector. FPInnovations has shown leadership in transforming the industry, promoting a culture of collaboration, and demonstrating results by developing bio-products with a low carbon footprint." The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources
"This investment into the TMP-Bio pilot plant in Thunder Bay is a significant step towards developing a strong and innovative bio-economy in Northern Ontario and all of Canada. The project has the potential to completely transform the forest products industry of our region, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts it will have." Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River
"The world is looking for bioproducts made from sustainably-managed, non-food sources. Ontario is one of the largest biotech clusters in North America. By applying innovative solutions like the TMP-Bio Project, the forestry sector is creating new opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace." Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science
"On behalf of Thunder Bay City Council and the citizens of Thunder Bay, a huge thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly in support of making this project a reality. This innovative technology will certainly help renew and transform the forest products industry and build on other significant investments. I am very pleased that the City can count itself among the supporters of this project." Mayor Keith Hobbs
"Today's announcement is good news for the environment and presents an economic opportunity for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Our ability to continue to transform Canada's forest products sector by making new products that displace fossil fuel-intensive ones is not only going to help us fight climate change, but is also key to the future success of our mill communities." Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
"This project highlights the importance of investing in de-risking new technologies and products, and points the way for developing and delivering a transformative technology that contributes to the Canadian bio-economy. This major initiative strengthens the industry's position as a leader in the bio-refinery sector." Stéphane Renou, President and Chief Executive Officer, FPInnovations
"We are pleased to continue our strategic partnership with FPInnovations by providing both a host facility and financial support to this innovative venture. This project will help create opportunities to diversify the use of wood fibre into higher-value-added products." Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Resolute Forest Products
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector's global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector's value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations' R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products, newsprint and specialty papers, which are marketed in over 70 countries. The company owns or operates some 40 manufacturing facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices.