MONTREAL, June 23, 2014 (CNW) - Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced the launch of a new research and development joint venture, Performance BioFilaments Inc. Jointly owned with Mercer International Inc., Performance BioFilaments will work to develop commercial applications for cellulose filaments, a new source of sustainable biomaterial made from wood fiber that can improve the strength and durability of many commercial and consumer products found on the market today.
"Today's launch highlights our ongoing effort to drive innovation in the forest products industry," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Resolute will provide funding and expertise to Performance BioFilaments, supporting the venture's research and development capabilities that aim to bring sustainable products to a broad spectrum of industries."
Cellulose filaments are made from wood fiber, one of nature's most abundant materials, and are used to add strength, stability, flexibility and longevity to a variety of materials, including cement, composites and coatings.
"The strength of cellulose filaments can be compared to that of synthetic reinforcement fibers made from non-renewable petroleum inputs," said Gurminder Minhas, Managing Director of Performance BioFilaments. "The difference is that cellulose filaments are entirely renewable, with a very low carbon footprint. We're thrilled to debut this company with the launch of this kind of revolutionary product."
Cellulose filaments are adaptable for use in the aviation, marine, aerospace, electronics, manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as in paint and consumer products. Their unique, ribbon-like composition has the potential to improve the quality of various materials, and the product is considered to have significant cost advantages compared to alternatives.
FPInnovations Inc., one of Canada's leading scientific organizations working in forest products research and development, will produce the material. Performance BioFilaments will have access to all current and future cellulose filament research being advanced at a third-party mill in Trois-Rivières, Quebec - the world's first five-metric-ton-per-day cellulose filament demonstration plant that started up earlier this year.
For more information, please visit www.performancebiofilaments.com.
About Performance BioFilaments Inc.
Performance BioFilaments Inc., a joint venture between Mercer International Inc. and Resolute Forest Products, is focused on the development of commercial applications for cellulose filaments, one of the world's most exciting new biomaterials. Cellulose filaments can be used to enhance the performance characteristics of a wide variety of products. Derived from wood fiber - a renewable natural resource - cellulose filaments optimize the strength, stability, flexibility, and longevity of a variety of materials including composites, coatings and consumer products. For more information, please visit www.performancebiofilaments.com.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates nearly 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three 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 and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic.
Resolute is proud to be ranked by Corporate Knights as one of Canada's Best 50 Corporate Citizens for 2014. Corporate Knights is an organization recognized globally for its transparent and objective approach to measuring corporate sustainability performance.
About Mercer International Inc.
Mercer International Inc. ("Mercer") is the world's largest producer of NBSK market pulp and has become a leader among forest products companies in embracing the bio-economy. The company has modern, large-scale pulp mills in both Germany and Canada. Mercer's shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Market (MERC) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MRI.U). For more information, please visit www.mercerint.com.