Jean Moreau , President and CEO of CelluForce, was accompanied by the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Joe Oliver ; Québec's Minister for Finance, Alain Paquet; John D. Williams, President and CEO of Domtar; and Pierre Lapointe , President and CEO of FPInnovations.
CelluForce is ramping up its production of NCC with a target of reaching a 1,000 kg (1 metric ton) per day production rate in 2012. Trials integrating NCC into the manufacturing process of different products are currently taking place through technical collaboration agreements between CelluForce and 15 companies based in Canada , the United States , Europe and Asia in four main industrial sectors: paints and coatings, films and barriers, textiles, and composites.
Plant construction extended over a 14-month period and was completed on time. The Canadian and Québec governments made a significant contribution to the financing of the $36 million plant with $23.2 million coming from Natural Resources Canada (Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program and Transformative Technologies Program) and $10.2 million from Québec's Natural Resources and Wildlife Department.
Grateful to all those who have contributed thus far to this exciting venture, Jean Moreau declared: "This is the stellar result of the winning combination of Domtar's operational expertise with FPInnovations' technical and scientific knowledge to develop an effective manufacturing process for NanoCrystalline Cellulose. Governments were receptive to our project, which was in line with their innovation and forestry industry strategies, while our enthusiastic employees were thrilled to participate in such a unique and innovative initiative. Today we celebrate a milestone that enables us to be the first in he world on the path to creating a significant market for NCC. There is an exciting future ahead for NCC and CelluForce."
"Our investment in the CelluForce project is part of a larger story at Domtar around unlocking greater value from wood fiber," added John D. Williams, Domtar President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are thrilled to be partners in this world-class venture that aligns so squarely with our business growth objective to become a global leader in fiber innovation."
Pierre Lapointe , President and CEO of FPInnovations stated that "This is a significant milestone in Canadian innovation history. We have demonstrated that through investment in public-private partnerships, Canada is taking a leadership position in developing and deploying game changing innovations, such as NCC, to help the transformation of the forest industry and to create wealth for Canadians. We are very proud that this innovation developed by FPInnovations' research team is now moving from the laboratories to the marketplace. This is a great day for FPInnovations' staff and all our partners."
NCC is an advanced material derived from wood fibre that improves the strength, durability and toughness of products. It can reduce damage caused by wear, abrasion and light. This high-value nanomaterial can also be incorporated into systems to make light reflective structures (tunable from ultraviolet to infrared), impermeable to gas and stable over time. NCC can transform the performance of existing products as well as help create new, unique and improved products. Natural, renewable, recyclable, compostable and bio-degradable, NCC also has the potential to become a contributor to the green economy in numerous industrial sectors in the coming decades.
NCC's remarkable properties will lead to commercial applications largely exceeding those of traditional wood fibre products. CelluForce will, on a worldwide basis, market NanoCrystalline Cellulose for strength applications under the CelluForce ImpactTMbrand, and optical applications under the CelluForce AllureTMbrand.
CelluForce is the world leader in the commercial development of NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC). The company is a joint venture of Domtar Corporation and FPInnovations. CelluForce manufactures NCC in the world's first plant of its kind, located in Windsor, Québec, develops new applications for it, markets and sells it. The company currently has a workforce of 30 employees and its head office is in Montreal .
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 industrial and government members. 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 forestry operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations' staff numbers more than 500. Its research laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, Thunder Bay, Edmonton and Vancouver , and it has technology transfer offices across Canada.
Domtar Corporation is the largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and the second largest in the world based on production capacity, and is also a manufacturer of papergrade, fluff and specialty pulp. The Company designs, manufactures, markets and distributes a wide range of business, commercial printing and publishing as well as converting and specialty papers including recognized brands such as Cougar®, Lynx®Opaque Ultra, Husky®Opaque Offset, First Choice®and Domtar EarthChoice®Office Paper, part of a family of environmentally and socially responsible papers. Domtar also produces a complete line of incontinence care products and distributes washcloths marketed primarily under the Attends®brand name. Domtar owns and operates ArivaTM,an extensive network of strategically located paper distribution facilities. The Company employs approximately 8,800 people.