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Domtar and FPInnovations to build nanocellulose demonstration plant in Quebec (July 16, 2010)

Domtar Corporation and FPInnovations have formed a new joint venture company to build the world's first one-to...


July 16, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Domtar Corporation and FPInnovations have formed a new joint venture company to build the world’s first one-tonne-per-day commercial-scale nanocrystalline cellulose demonstration plant at the Domtar Windsor, Quebec, pulp and paper mill site. Construction will begin in the coming weeks and will take approximately 20 months to be completed.
Nanocrystalline cellulose is a renewable, recyclable, and abundant nanomaterial made of cellulose fibers from the wood pulp manufacturing process.
The cost of construction of the demonstration plant is approximately $32.4 million and operating costs are estimated at $8.4 million, for a total investment of $40.8 million. Domtar has submitting $12 million of its total contribution for funding approval under the Government of Canada’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. Natural Resources Canada and Quebec’s Natural Resources and Wildlife Ministry are contributing $10.2 million each to FPInnovations’ portion of the funding of this project. All funding is still subject to approval.
“As the leader in our industry, we are very excited to explore new frontiers by bringing together our operational expertise and the technical knowledge of FPInnovations for the efficient manufacture of this innovative and renewable product,” said John D. Williams, president and CEO of Domtar Corporation. “The remarkable properties of nanocrystalline cellulose and wide range of potential applications speak volumes about the commercial potential of new fiber-based products that go beyond traditional pulp and paper applications.”
The commericial-scale plant represents the culmination of 15 years of R&D by FPInnovations. Two Canadian engineering firms, Teknika and Noram, will contribute to the project. Approximately 10 permanent positions will be needed to operate the demonstration plant. In addition, numerous researchers and scientific personnel have been and will continue working to deliver on the potential new nanocrystalline cellulose applications and products.
Following the construction phase, under the joint venture agreement, Domtar and FPInnovations will explore the commercial viability of the production of nanocrystalline cellulose on a larger commercial scale.