Domtar and West Fraser share bioproducts strategies
By Cindy Macdonald
An executive panel that kicked off PaperWeek Canada 2016 reaffirms that Canadian companies are having success in the bio-economy. Representatives from Domtar, West Fraser, Ensyn and Performance Biofilaments shared their strategies for choosing and implementing innovative technologies.
Domtar has a portfolio approach, says Bruno Marcoccia, director of R&D. The pulp and paper company’s strategy is to invest in a range of products and technologies, which have varying risk profiles and varying time lines. “Our successes have more than justified the investments we’ve put into bio-refining projects,” Marcoccia concluded.
West Fraser, being primarily a wood products company, approaches the bio-economy as a way to use residuals and a method to get the most value out of fibre, explained Rod Albers, manager, energy and bioproducts development. He says the company is seeking bolt-on technologies that complement its primary processes.
West Fraser has implemented several bioenergy projects using Organic Rankine Cycle technology, is installing a lignin recovery system at the Hinton pulp mill, and is using biogas to generate green electricity at Slave Lake Pulp.
He notes that creating the right team of people is critical to success. West Fraser has chosen to dedicate certain people to the pursuit of bio-pathways. There is one individual at each of the company’s three pulp mills who manages bioproducts development. Also, “we have a visionary in our company that helps lead us along,” says Albers.
PaperWeek Canada and BIOFOR International continue until Feb. 4, in Montreal.