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Thunder Bay TMP-Bio plant inaugurated with $2M federal investment


May 27, 2019
By P&PC Staff

May 27, 2019 – The federal government announced an additional $2-million investment for FPInnovations at the official opening of its thermomechanical-pulp biorefinery (TMP-Bio) plant with Resolute Forest Products in Thunder Bay today.

This investment builds on the $5.8 million previously provided by Canada for the pilot facility to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of green biochemicals derived from sustainably sourced Canadian wood.

The additional funding, provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, will support the development of the process by which FPInnovations converts wood sugars to biomaterials, which will help create a wood-to-chemicals industry that can help diversify the forest-based economy in rural communities.

TMP-Bio is a patented technology developed by FPInnovations for the commercial production of large quantities of bio-sourced chemicals, such as high-quality cellulosic sugars and H-lignin, and is a step towards opening up new markets for the forest products sector within the biochemical products supply chain.

With the capacity to treat 100 metric tons of biomass annually, the TMP-Bio bio-refinery pilot plant produces lignin and sugars for use in the development of innovative bio-products, such as wood adhesives, animal feed and composites. Resolute and FPInnovations joined forces in early 2018 to build the plant at Resolute’s Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill.

The CA$23-million project is part of an initiative to renew and transform the forest products industry, building on investments by Resolute, the Ontario Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE), and Natural Resources Canada. The project also has the support of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, FedNor, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in addition to contributions in research and applications from the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and the Nova Scotia Innovation Hub.

“FPInnovations welcomes Natural Resources Canada’s support toward clean innovation in the Canadian forest sector,” says Stéphane Renou president and CEO of forest research firm FPInnovations, in a release. “This investment demonstrates the enormous potential of our forest sector and paves the way for a stronger bio-economy. In collaboration with our partners, we will demonstrate the strength of our industry in finding environmental solutions that will benefit future generations.”

The Clean Growth Program is a $155-million investment fund that helps advance emerging clean technologies toward commercial readiness so that natural resource operations can further reduce their impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.