CelluForce announces start of operations at world's first manufacturing plant for nanocrystalline cellulose, located at Domtar mill in Windsor, Quebec; production to start by end of 2011, increase to 1,000 kg/day in 2012

Sandy Yang

Sandy Yang

Dec 12, 2011 – PRNewswire

MONTREAL , December 12, 2011 (press release) – Members of the board, management and employees of CelluForce are pleased to announce the end of the construction phase and the start of operations at the first manufacturing plant for NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) in the world.

Recyclable and renewable, NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) is an advanced material derived from wood fibre that improves strength, durability and toughness. This high-value nanomaterial is capable of transforming the performance of existing products and creating new, unique and improved products for numerous industrial sectors.

For the last eight weeks, CelluForce has been progressively starting up the equipment for the first ever large-scale production of NCC. The nanomaterial will be produced in state-of-the-art facilities located at Domtar's pulp and paper plant in Windsor, Quebec. Construction extended over a fourteen-month period. It required a total investment of $36M including the financial participation of both the Federal and Québec governments. The company is particularly pleased to have completed construction phase on time.

CelluForce President and CEO Jean Moreau declared, "Wood pulp is being delivered to the plant to test the new equipment and we are making progress on a daily basis. NCC will start to be produced by the end of the year, with production gradually increasing until it reaches a steady rhythm of 1,000 kg per day in 2012".

As Rene Goguen, vice-president, Manufacturing for CelluForce, explained, "The rapid advances made in testing stages bear testimony to the hard work, devotion and expertise of our employees. We are all proud to be participating in this project and very conscious of the fact that it is a world first. The 25 operations personnel of this youthful company, who were already experienced employees at Domtar, a partner in CelluForce, started work last June. They went through an intensive training session to ensure they were ready to start up the specialized equipment, most of which was custom-built specifically for the manufacture of NCC.

Commercial applications

Recyclable and renewable, NanoCrystalline Cellulose improves strength, durability and toughness, and can reduce damage caused by wear, abrasion and light. This nanomaterial can also be incorporated into systems to make structures that are light reflective (tunable from ultraviolet to infrared), impermeable to gas and stable over time. The remarkable properties of this advanced material derived from wood fibre will lead to commercial applications largely exceeding those of traditional wood fibre products. A high-value nanomaterial, NCC is capable of transforming the performance of existing products and creating new unique and improved products for numerous industrial sectors.

CelluForce will, on a worldwide basis, market NanoCrystalline Cellulose for strength applications under the CelluForce Impact™ brand, and for optical applications of NCC under the CelluForce Allure™ brand.

Trials integrating NanoCrystalline Cellulose into the manufacturing process of different products are currently taking place with a variety of potential partners and CelluForce should be in a position to announce the signing of its initial contracts shortly.

About CelluForce

CelluForce is a joint venture of Domtar Corporation and FPInnovations and has been created to manufacture, market and sell NanoCyrstalline Cellulose (NCC) in the first plant of its kind in the world, located in Windsor, Quebec. Backed by a patented process, CelluForce develops and markets new applications linked to NanoCrystalline Cellulose. The company currently has a workforce of 30 employees and its head office is in Montreal. For further information concerning CelluForce, please visit: www.celluforce.com

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