The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, delivered a keynote address celebrating the official opening of the new CelluForce facility, the world’s first commercial-scale producer of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC).
Thanks to a joint investment by the Governments of Canada and Quebec, this new facility represents a landmark in the development of a new series of renewable industrial and consumer products created from wood fibre.
“The Government of Canada is investing $23.2 million in the transformation of Canada’s forest sector by encouraging the development and commercialization of state-of-the-art Canadian technology,” said Minister Oliver. “Supporting innovative projects such as this one is essential to expanding and diversifying markets both at home and abroad and to creating new economic opportunities for forest-dependent communities.”
This project was developed by FPInnovations and Domtar Inc. with support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. The Government of Canada contributed $12 million under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP) and $11.2 million under the Transformative Technologies-Pilot Scale Demonstration Program, for a total of $23.2 million. In addition, the Government of Quebec contributed $10.2 million. This new facility is expected to produce one tonne of nanocrystalline cellulose per day and has created 30 jobs in the region.
Technological innovations like nanocrystalline cellulose offer the prospect of opening new, high-value markets to Canada’s forest sector. NCC may be used in the development of products such as paints, coatings, cosmetics, films, barriers, textiles and advanced materials.
Abundant, renewable and biodegradable, nanocrystalline cellulose has been shown to be non-toxic, a significant advantage over most other existing nanomaterials.