New commercial NCC plant proves growing momentum for innovative forest products

OTTAWA, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says the opening of the world's first nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC) plant in Canada is clear evidence of the rapid transformation of the forest sector and its growing role in the emerging bio-economy.

Leading edge research by FPInnovations has led to the official opening today of the CelluForce plant in Windsor Quebec which will fabricate NCC  for eventual use in such products as paints and coatings, films and barriers, textiles, and composites.

"This kind of development underscores the new business model that consolidates the economics of wood and pulp and paper production with the extraction of innovative new bio-energy, bio-chemicals and bio-materials," says the President and CEO of FPAC, Avrim Lazar. "Extracting more value from every tree harvested is going to have an extraordinary impact for Canada economically, environmentally and socially."

FPAC, with the collaboration of FPInnovations, had led a breakthrough study called the New Face of the Canadian Forest Industry: the Emerging Bio-Revolution that did exhaustive research on how to best position the next generation forest products industry. It concluded that the forest products industry in Canada was uniquely position to take advantage of the new bio-economy and exploit a potential global market of $200 billion for bio-products made from renewable wood fibre.

"There is an immense economic potential that will keep Canada's forest industry and communities that depend on it on a strong footing for both today and tomorrow." says Lazar. "Governments have been welcome partners in the exciting re-invention of our industry and we welcome their continued support to help us compete with forest industries in other countries that are also aggressively pursuing these opportunities."

FPAC has also set up the Bio-Pathways Partnership Network to bring together sectors such as the chemical, energy, auto and aerospace industries to promote collaboration with forest products companies on the new innovative products.

"With this new network, we are inviting other sectors to partner with FPAC members to take advantage of the potential of the bio-economy with exciting new products, new technologies and new markets." says Lazar. "It's now time to embrace the growing potential of the new forest products industry."

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 240,000 direct jobs across the country.

SOURCE FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

For further information:

Susan Murray
Executive Director, Public Relations
Forest Products Association of Canada
smurray@fpac.ca 613-563-1441 x313
Follow us on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC

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