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Ottawa, Quebec earmark $6.4M for cellulose nanocrystal facility


February 5, 2019  


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Canada’s CelluForce Inc.’s innovative cellulose nanocrystal facility will become the world’s first full commercial demonstration-scale plant of its kind, thanks to federal and provincial funding to the tune of $6.4 million.

“Our government is proud to support remarkable forest innovation that generates the economic prosperity we seek by working in harmony with the environment we cherish,” said Paul Lefebvre, parliamentary secretary, Natural Resources Canada. “This project is a terrific example of the brighter, bio-based future ahead of us. Congratulations to CelluForce for leading the way in forest sustainability and providing eco-friendly development solutions in Canada.”

The funding will support the production of 300 tonnes of nanocrystals annually at the new, state-of-the-art facility, and will allow CelluForce to increase production efficiency by 50 per cent and help create more than 100 jobs in the next commercial plant.

This remarkable new material, which can be used in everything from papers to paints, electronics to adhesives and cement to cosmetics, is produced from the cellulose in trees and made from wood that is abundant, renewable and biodegradable.

CelluForce received the funding as part of the federal government’s commitment to advancing innovative technology in Canada’s forest industry.

On June 1, 2017, the Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program received $55 million over three years as part of the government’s $867-million Softwood Lumber Action Plan to support workers and forest-dependent communities that have been affected by U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber. This new funding enabled innovative transformative technology adoption for the sector.

Quebec is contributing $14.2 million to CelluForce, including $2.5 million from its wood innovation program. This program is one of the key measures of the 2018–2023 strategy to develop Quebec’s forest products industry. With a budget of $70 million, this strategy addresses the various challenges facing the forest products industry.

In addition, Quebec is providing $11.7 million from its economic development fund, specifically $4.9 million in the form of equity investments and $6.8 million in the form of loans.