Norske Skog and Circa Group Pty Ltd have entered into a joint venture to manufacture and market a range of sustainable platform chemicals to global markets.
The joint venture today announced that the Boyer Mill has been selected as home for a large scale prototype that will produce Cyrene, a non-toxic, “green chemical” alternative to existing solvents used in pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries across the world.
The $6.6 million plant will produce around 50 tonnes per annum of Cyrene and is due to be up and running within 12 months, following a grant of $1.5 million from the Tasmanian Government.
Norske Skog’s Regional President, Andrew Leighton welcomed the joint venture with Circa Group and thanked the Tasmanian Government for their support for this exciting new opportunity.
Mr Leighton said the diversification into bio-chemical production was a good fit for Norske Skog’s Australasian strategic direction of “building our future from fibre and energy”. He said the company had been working with Circa Group for the past 12 months and he looked forward to a long and productive relationship.
Mr Tony Duncan, CEO Circa Group said the company’s focus was the research, development and commercialisation of biochemicals from sustainable cellulose feedstocks. He said Circa had been working on the current project since 2009 and it was great to have Norske Skog on board given their knowledge and experience in processing wood residues and large scale manufacturing.
Mr Duncan said the large scale prototype at the Boyer Mill would be the fifth and largest scale up to date of Circa's Furacell™ technology. He said the plant was designed to demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology, while providing increased volumes for researchers and customers in Europe, North America, Asia and locally.
He said customer trialing, which has been underway for 18 months, has shown Cyrene (tm) to be one of the very few new solvents capable of competing in a global market of over 900,000 tonnes per annum, where many traditional products are under increasing regulatory pressure due to environmental and health concerns.
13 November 2015
David Quinn 0418 123 282