Canfor Pulp Opens New Innovation Centre in Burnaby, BC
June 27, 2011 - Joe Nemeth, President and CEO of Canfor Pulp Products Inc. ("CPPI"), which owns 49.8% of Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership ("CPLP"), [on June 24] announced three major new investments in innovation for the company in a ceremony opening the new Canfor Pulp Innovation Centre in Burnaby, BC.
Noting that CPLP is the largest producer of market kraft pulp in British Columbia, and the third largest in the world, Mr. Nemeth stated that, "Innovation is the cornerstone of globally successful companies. This major investment of more than $10 million is aimed at securing our future as a global leader in pulp."
The Canfor Pulp Innovation Centre will have an annual operating budget of $2 million and a laboratory of 6,400 square feet. Its staff of nine technical professionals will perform research on a host of challenges and opportunities important to CPLP. Key equipment items in the Centre are a pilot refiner for simulating paper mill treatment of pulps, and extensive, advanced technical instruments for testing pulp and paper.
Complementing CPLP's in-house research, Mr. Nemeth also announced the company's commitment to a new research grant program: a collaboration between CPLP and the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia. The program will provide a total of $225 thousand over the next three years to university faculty for novel research projects in areas relevant to CPLP's mandate. "We want to encourage the wealth of academic talent at UBC and UNBC to dedicate renewed efforts and enthusiasm toward the manufacture and development of products from our forest resource, and thereby contribute to the future of one of the largest and most consistent contributors to provincial GDP," said Mr. Nemeth.
The third initiative is a set of partnerships with government in collaboration with equipment suppliers to implement advanced sensing technology in all three of CPLP's Prince George mills. CPLP's investment of $8 million in these technologies will include the Metso Quality Vision System, the Eurocon PulpEye and two sensors developed by FPInnovations in Vancouver. The FPInnovations sensors consist of a patented fibre wall thickness measurement sensor and a specialized wood chip sensor. This comprehensive initiative in sensing technology is supported by matching funding of $2.4 million from Natural Resources Canada and $2.1 million from the BC Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands. It will provide CPLP with unique capabilities for monitoring the quality of its fibres on-line and thereby provide information to adjust operations and maximize pulp value recovery from the sawmill-produced wood chips it uses.
Representatives from the beneficiaries of CPLP's research grant program praised these initiatives. Professor Gail Fondhal, Vice President, Research of UNBC in Prince George lauded the grants program saying, "We welcome this contribution as it supports our growing research programs and builds closer links with CPLP whose mills are within view of our campus." Similarly, Professor Tyseer Aboulnasr, Dean of Applied Science at UBC commended CPLP's commitment to innovation and in particular, "This valuable University program will enhance and continue UBC's longstanding link with the industry through our Pulp and Paper Centre." The program complements existing CPLP initiatives and others currently under development with various universities across Canada.
In closing, Mr. Nemeth noted that CPLP employs 1,200 people in BC and annually produces pulp and paper products worth $1 billion. "Our pulps and papers are recognized around the world as premium products. To remain competitive in a changing marketplace, we must be at the forefront of technologies that affect the production and optimal end-use of our pulps. These innovation initiatives are important steps to accomplish this."
SOURCE: Canfor Pulp Products Inc.