Norske Skog Receives Additional Funding from Innovation Norway for Nanocellulose Pilot Plant

By adding nanocellulose to paper and reducing the amount of other ingredients such as pulp, companies might be able to create lighter, stronger sheets.

Dec. 20, 2013 - Norske Skog has been granted NOK 7 million from Innovation Norway for the establishment of a world-leading pilot plant for the development of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) or nanocellulose as it is also called. MFC has several interesting applications, including as a new raw material in paper production and as a possible reinforcement of plastic.

"If we succeed in producing MFC with this technology and use it in our paper production, this could reduce our costs and make us more competitive in the future. At the same time, the MFC competence will be useful for the entire group," says Sven Ombudstvedt, President and CEO of Norske Skog.

"The plant will be one of the largest in the world, and will most likely give Norske Skog unique knowledge of how MFC can be exploited on a large scale," says Roy Vardheim, Managing Director of Norske Skog Saugbrugs.

The pilot project involves the production of MFC from thermomechanical pulp (TMP), which is the main raw material for paper. The project is budgeted at NOK 14 million, of which Innovation Norway's funding share is NOK 7 million.

"Innovation Norway is keen to support future-orientated research and development by Norwegian companies. In 2013, we received an additional grant to promote innovation and competitiveness in wood-based industries, following good preparatory work by the industry itself. We are extremely pleased with the response to the announced funds. Norske Skog Saugbrugs was one of the companies that took the opportunity to invest in exploiting nanotechnology in the production of paper," says Toril Mølmen, Head of Innovation Norway, Region of Oslo, Akershus and Ostfold.

MFC has received much attention within forestry industrial research in recent years. The material has special properties and can be used in a number of areas. Manufacture of MFC takes place using high pressure treatment of thermomechanical pulp (TMP).

SOURCE: Norske Skog

NOTE: Norske Skog Saugbrugs mill is located in Halden, Norway and has the capacity to produce 550,000 tonnes per year of SuperCalendered (SC) paper on three paper machines.