Mercer International and Resolute Forest Products in Joint Venture to Commercialize Cellulose Filaments
June 23, 2014 - Mercer International today announced the launch of a new joint venture company called Performance BioFilaments Inc. established to commercialize an innovative biomaterial derived from wood fiber called cellulose filaments. The joint venture will be equally owned with Resolute Forest Products, a leader in the forest products business.
Cellulose filaments are derived from wood pulp which has been processed using innovative technology licensed from FPInnovations Inc., one of the world's leading forest products research organizations. The cellulose filaments' exceptional strength and high aspect ratio make it a unique cellulose-based biomaterial.
Mercer said in a statement, "We believe it has the potential to make a wide array of consumer and industrial products stronger, lighter, more flexible and more durable, while leveraging a sustainable and renewable resource with a low carbon footprint."
Jimmy S.H. Lee, President and Chairman of Mercer, said "Commercializing cellulose filaments represents a compelling business opportunity developed through our focus on collaborative innovation and takes one of our initiatives to the next level. We are excited to be working jointly with Resolute, which allows us to leverage our respective global research knowledge and resources to implement the commercialization process for this high potential material."
Performance BioFilaments will seek joint development partners from a range of industries — from automotive and manufacturing, to construction and high-end consumer products — to develop new commercial product applications for cellulose filaments.
"While we are optimistic about the potential for commercialization of this product, we recognize that, as with the development of all novel product applications, the process can be lengthy and without assurances," the company said in a statement.
Performance BioFilaments will build upon the significant investment made by FPInnovations in technology development and production through its current C$43.1 million cellulose filaments project. All of the know-how gained from their project, as well as commercial development quantities of cellulose filaments, will be available to Performance BioFilaments for its commercialization efforts.
Mercer International Inc. is the world's largest producer of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft ("NBSK") market pulp. To learn more, please visit: www.mercerint.com.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. Resolute owns or operates nearly 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. For additional information, visit: www.resolutefp.com
SOURCE: Mercer International Inc.