PaperAge Magazine

UPM to Buy Total Annual Production of Lignin from Domtar's Plymouth, NC Mill

lignin Following the agreement, UPM will increase its supply of kraft lignin by more than 20.000 metric tonnes annually.

Jan. 4, 2021 - UPM and the US-based pulp and paper producer Domtar have signed an agreement for UPM to acquire the total annual kraft lignin production of Domtar's Plymouth Mill in North Carolina (USA) as of January 2021. This step enables UPM to expand its role in the growing lignin business and different application segments.

Following the agreement, UPM will increase its supply of kraft lignin by more than 20.000 metric tonnes annually. Part of the supply will be used to complement the existing UPM BioPiva™ product family. UPM lignin products will be sold globally through UPM's sales network and are supported by strong technical expertise.

“We are very pleased to have agreed this new supply agreement with Domtar. It enables us to expand our lignin business in the growing biochemicals market before the start-up of our Biorefinery in Leuna, Germany,” says Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals.

"These additional volumes of kraft lignin and the increased security of supply will enable us to serve our customers even better. The demand for sustainable kraft lignin solutions has been increasing steadily and customers value our strong sustainability credentials and proven technical expertise," adds Christian Hübsch, Director, Lignin Business at UPM Biochemicals.

Domtar's Plymouth mill has the capacity to produce 390,000 ADMT (air dry metric tonnes) per year of softwood fluff pulp known for its excellent absorbency and sheet properties. The pulp is used in the production of adult incontinence products, baby diapers and absorbent hygiene products.

In the pulp and paper industry, lignin is a byproduct of the bleaching process of wood pulp.

"Domtar is excited to partner with UPM to provide sustainable alternatives to fossil-based products," Steve Henry, Domtar's vice president of strategy and business analysis said.

Kraft lignin products such as UPM BioPiva are used as a renewable alternative to fossil-based products in a growing range of applications, such as lignin-based phenolic resins. They offer high technical performance, with a considerably improved environmental footprint.

UPM is currently building an industrial scale biochemicals refinery in Leuna, Germany, to produce biobased Monoethylene Glycol (BioMEG), Monopropylene Glycol (BioMPG) and industrial sugars as well as renewable functional fillers and lignin from sustainably sourced hardwood.

SOURCE: UPM and Domtar