The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the recent announcement of a joint venture between Circa Group and Norske-Skog to build a commercial demonstration plant manufacturing bio-solvents at the Boyer paper mill site in Tasmania.
The AFPA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ross Hampton, said “This new project would deliver significant economic benefits and is an excellent example of a breakthrough development in the emerging global market for the use of sustainable bio-chemicals using the IP developed by Circa Group.
“However, there remain regulatory and trade access barriers for the commercialisation of the product in key markets such as Europe and the United States, in terms of the international assessment and accreditation of new products such as Cyrene in the market place”, Mr Hampton said.
Circa Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Duncan said “By using certified plantation sourced biomass and processing waste the new plant would produce Cyrene, a non-toxic, clean alternative to fossil-fuel based solvents. When we can secure international market access, Circa plans to move its pre-commercial facilities and equipment from its Melbourne base to the Boyer site in the new year”.
The federal member for Lyons, Mr Eric Hutchinson, said “The State Government support for the build phase of the project is to be applauded. This project will provide much needed jobs and investment in the Tasmanian economy.”
“Addressing the regulatory access issue in international markets is the next key priority. I am working to assist in any way I can, particularly through the commercialisation process to deliver what I think could be a new biochemical technology industry in Tasmania”, Mr Hutchinson said.