The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton, has called on the Federal Government to match the Tasmanian Government’s $1.5million contribution to ensure that a new bio-chemicals industry is successfully born in Tasmania, providing the door for a whole new generation of green, eco products derived from tree fibre.
Mr Hampton is visiting the chosen site of the Circa and Norske Skog Large Scale Prototype Plant at the Boyer Mill outside Hobart today with the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston and the Member for Lyons Mr Eric Hutchinson MP.
The joint venture between Norske Skog and Circa will manufacture a non-toxic “green chemical” bio-solvent called Cyrene which will replace existing solvents used in pharmaceutical and specialty materials manufacturing.
The Tasmanian Government announced on 13 November 2015 that it would provide $1.5 million towards the construction of the plant. Following successful trials in Europe, Circa is seeking a matching $1.5 million from the Federal Government to enable it to complete the “labyrinth” of European and United States regulatory approvals and standards that a new product must face.
“This new project will deliver significant economic benefits to Tasmania 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 in Australia by Circa Group,” said Mr Hampton.
Circa Group Chief Executive Officer, Tony Duncan said “By using certified plantation sourced biomass and processing waste the new plant will produce Cyrene, a non-toxic, clean alternative to fossil-fuel based solvents. Markets in Europe and North America are looking for alternatives to replace these substances of very high concern (SVHC’s) and currently there are few available. Our focus is to get Cyrene approved and to market as quickly as possible thereby demonstrating to large global users that innovative high performance bio-chemicals from sustainable feedstocks can be developed and commercialised from Tasmania”.