The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates both Circa Group and Norske Skog Australasia on news that their FC5 large scale prototype plant is now online, paving the way for large sample quantities of its non-toxic, bio-based solvent Cyrene® to be sent overseas for testing, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.

The FC5 plant is located at Boyer in Tasmania and is an innovative joint venture between Circa Group and Norske Skog Australasia. Now operational, the plant is ready to produce a steady stream of 99 per cent pure Cyrene®. The product is developed through a novel conversion process from biomass residues.

With the new plant now online, it allows the joint venture to produce larger quantities of Cyrene® for testing worldwide and continue the path for Cyrene® to potentially replace harmful chemicals in the marketplace.

Mr Ross Hampton said, “Circa Group and Norske Skog Australasia have made excellent progress and have recently accelerated work on the conversion of waste biomass into bio-based chemicals.

“By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, the joint venture extracts value from non-food, waste biomass and is creating bio-based non-toxic alternatives.”

“The joint venture is a great Australian example that shows wood fibre truly is the ultimate renewable. It’s so important that the Federal Government’s commitment to deliver one billion new production trees over the next decade is realised, to ensure our industries have a stable platform to build from and innovate in the years ahead and so they can continue to provide important regional jobs.”

“It’s also essential that ahead of the Federal Election, both major political parties seriously commit to measures that will continue to encourage new and innovative solutions for the use of renewable wood fibre,” Mr Hampton concluded.

*Cyrene® is a trademark of Circa Group Ltd.