Brazilian forestry company Fibria has entered a strategic partnership with CelluForce, a Canadian manufacturer of cellulose nanocrystal. Fibria has invested $5.3 million to become a strategic shareholder in the company, joining Domtar, FPInnovations and Schlumberger as shareholders.

The partnership provides Fibria with the exclusive right to sell and manufacture CelluForce NCC in the South American market, and CelluForce and Fibria will jointly develop additional cellulose nanocrystal applications.

CelluForce describes its CelluForce NCC product as “a form of high quality cellulose nanocrystals (CNC).”

A statement from the company says the partnership “is an important milestone that builds on its leadership in the development of applications and production technologies for CNC.”

The agreement gives the Canadian biomaterials firm a partner with whom it will further develop CNC-based products and applications using Fibria’s broad resources and expertise.

Third, from a business perspective, Fibria will have the option to further diversify its eucalyptus forest business and add the production of CNC to its operations. More specifically, Fibria will have an exclusive right to partner with CelluForce for the building of future CNC production plants in Brazil or elsewhere in South America.

Fibria’s investment of $5.3 million will enable CelluForce to accelerate both application and production development.

“The partnership with Fibria is a milestone in so many ways for us. Not only does it expand the reach of our innovative product, it validates the strength of both our production technology and our teams,” explained Sebastien Corbeil, president and CEO of CelluForce. “Fibria did a thorough technical, financial and commercial due diligence as part of its selection process before deciding on CelluForce; the partnership confirms our global industry leadership position.”

“For Fibria, a partnership with CelluForce is truly a strategic move,” commented Marcelo Castelli, CEO of Fibria. “It aligns perfectly with our growth strategy which relies on diversification using a bio-refining focus. Partnering with an advanced biomaterial player such as CelluForce brings us further along that path.”

CelluForce operates a large CNC plant at the Domtar mill in Windsor, Que., capable of producing 300 tonnes per year of CelluForce NCC.
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