Opening of biocomposite plant with signing of long-term customer agreement
Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre, officially opened the new biocomposite plant at Norske Skog Saugbrugs in Halden on 16 May 2022. Norske Skog sees great commercial and environmental potential in the production of biocomposite through the subsidiary CEBICO AS.
Jan Christian Vestre and Hugo Harstad. Photo: Carsten Dybevig
Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre said during the opening ceremony: "Norway has fantastic opportunities in the forest and wood processing industry. It is inspiring to see how Norske Skog invests and rigs itself for the future. We fully welcome this new biocomposite plant, which demonstrates the way into the green shift. "
Managing Director, Per Ivar Berg, at Norske Skog Saugbrugs says: «- Norske Skog Saugbrugs has a proud history when it comes to using Norwegian forest as a high-quality raw material. CEBICO is just one of several circular economy projects at Saugbrugs, and with a highly competent research and competence environment, we have the right tools to create an even more sustainable wood industry ».
Norske Skog's biocomposite product CEBICO is a more sustainable alternative to plastic, which can be included in furniture, packaging and car interiors, among other things. CEBICO is produced from mechanical wood fibre pulp (TMP) and recycled plastic. By replacing 1 kg of plastic with wood fibre pulp, CO2-emissions are reduced by the equivalent of 6 kg.
«- We are very glad to finally be able to open our pilot plant for biocomposite at Norske Skog Saugbrugs. Through a lot of development and testing, we have created a new product from both recycled and renewable raw materials, which can help solve the world's plastic problem. Now we will use our many years of fibre expertise to create robust and commercial value chains for further investment, says Hugo Harstad, general manager of CEBICO.
Norske Skog Saugbrugs, together with its research and industry partners, has been awarded NOK 60 million in research funding from the Research Council and Innovation Norway under the Green Platform, a joint initiative that provides support for research and innovation-driven green transformation in the industry sector. The portfolio of products to be developed aims to remove or greatly reduce the use of petroleum-based raw materials and harmful materials, as well as to contribute to increased recycling of plastics, as well as further develop Norske Skog's nanocellulose product CEBINA and commercialize the use of nanocellulose. Nanocellulose is used as a replacement for fossil-based products, including paints and epoxy coatings.
In order to build up the demonstration plant with a production capacity of 300 tonnes, Norske Skog Saugbrugs has previously also received support of NOK 15 million from Innovation Norway. Norske Skog is currently working on several green growth initiatives, in addition to the traditional production of newsprint and magazine paper.
«- CEBICO does not just represent something new. CEBICO is the core of the green shift. The work with CEBICO is just one of Norske Skog's contributions to the green transition. The group works continuously to create new and innovative products that have significantly lower carbon footprints than their traditional counterparts. In this way, we can create green jobs and accelerate the industrialization of new, bio-based products, both in Norway and at our factories abroad", says Sven Ombudstvedt, CEO of Norske Skog ASA
CEBICO has recently entered into a long-term commercial agreement with the companies BEWI and BEForm, which will help to further develop and market CEBICO. BEWI is an international supplier of packaging, components and insulation solutions, with products from both polymers and fiber, while BEForm specializes in injection molded plastic products.
«BEWI and BEForm see Norske Skog's CEBICO investment as an exciting solution, based on a combination of Norwegian industrial knowledge within fibre and polymers, which will be a good contributor to the world's common goal of reducing CO2-emissions. Such a solution coincides with our sustainability goals, and it is natural that we want to be part of the project, when it now enters a phase of industrialization ", says the leader of BEWI Norway, Stein Inge Liasjø.
CEO of Norske Skog Saugbrugs Per Ivar Berg says: «- The collaboration with BEWi will be a cornerstone for success in establishing biocomposite as a replacement product for fossil-based products. In terms of quality, this is now an equivalent product to many fossil alternatives. This is an important step for Norske Skog Saugbrugs in synergy with the existing wood processes in the company. "