FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced the commissioning of a new TMP-Bio plant in Thunder Bay (Ontario). With the capacity to treat 100 metric tons of biomass annually, the bio-refinery pilot plant produces lignin and sugars for use in the development of innovative bio-products, such as wood adhesives, animal feed and composites. The organizations joined forces in early 2018 to build the plant at Resolute’s Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill, focusing on developing new ways to efficiently manufacture and market innovative wood-based biochemical products.
The inauguration was attended by Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay – Rainy River; Ross Romano, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines of Ontario; Bill Mauro, Mayor of Thunder Bay; Remi Lalonde, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Resolute Forest Products; Stéphane Renou, President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations; Derek Nighbor, President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC); and many representatives of the Canadian forest products industry.
The C$23 million project is part of an initiative to renew and transform the forest products industry, building on investments by Resolute, the Ontario Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE), and Natural Resources Canada. The project also has the support of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, FedNor, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in addition to contributions in research and applications from the Québec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and the Nova Scotia Innovation Hub.
TMP-Bio is a patented technology developed by FPInnovations for the commercial production of large quantities of bio-sourced chemicals, such as high-quality cellulosic sugars and H-lignin, and is a step towards opening up new markets for the forest products sector within the biochemical products supply chain.
“Congratulations to FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products on the official opening of the TMP-Bio plant. Ensuring our forestry sector remains strong and viable is important to our local economy and I’m pleased our government’s investment of $7.8 million has helped to bring this project to fruition. Northwestern Ontario is a hub for forestry innovation, and I look forward to seeing the results of this partnership and the positive impacts it will have on our growing bio-economy.”
Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Rainy River on behalf of The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources Canada
“Our government is making Northern Ontario open for business and open for jobs. We are committed to working with the forestry industry to help the sector innovate, create new opportunities and good-paying jobs in communities across the province. This is an industry that contributes $15 billion to Ontario’s economy. That is why we are supporting projects like the TMP-Bio pilot plant and working towards a new forestry strategy to open up the industry to jobs.”
Honorable John Yakabuski, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources
“I want to commend FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products on creating a unique partnership that helps our city, and the entire region, continue to build a strong value added forestry sector as well as a green economy. This project in its initial phases has created a number of jobs and has the potential to become a key employer in our region in the future. Where we are today is a result of not only the foresight of the two key partners, but also the support of the provincial and federal governments as well as Lakehead University and CRIBE. Congratulations and thank you to all involved in this very exciting project.”
Bill Mauro, Mayor of City of Thunder Bay
“What makes this project so exciting is the number of partners who came together to make it happen. Canada has the potential to be a global bio-economy powerhouse and collective, concerted initiatives like these will move us into the future.”
Derek Nighbor, President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
“FPInnovations is proud to be part of a project that will allow the Canadian forest industry to diversify its revenue streams while demonstrating its ability to innovate and transform itself. This project paves the way for a stronger bio-economy that will lead, in collaboration with our partners, to clean solutions and technologies that will benefit future generations. FPInnovations would also like to thank Natural Resources Canada for the additional funding announced today as part of their Clean Growth Program.”
Stéphane Renou, President and CEO of FPInnovations
“Innovation is an integral part of Resolute’s transformation strategy and long-term competitiveness. By hosting the bio-refinery at our Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill, we are helping to develop sustainable bioproducts and to generate new employment opportunities in the forest products industry.”
Yves Laflamme, President and CEO of Resolute Forest Products
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Statements in this press release that are not reported financial results or other historical information of Resolute Forest Products Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include, for example, statements regarding the expected benefits from the thermomechanical pulp bio-refinery production. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words “should,” “would,” “could,” “will,” “may,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “attempt,” “project” and other terms with similar meaning indicating possible future events or potential impact on our business or our shareholders.
The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance. These statements are based on Resolute’s management’s current assumptions, beliefs and expectations, all of which involve a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause Resolute’s actual future financial condition, results of operations and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release include, but are not limited to, any inability to achieve the expected benefits from the thermomechanical pulp bio-refinery production; and the potential risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of Resolute’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.
All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements set out or referred to above and in the Resolute’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Resolute disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.