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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Feds urged to support Boyer's new product

THE Federal Government has been urged to match the State Government’s $1.5 million contribution to ensure that a new bio-chemicals industry is successfully established in Tasmania - and at the Boyer mill in particular.

Visiting the mill yesterday, Australian Forest Products Association chief executive Ross Hampton said a whole new generation of eco-products could be derived from tree fibre. Boyer is the site of a large-scale prototype plant being developed by Norske Skog and Circa Group.

The joint venture between Norske Skog and Circa will manufacture a non-toxic bio-solvent called Cyrene which it is said could replace existing solvents used in pharmaceutical and specialty materials manufacturing.

The Tasmanian Government announced last November that it would provide $1.5 million towards the plant. Mr Hampton said Circa was now seeking a $1.5 million from the Federal Government to enable it to complete the “labyrinth” of European and US regulatory approvals and standards that such a 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,” Mr Hampton said.

Circa Group chief executive Tony Duncan said the Boyer plant would use use certified plantation-sourced biomass and processing waste to produce a non-toxic alternative to fossil-fuel-based solvents. "Markets in Europe and North America are looking for alternatives to replace these substances of very high concern (SVHCs) and currently there are few available," Mr Duncan said.

"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."

The Federal Member for Lyons, Eric Hutchinson, was also part of the group visiting Boyer on Tuesday, along with the Assistant Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston.

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