VANCOUVER – Vancouver-based Allnorth is engineering the first mill in Europe to produce pulp based on alternative fiber from wheat straw and other plant-based agricultural by-products. Essity is building the non-wood pulp mill in Germany, which will be the second in the world, after US-based Columbia Pulp – another Allnorth project.
The $56.4-million mill will be built in Essity’s existing mill in Manheim, Germany. It is expected to be complete and producing products in the second half of 2020.
Essity has signed a license agreement securing exclusive European rights to a new proprietary technology to produce pulp from wheat straw, the waste from agricultural activity. This process will enable Essity to contribute to its sustainability goals by reducing water, energy and chemical use. The pulp from this innovative technology will replace conventional wood-based pulp, at a competitive cost.
“Allnorth is excited to be involved in this project with Essity, one of the world’s leading producers of tissue and a company that shares our commitment to sustainability,” said Darby Kreitz, Allnorth’s CEO.
“We are proud to be working on an international level to support our clients’ innovation in the pulp and paper industry.”
Allnorth is an engineering and technical services firm that started in Prince George, B.C., and now has offices in 16 locations across Canada and the US, and over 450 staff. The firm specializes in engineering innovative improvements to pulp and paper manufacturing processes and technologies. Mills using this technology require only 30 percent of the capital investment of a conventional wood pulp mill and operate at half of the cost.
“We see the use of wheat straw to create pulp as revolutionary – it’s a way to expand the pulp and paper industry to new agricultural-producing communities while also decreasing GHGs by reusing the straw, a waste product that is often burned,” said Darby.
“Wheat straw mills are a natural complement to the existing sustainable wood pulp and paper industry, and we look forward to the day that Allnorth plays a part in building wheat straw mills in Canada.”
Allnorth also engineered the first North American wheat straw pulp and paper mill in Dayton, Washington, which is currently in construction and expected to be completed in summer 2019.