Borregaard and Rayonier invest in new lignin operation

(01.06.2015) Borregaard and Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM) have entered into a non-binding letter of intent regarding the establishment of a new lignin operation adjacent to RYAM’s Fernandina Beach pulp mill in Florida. The new company will be owned 55% by Borregaard and 45% by RYAM.

The Fernandina Beach mill manufactures specialty cellulose and lignin raw material as co-products from softwood. Utilising Borregaard’s know-how and technical expertise, the new company will initially manufacture lignin products suitable for concrete admixture and similar applications targeting primarily the North and South American markets. The products will be marketed through Borregaard’s international sales network and will represent a 30% increase in the lignin sales volume at full capacity.

It is anticipated that the project will be completed in two phases over 5 years. The parties estimate an aggregate USD 110 million for a capacity of 150,000 metric tonnes dry substance per year. The first phase is expected to commence commercial operations in 2017.

The new operation will benefit from the development work in the BALI project, and takes priority over a first BALI plant. Longer term, the BALI technology remains a strategic lignin raw material option for Borregaard.

Completion of the new operation is subject to board approval by both companies and conclusion of definitive agreements, as well as final engineering, refinement of capital estimates, and obtaining required permits and other approvals.

“The Fernandina Beach project represents an excellent growth opportunity for our lignin business in a global market which for some time has been supply constrained”, says Per A. Sørlie, President and CEO of Borregaard.

“Pursuing this opportunity with the leader in lignin-based chemistry significantly enhances the prospects for success while reducing operational and market-based risk,” says RYAM CEO Paul Boynton.

Borregaard operates the world's most advanced biorefinery. By using natural, sustainable raw materials, Borregaard produces advanced and environmentally friendly biochemicals, biomaterials and bioethanol that replace oil-based products. The Borregaard Group has 1080 employees in 16 countries and a turnover in 2014 of approx. NOK 4 billion (USD 500 million) to close to 100 countries worldwide. The lignin business constitutes close to 50% of the Group’s turnover with plants in 7 countries.

Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM) is the leading global supplier of high-purity, cellulose specialties natural polymers for the chemical industry.  The Company has more than 1200 full time employees and reported USD $958 million in revenue in 2014.  Rayonier Advanced Materials is consistently ranked among the United States' top 50 exporters and delivers products to 79 ports around the world, serving customers in 20 countries across five continents.

Sarpsborg, 1 June 2015

Contacts:
IR Director, Jørn Syvertsen, +47 958 36 335
SVP Organisation and Public Affairs, Dag Arthur Aasbø, +47 918 34 108