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Ground breaking for novel woodchip acetylation plant

Tricoya Technologies Ltd has broken ground for the first phase of construction at the site of the world’s first "Tricoya" wood chip acetylation plant at Saltend Chemicals Plant, Hull, UK. Tricoya is widely recognised as the gold standard for manufacturing high-performance wood-composite panels that can be used in wet environments.

Members of the Tricoya consortium to build, fund and operate the world’s first woodchip acetylation plant at Saltend Chemicals Park. (L-R) Mark Jones OBE, Hull City Council; Akira Kirton, BP Ventures; Pierre Lasson, Tricoya Technologies; Gerard Britchfield, Medite Europe DAC; Paul Clegg, Accsys and Nigel Dunn, BP Chemicals (photo courtesy Coillte). Members of the Tricoya consortium to build, fund and operate the world’s first woodchip acetylation plant at Saltend Chemicals Park. (L-R) Mark Jones OBE, Hull City Council; Akira Kirton, BP Ventures; Pierre Lasson, Tricoya Technologies; Gerard Britchfield, Medite Europe DAC; Paul Clegg, Accsys and Nigel Dunn, BP Chemicals (photo courtesy Coillte).

Tricoya Technologies Ltd, a subsidiary of UK-headed Accsys Technologies PLC has broken ground for the first phase of construction at the site of the world’s first “Tricoya” woodchip acetylation plant at Saltend Chemicals Plant, Hull.

According to a statement, Tricoya acetylated wood elements, including chips, fibres and particles are a “revolution” in modified wood fibre technology and Tricoya is widely recognised as the “gold standard” for manufacturing high-performance wood-composite panels that can be used in wet environments, both internally and externally.

Plant start 2019

The new plant is being funded, built and operated by a consortium of companies formed in March 2017 including Accsys Technologies, BP Ventures, BP Chemicals, Medite, Business Growth Fund (BGF) and Volantis. The plant has also received funding from the Green Port Growth Programme and from the EU LIFE programme.

The total funding requirements for the Tricoya Hull project are expected to be approximately EUR 68 million. Preconstruction engineering and design work for the plant was finished in 2016 and its construction is expected to be completed by early 2019.

The Hull Plant is expected to have an initial annual capacity of 30 000 tonnes of acetylated Tricoya woodchips, enough to produce approximately 40 000 m3 of Tricoya panel products per annum.

Off-take deal

Tricoya panels combine the stability and durability of non-wood materials with all the advantages of wood-composite panels: sustainability, versatility, light weight and ease of use, installation, coating and forming. Tricoya panels are said to be “the biggest innovation” in the wood industry for 30 years and are guaranteed for 50 years above ground, 25 years below ground.

With superior durability and stability, Tricoya has a considerably longer lifespan than unmodified wood products which leads to lower maintenance frequency. Furthermore, it is non-toxic providing no restrictions in end of life or reuse of panels.

Consortium partner panel board manufacturer Medite, part of the Irish forest company Coillte Group, has been a long term development partner for Tricoya since 2009 and has been successfully producing and selling Medite Tricoya panels for market development since 2012.

However, the manufacturing costs of producing Tricoya wood elements using chipped “Accoya” wood, an acetylated solid wood product, are approximately 50 percent higher than the expected cost of producing Tricoya wood elements in a dedicated, continuous process flow plant.

Medite has an off-take agreement under which, in the first year of production at the Hull Plant, a minimum of 6 000 tonnes of Tricoya wood elements per annum, representing 20 percent of the plant’s annual design capacity is “to be sold or paid for” by Medite.

As production at the Hull Plant increases, this off-take agreement provides for the ramp up in Medite’s commitment, reaching a minimum of 12 000 tonnes, representing 40 percent of the total design capacity, by year six.

Facts

About Accsys Technologies

Headquartered in the UK, Accsys Technologies PLC is a chemical technology group, focused on the acetylation of wood. The primary focus is on the production and licensing of “Accoya” solid wood and “Tricoya” wood elements technology. The company operates an Accoya wood production facility in the Netherlands.

Manufactured through the company’s proprietary acetylation process, these products exhibit superior dimensional stability and durability compared with other natural and treated timber and wood elements such as woodchips, fibres and particles.

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