UPM Biochemicals grows lignin business with new Domtar supply agreement

UPM and US-based pulp and paper producer Domtar Paper Company LLC have signed an agreement for UPM to acquire the total annual kraft lignin production of Domtar’s Plymouth Mill in North Carolina, US, as of January 2021. This step enables UPM to expand its role in the growing lignin business and different application segments.

Following the agreement, UPM will increase its supply of kraft lignin by more than 20,000 metric tonnes annually. Part of the supply will be used to complement the existing UPM BioPivaTM product family. UPM lignin products will be sold globally through UPM’s sales network and are supported by strong technical expertise.

“We are very pleased to have agreed this new supply agreement with Domtar. It enables us to expand our lignin business in the growing biochemicals market before the start-up of our Biorefinery in Leuna, Germany,” said Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals.  

“These additional volumes of kraft lignin and the increased security of supply will enable us to serve our customers even better. The demand for sustainable kraft lignin solutions has been increasing steadily and customers value our strong sustainability credentials and proven technical expertise,” added Christian Hübsch, Director, Lignin Business at UPM Biochemicals.

“Domtar is excited to partner with UPM to provide sustainable alternatives to fossil-based products,” said Steve Henry, Domtar’s vice president of strategy and business analysis.

Kraft lignin products such as UPM BioPivaTM are used as a renewable alternative to fossil-based products in a growing range of applications, such as lignin-based phenolic resins. They offer high technical performance, with a considerably improved environmental footprint.

UPM is currently building an industrial scale biochemicals refinery in Leuna, Germany, to produce biobased Monoethylene Glycol (BioMEG), Monopropylene Glycol (BioMPG) and industrial sugars as well as renewable functional fillers and lignin from sustainably sourced hardwood.