LignoTech South Africa – the 50:50 joint venture between South Africa’s Sappi and Norway’s Borregaard – is celebrating 20 years of operations.
The KwaZulu-Natal-based lignin extraction plant was first commissioned in December 1998 and officially opened in 1999.
Designed to generate revenue from a previously-unused component of the effluent stream from Sappi’s Saiccor mill, the plant is one of the largest lignosulphonate manufacturers globally.
Lignosulphonate is used as binding and dispersing agents in a wide range of agricultural and industrial applications.
According to Sappi group technology head Gary Bowles, the “innovative venture” continues to benefit all stakeholders.
The partnership produces high-value-added products from a local raw material, creates more than 100 jobs, generates export revenues for South Africa and has a positive impact on the environment, comments Borregaard CEO Per A. Sørlie.
LignoTech South Africa’s output is sold in South Africa and exported to countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and South America and is used in a range of applications including, but not limited to, dust suppression, concrete additives, pelleting agents in animal feeds and mineral granulation aids.