LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Work will begin shortly to begin earthworks and construction of a new Accoya® wood production facility in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, as part of the joint venture Accoya USA, LLC (“Accoya USA”) between Accsys Technologies PLC and Eastman Chemical Company. Engineering has already begun and long-lead equipment orders have already been placed, with the first “Made in the USA” Accoya expected to hit the market in 2024.
All environmental and construction permits have already been obtained, and the project is expected to create around 50 full-time jobs in its first phase, and more as it becomes operational as a production site. Hundreds of roles will also be created during construction and commissioning. A total of $80 million in bank financing was secured in addition to equity provided by Accsys and Eastman, with a total project cost of approximately $136 million.
Accoya wood has steadily grown in popularity globally, with its unrivaled combination of high performance characteristics, long-term durability in all conditions and outstanding sustainability credentials, including Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Gold. Currently, Accsys produces approximately 60,000 m3 of Accoya per year at its existing site in Arnhem, the Netherlands. This will rise to ~80,000m3 as the company completes the final aspects of the construction and commissioning of a fourth acetylation reactor. The Accoya USA plant will initially have an annual production capacity of approximately 43,000 m3 (~18 million board feet) supplied by two acetylation reactors, replicating Accsys’ proven design, technology and processes at its Arnhem site.
Independent research has shown a feasible market in North America of at least ten times this initial capacity: between 440,000 m3 at 950,000m3 per year. As with the Dutch Accsys facility, the design of the Kingsport plant incorporates equipment and space to allow for future expansion through the addition of additional acetylation reactors.
Accoya USA, LLC is a joint venture between Accsys (60%) and Eastman Chemical Company (40%), taking advantage of and benefiting from the synergies between the respective strengths of the two companies. Accsys is the only producer of acetylated wood in the world, with proprietary technology, processes and decades of know-how and proven success in manufacturing, marketing and selling durable, high-performance building materials. Sustainably grown wood from FSC® certified sources is a key raw material for the production of Accoya, and acetic anhydride is another. Eastman Chemical Company is a global leader in chemical and process engineering, the world’s largest producer of acetic anhydride, and has extensive experience leading projects for plant design and construction. The Accoya USA facility will be built and connected to the existing Eastman Kingsport site for seamless sourcing, integration and agreements in place for the “closed loop” reuse and recycling of acetyls.
Brad Lich, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Eastman, said:
“We are thrilled to partner with Accsys and excited to take this very important step. Eastman is committed to becoming a leading sustainable materials company, and Accoya’s value proposition as a sustainable building material is compelling. The great collaboration between our teams brings a wealth of complementary experience and knowledge, and positions Accoya USA, LLC very well to benefit from the synergy between our acetyls business and the Accoya production process. We look forward to advancing the Accoya USA story and realizing the great potential of the North American market.”
Rob Harris, Managing Director of Accsys, said:
“We are excited to officially begin creating a US home for Accoya production and to increase our global supply to meet the strong global demand for a more durable and better performing building material. This venture will allow Accsys to establish its base in North America, where our products have enormous market growth potential.
“Customers in North America – and around the world – are recognizing the benefits of using Accoya instead of other woods that don’t last as long, or suffer from swelling, shrinking and cracking when wet, and the sustainability benefits over other materials are both clear and highly sought after for decarbonizing our built environment.Choosing and using Accoya gives people peace of mind about durability and quality, reduces the environmental impact of construction and actually increases the carbon sink capacity of our buildings and cities.
“We have previously set out our plan to increase our production capacity fivefold by 2025 – from 40,000 m3 in 2018/19 at 200,000 m3 in 2025, and this step is a big step forward for our strategic vision. Working closely with Eastman Chemical Company to leverage all of our collective knowledge, experience, and expertise, Accoya USA, LLC is poised to make a big impact on North America, on Accsys, and in our goal. to change the wood to change the world. .”
A regulatory press release on this was issued earlier today and can be read in full on Accsys’ website at: www.accsysplc.com/investors/regulatory-news/.
For more information visit www.accsysplc.com