The owners of LignoTech South Africa, Borregaard, and the Sappi Group, have decided to permanently close the lignin production facility and to terminate the cooperation agreement.
According to Borregaard, the closure is a consequence of Sappi’s decision to convert the calcium sulphite pulp line at Sappi’s Saiccor dissolving pulp mill, which is the source of lignin raw material, to magnesium technology. After the conversion, the spent liquor from the pulping process will be burnt, and the energy and chemicals will be recovered.
The conversion of the pulp line will be completed mid-2021. In the interim period, the calcium sulphite pulp line will be operated to some extent, resulting in limited production of liquid lignin by LignoTech South Africa until the permanent closure comes into effect.
LignoTech South Africa, located in KwaZulu Natal, was established in 1997 as a 50/50 joint venture owned by Borregaard and Sappi. The company employs approximately 100 people.