In a significant move for the construction industry, MEDITE SMARTPLY, producers of innovative timber panel products, has signed a commitment as part of a consortium planning the construction of the world’s first Tricoya® wood chip acetylation plant. To be built in Hull, the plant will produce the raw material for the manufacture of MEDITE® TRICOYA® EXTREME, the market leading high performance wood panel.
The consortium is between MEDITE SMARTPLY, chemical technology group Accsys, venture capitalists BP Ventures and Acetyl industry leader BP Chemicals. The plant, due to come on stream in 2019, will produce Tricoya Wood Elements using Accsys’ proprietary technology for the acetylation of wood chips and particles. These acetylated elements are used to manufacture the high performance MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME Medium Density Fibre panels.
The panels exhibit outstanding durability and dimensional stability which allow them to be used in exterior and wet area applications once limited to products such as concrete, plastics or metals. With the added benefits of light weight, sustainable raw materials and a guarantee of up to 50 years above ground and 25 years in ground, these revolutionary panels provide architects, specifiers and designers with an entirely new construction material, allowing great design flexibility and endless opportunities for creativity. MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME was launched in 2012 and demand has outstripped supply consistently since that time. With a buoyant building market and huge demand for this product, the factory will not come on stream a moment too soon for the team at MEDITE SMARTPLY.
Neil Foot, MEDITE SMARTPLY CEO, is clearly delighted with this development: “The commitment to develop this facility is a huge step forward, providing the opportunity to significantly increase our manufacturing volume and unlock interesting new markets where wood-based products would not previously have been applicable. It’s a very exciting development for the company and the construction industry as a whole.” Two years in the planning, the €68 million venture will see the construction of a new factory adjacent to BP’s existing acetyls facility and the place where much of the original research and development into wood acetylation was carried out. Anticipating an accelerating demand, the consortium envisages constructing the plant in such a way that further capacity can be added to the site as required.
For MEDITE SMARTPLY this is a game-changing development, enabling the rapid development of the market for MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME into a new era for the use of “high technology wood” in new applications.