VICTORIA – Bast Fibre Technologies Inc. (BFT), a manufacturer of premium natural fibres located in the Vancouver Island Tech Park, completed its purchase of Lumberton Cellulose LLC in North Carolina from Georgia-Pacific in February and has changed its name to BFT Lumberton.
The acquisition of the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility enables BFT to significantly expand capacity to over 30,000 tonnes per year, while establishing BFT Lumberton as one of the largest fully-integrated natural fibre processing parks in North America.
“As changes in consumer preferences and single-use plastics legislation drive demand for alternatives to synthetic fibres, consumer brand companies are seeking to manufacture products using fibre with minimal ecological impacts,” says BFT President Jim Posa. “The BFT Lumberton plant will produce all-natural, clean, soft, compostable fibres that are capable of displacing synthetics fibres in many nonwoven and textile applications and will bring valuable cleantech sector jobs to the local community.”
Patrick Atagi, President and CEO of the National Industrial Hemp Council, states “BFT’s acquisition of the Lumberton facility is great news for the rapidly expanding North American hemp industry. We’ve seen tremendous growth in demand for industrial hemp products made from the hemp stalk, particularly in construction and animal bedding. This facility provides confidence to domestic hemp growers and processors that there’s a reliable market for hemp fibres and a viable path towards whole-plant utilization.”
In addition to the planned capacity increase, the acquisition of the Lumberton facility diversifies BFT’s natural fibre offerings allowing entry into complementary product categories for cosmetic cotton, filtration, hygiene, and other nonwoven applications.