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Construction nearly complete at new Origin 1 plant in Sarnia

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Journal staff

Completion of a new manufacturing plant in Sarnia has been slightly delayed due to ‘severe weather conditions,’ officials say.

Origin Materials, the California-based carbon negative materials company building its first commercial manufacturing plant in Sarnia — Origin 1 —  says it anticipates a “slight delay to its previously disclosed timeline for mechanical completion,” a news release noted, adding that the plant is expected to be ‘mechanically complete’ this month.

Origin Materials under construction in Sarnia. (Submitted photo)

“All equipment necessary for completion is onsite and will be installed once current weather conditions subside,” the company stated. “Plant commissioning has started and we anticipate that commissioning will remain on track for completion by the end of Q1 2023, with start-up beginning shortly thereafter.”

The facility, located at the Arlanxeo site on Vidal Street, is anticipated to produce sustainable materials including chloromethylfurfural (“CMF”), which can subsequently be converted into high-performance products used in packaging, textiles, apparel, automotive, and other applications, as well as hydrothermal carbon (“HTC”). HTC can be used in fuel pellets, as activated carbon, and as a replacement for carbon black.

“Origin’s patented technology platform can turn the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful materials while capturing carbon in the process,” the company added. “The plant is expected to be able to convert an estimated 25,000 dry metric tons of biomass each year into products for a wide range of end markets.”

For the last 12 years, the company has developed unique technology that turns sustainable materials like wood residues into a wide range of materials including plastics that are carbon negative and fully recyclable.

The Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park on Modeland Road provided research space before the company decided to build its first plant in Sarnia.

As preparations are underway to hire 50 – 60 employees and ramp up production, Origin Materials recently won the 2022 Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) Global Biobased Economy Performance Award for its outstanding performance and achievements.

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