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BFT completes Lumberton Cellulose acquisition

Expansion will establish one of the largest fully integrated natural fibre processing parks in North America.

18th February 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Victoria, BC, Canada

Medical/Hygiene, Clothing/​Footwear

Bast Fibre Technologies (BFT), headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia, has completed its purchase of Georgia-Pacific’s Lumberton Cellulose business.

The Lumberton site in North Carolina is a highly automated manufacturing facility that will now operate under the new name of BFT Lumberton.  

BFT plans to significantly expand its capacity to over 30,000 tons per year, 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 fibres with minimal ecological impact,” said 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.”

“We are very pleased to have a natural fibre supplier and INDA member bringing additional investment into the nonwovens industry and to North Carolina where we reside,” added Dave Rousse, president of the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA). “We wish BFT all the best with its plans in Lumberton.”

“BFT’s acquisition of the Lumberton facility is great news for the rapidly expanding North American hemp industry,” said Patrick Atagi, president and CEO of the National Industrial Hemp Council. “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. 

Lumberton plant manager Chuck Oxendine will continue in his role of overseeing the facility.

“BFT’s commitment to natural fibre innovation meshes perfectly with our extensive technical production experience here,” he said. “With the acquisition complete, we will continue to provide excellent service to our current customers and begin work on the site expansion to build new bast fibre manufacturing capacity.”

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