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NAT develops eco-friendly process for making hemp & bast fibres
28
Jan '08
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc (NAT), a developer of proprietary technologies for processing and production of environmentally sustainable natural fibers announced its progress regarding commercialization of its CRAILAR fiber technology, as well as plans for the construction of its first CRAILAR production facility in Craik, Saskatchewan.

Craik Manufacturing Facility:
The Company has confirmed its intention to commence building its first CRAILAR manufacturing facility in Craik, Saskatchewan, in 2008, and this week commenced geo technical surveys on the future site.

The Craik facility will be designed as a primary processing facility using the patent pending decortication technology co-developed with the Alberta Research Council. Decortication is the technical term for mechanically stripping the outer fiber of the hemp stalk from the inner core fiber.

Secondary processing using the F-Series technology is also expected to occur at the same facility. Management expects that the Craik facility will have a nameplate capacity of producing 52 million kilograms (114M pounds) of feedstock fiber per year.

A Montreal-based engineering firm has been hired to design the process flow and building specifications. A second engineering firm has been hired to conduct geotechnical surveys in Craik, which are already underway. The Company expects engineering plans and specifications will be finalized in Q2, 2008.

The Company plans for the building to be constructed using Canadian Green Building Council construction guidelines wherever possible and that most of the utilities used in the manufacturing processes will come from renewable resources. The facility will be built on the 80 acres of land provided by the town of Craik to NAT in 2005.

CRAILAR Pilot Plant and F-Series Spinning Trials:
The Company's Proof of Concept facility in Ottawa, based at the National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Biological Sciences facility, where the first CRAILAR enzymatic process research and development technology was conducted, has completed initial commercialization trials, and moved into fiber processing for bulk spinning and testing.

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