October 3, 2005

Nippon Paper Industries to Commence Agribusiness with Original Botanical Biotechnology-Producing Bio-Plantlets

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Masatomo Nakamura) will commence the production of bio-plantlets in April 2006, employing botanical biotechnology developed by the Company at the Forestry Science Research Laboratory.
A branch laboratory of the Forestry Science Research Laboratory has already been set up at Komatsushima Mill (Komatsushima City, Tokushima Prefecture). A plantlet production mill will be constructed on the premises of Komatsushima Mill by April 2006.
The new business will involve the production and distribution of the plantlets of gardening trees and fruit trees, which have been difficult to mass-produce with conventional technologies because of the problems in rooting from cuttings. The company aims at achieving annual sales of over 1.5 billion yen.
Nippon Paper Industries has developed array technologies that have the potential to form the core of botanical biotechnology at the world' highest level, to ensure efficient production of eucalyptus, a raw material of paper. By using these technologies, including photoautotropic cultures, quality bio-plantlets can be mass-produced within a short period of time.
In the new business, the company is planning to put in place a system for producing 500,000 trees a year by fiscal 2008. The business will target high value-added species such as tee plants, the market for which has recently expanded, as well as cherry and silver dollar tree.
In addition, with its ability to rapidly mass-produce quality bio-plantlets of diversified species using its technologies, Nippon Paper Industries will also consider undertaking contract production of bio-plantlets, in response to the needs of customers.
Details of the business will also be presented at the Agribusiness Creation Fair 2005 to be held at Tokyo International Forum for two days, October 6 and 7 (free of charge).