Specialty cellulose

Tembec is one of the world leaders in specialty cellulose, which is used in a tremendous range of applications across many industries – cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, personal care, food, coatings, electronics and energy.

Green energy game-changer

Tembec’s new $273 million green electricity facility at Temiscaming – the largest project in our industry in 15 years – is now generating power and a 25-year supply contract with Hydro-Québec is now in effect.

The centerpiece is an electrical turbine, driven by steam from a boiler using as fuel residuals of specialty cellulose manufacturing. It gives the site a generating capacity of 50 megawatts. Efficiencies related to the new boiler will also improve manufacturing productivity and reduce costs. A new scrubber and environmental control equipment will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 70%. All this will ensure the site’s future as a low-cost manufacturing operation. Visit Tembec's Specialty cellulose website for more on this project.

Specialty cellulose – what the world is made of

Refined from wood pulp, Tembec’s specialty cellulose has almost infinite applications including:

  • Texturizer – it makes dairy products such as chocolate gelato creamier.
  • Thickening agent – it makes cosmetic creams smoother and more luxurious.
  • Splatter control – it makes paint, mortar and plaster easier to use.
  • Strengthening agent – it can make eyeglass frames stronger.
  • Binder – it is essential in the production of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

It’s also a component of the liquid crystal displays on computer screens. And it can heighten the glossiness of inks, lacquers, nail polishes and varnishes.

Our specialty cellulose expertise makes us a reliable partner for our blue-chip customers in multi-billion dollar markets – such as personal care and coatings – that are growing in the range of 4% to 5% a year. 

In three of our main business lines – cellulose ethers, nitrocellulose and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) – we are the world’s leading producer. 

While the great bulk of our production is in high purity specialty cellulose, we also produce commodity dissolving pulp, used for viscose.

All our specialty cellulose products are available as Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified, your assurance they are made with fiber from responsible sources.

All specialty cellulose products made at our Tartas, France, operation are PEFC certified.

Custom manufacturing to customer specifications 

Our products have a high degree of purity – essential with food and pharmaceuticals – and brightness. And we manufacture to exacting customer specifications.

We have a high degree of control over viscosity, and complete flexibility in meeting customer requirements, because we source our ‘fiber baskets’ from diverse wood species, ranging from the maritime pine of Southwest France to the boreal forest of Canada.

At our R&D Centre in Gradignan near Bordeaux, France, we’re turning innovative ideas into customer success stories. Our scientists, engineers and technicians collaborate closely with our customers on developing new applications and higher grades.

Product characteristics and applications

What we do What customers do with our products
Products Business lines Market segments Applications

Tembec manufactures specialty cellulose, in rolls and bales, at two facilities:

  • Temiscaming, Canada
  • Tartas, France

Producers of
cellulose ethers

Pharmaceuticals Film coating for pills
Food Texturizer and stabilizer
Personal care Thickening agent
Construction Splatter control agents in paints, adhesives, mortar and plaster
Oil drilling Thinning agents in drilling mud
Producers of 
cellulose acetate
Textiles Fibers and threads for quality fabrics
Electronics Optical film for LCD technology
Consumer products Fibers for filtration media
Producers of nitrocellulose Cosmetics Nail polish
Paint Quick drying lacquers and varnishes
Specialty Inks and coatings
Mining Explosives
Producers of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) Pharmaceuticals Binder
Food Hydrocolloids

Operations, capacity and certifications

Facility Production capacity (annual) Cellulose ethers Cellulose acetate Nitrocellulose Microcrystalline cellulose Product certification
Temiscaming, Québec, Canada 160,000 metric tons Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified Chain of Custody
Tartas, France 150,000 metric tons     Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified Chain of Custody
PEFC Certified Chain of Custody

PEFC is the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification

Quebec supports Tembec’s modernization project in Temiscaming – June 28, 2013

Official announcement of a major investment at the Specialty Cellulose plant in Temiscaming, Quebec – March 16, 2012


For more information


Visit Tembec's Specialty cellulose website.


Q&A with our CEO

Jim Lopez on where Tembec has been, and where Tembec is headed:

Environmental achievements


  • Specialty cellulose sales, Canada

    Miguel Garcia
    Telephone: 416 775-2814
    Telephone: 416 775-2806
    Toll-free: 1 800 565-3021
    Fax: 416 621-3119
    405 The West Mall, Suite 800
    Etobicoke, Ontario
    M9C 5J1

    Fernando Fu / 傅萃祥
    Telephone: 416 775-2810
    Fax: 416 621-3119
    405 The West Mall, Suite 800
    Etobicoke, Ontario
    M9C 5J1

  • Specialty cellulose sales, France

    Philippe Stephano
    Telephone: +33 5 58 90 91 64
    Fax: +33 5 58 90 91 59
    20 avenue de la gare
    40 100 Dax France