Acquisition of Zelam boosts Lonza’s presence in engineered wood and crop protection sectors

July 24th 2016

As mentioned in our earlier story, Zelam is one of the latest additions to the Lonza family with a core strength and unique offering around research and development.  The company also has a strong intellectual property portfolio associated with formulation technology and development.

Providing for domestic and international crop and wood protection markets, Zelam operates a modern formulation plant, coupled with world-leading formulation development capabilities.

The Zelam wood protection offering is largely focused on the engineered wood sector, that is, providing mould, decay and insect protection to wood products using innovative treatment methods such as ‘glueline addition’, where the preservative is added to the wood product during the manufacturing process.

Zelam General Manager Andrew Thompson said, “The recent change of ownership to Lonza extends the global market access for Zelam formulation technology and offers many exciting opportunities for the New Plymouth based R&D team.”

“Each year, the company invests up to $3 million in chemistry, field trials and analysis.  Zelam is further acknowledged by the Callaghan Innovation Grant, a government initiative which supports R&D focused businesses in New Zealand.  The aim of the grant is to accelerate innovation by firms in New Zealand, so that they turn ideas into marketable products and services more quickly and successfully.  We think this will be of immense benefit to the wood protection industry”.

Rob Buttimor, Zelam’s Senior Research Scientist, originally hails from Ontario Canada and has a Masters in Food Science and Technology with over 10 years’ experience working in agricultural chemicals and food science.  Rob is a keen outdoors man with interests in surfing, rock climbing, hunting and fishing. He was travelling through New Zealand and spending some time surfing in New Plymouth when the opportunity to join Zelam came up in 2015 as a formulation scientist and lab manager. “I was very interested in the diversity of markets and products that Zelam worked in and how I could apply my knowledge in these different areas, and of course there are the great lifestyle benefits of living and working in the Taranaki region.  It was too good an opportunity to pass up and the Zelam team have unique capabilities in research and development.”