RFP for Market Analysis of Residual Sugars and Acetic Condensate

Cosmo Specialty Fibers (CSF) is currently accepting proposals to carry out a comprehensive market analysis to determine the commercial viability of two residual mill products - Acetic Condensate and Cellulosic-Derived Sugars.   Given transportation economics, the market analysis is restricted to a specific geographical area including the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Oregon.


Cosmo Specialty Fibers is a Cosmopolis, WA-based producer of Dissolving Wood Pulps (DWP) supplying 140,000 metric tons annually to the international marketplace.   DWP is a high-purity pulp feedstock produced chemically from Western Hemlock in a sulphite process with an acid prehydrolysis step.  Feedstock applications depend on pulp purity levels and include such products as rayon, pharmaceutical and food grade uses, plastics, emulsifiers, and filters. 

The residual stream from the acid prehydrolysis, or spent pulping liquor, yields a number of potential biochemical building blocks including sugars, lignin and acetic condensate.  The proven volumes of these by-products have led the mill to consider the commercial opportunities that may be available in the marketplace.  A number of DWP mills worldwide (i.e.www.tembec.com) have taken advantage of these residual products for years, resulting in processes where the technology is not at issue but where market economics must be proven. 

Cosmo has now initiated strategic planning to include the utilization of residual cellulosic feedstocks to match market needs for sugars and renewably sourced chemicals such as acetic condensate. CSF has identified available feedstock volumes, chemical analysis, estimated conversion costs and technologies for the extraction of industrial sugars and acetic condensate, and seeks to understand the market potential for these products in the PNW region.

To that end, Cosmo has been supported by the WA State Department of Commerce to complete a market analysis of the commercial opportunities presented by the mills cellulosic residuals.  Cosmo Specialty Fibers is seeking proposals from qualified sources to carry out this market analysis.  The company fully expects to be engaged in the project in terms of bringing relevant mill operational research and data to inform the market analysis.

Project Scope

Cosmo has made the decision to focus on the commercial market opportunities for cellulosic-based industrial sugars and commodity acetic condensate.   Because of public policy volatility concerning the future of ethanol, Cosmo is not currently considering ethanol production as an option for its cellulosic sugars.  Given transportation economics, Cosmo believes a realistic geographical area for this market analysis would include the British Columbia Lower Mainland, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. The following is the scope of work required:

  • An overview of the nature and extent of markets for the identified products (industrial sugars and acetic acid) within the geographic market range including current and expected trends in demand, supply, price and typical procurement contract terms; 
  • Identify specific existing options for sales of projected CSF sugar and acetic condensate outputs including customers, volumes, and pricing;
  • Project possible sales timelines for the customer options identified above.
  • Outline the internal sales organization and management Cosmo would require to enter these markets;
  • Identify any near term substitute product competition and specific competitors, including similar facilities within the study catchment area;
  • Outline risks related to the industry and provide status;
  • Provide potential overall economic impacts of the project, including additional markets created and/or potential for rural economic development including capital investment, jobs, and public policy goal achievements;
  • Based on the above market analysis, provide market entrance recommendations.

RFP Structure and Evaluation Criteria

  1. In appropriate detail, summarize how the Scope of Work will be accomplished.
  2. List qualifications and experience relevant to the assignment.
  3. Quote fees and expenses.

Proposals will be evaluated under the following criteria:

  1. Examples of previous work in market analysis, and preferably in the product areas described above;
  2. Ability to complete the Scope of Work in the prescribed time period;
  3. Evidence of sufficient biochemical market knowledge/experience to provide high-value market entrance recommendations. 
  4. The ability to generate data trends regarding price, supply, demand, buyers and competitors;
  5. Proposed fees and expenses, and the value proposition inherent in those costs.

Proposal Guidelines

By Close of Business December 16, 2013 proposals must be physically received via courier, e-mail, fax or mail at the company address below and signed by an official agent or representative of the company submitting the proposal.  Late proposals cannot be considered and will be returned to sender.

On January 7, 2014, Cosmo will select the most qualified respondent to undertake the analysis.  Cosmo is not obligated to accept the lowest, or any, bid.  The successful respondent will be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Cosmo Specialty Fibers.  Cosmo will then arrange a mutually convenient time to provide a full briefing of the mill’s sugar and acetic acid background work, and any market work carried out to date.

By February 1, 2014:  Consultant will provide a formal update to Cosmo Specialty Fibers regarding progress on the scope of work.  Cosmo encourages the consultant to communicate with the company contact as needed.

By March 1, 2014: selected respondent will provide Cosmo Specialty Fibers with an electronic and written copy of the completed market analysis, and a narrative of anticipated actions based on findings.

If the completion of a proposal requires outsourcing or sub-contracting, this must be stated.  Any organizations being to be used for outsourcing or sub-contracting must be identified and described.

Costs must be itemized in terms of proposed fees and expenses.

Final contract terms and conditions will be negotiated with the successful bidder.  The final report will become the exclusive property of Cosmo Specialty Fibers and the WA State Department of Commerce.  Any questions during the submission period may be directed to the company contact below.

Proposal Submission/Company Contact

Sandy Corrion
Procurement Manager
Cosmo Specialty Fibers
PO Box 539, 1701 First Street
Cosmopolis, WA   98537