Metsä Spring and Valmet take next step towards novel wood fibre-based 3D products. The pilot plant is to start up by the end of next year.
Metsä Spring, the innovation company of the Finnish Metsä group, and technology company Valmet will make a joint €20m investment to build a pilot plant for the production of new products from wood fibre.
This is the next step in the joint project announced last February. The R&D project aims at developing wood fiber-based products to replace similar products made out of fossil resources, especially in consumer products like packaging.
The pilot plant will be built at Metsä's Äänekoski industrial complex in Finland. "The technology applied in the pilot plant converts wet wood pulp into final 3D fibre products," Metsä group announced. The construction of the pilot plant will begin this autumn and the plant is expected to go online by the end of 2021.
"The pilot plant will be used for the continued development of both the manufacturing technology and the 3D fibre product. If the pilot plant phase validates the concept as sound, the next step would be the construction of a commercial factory in the following years, " Metsä Group and Valmet said in a joint press release.
The Metsä Spring-Valmet project is part of the ExpandFibre programme launched by Fortum and Metsä Group. It focuses on upgrading pulp fibre from straw and wood into new bioproducts. "Its ambition is to meet the growing demands for sustainable textile fibres and other added value biomaterials," according to the ExpandFibre website.
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