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Metsä and Itochu start JV to manufacture textile fibres in Finland

01 Oct 2018 − 

New technology is based in direct dissolution and the use of a novel solvent

Finland's Metsä Group and Japanese Itochu Corporation intend to jointly build a demo plant for the production of wood-based textile fibers. The two companies have set up a joint venture between Metsä Spring Ltd, the Finnish forestry group's innovation company, and Itochu. Around €40 million will be invested in the construction and operation of a pilot plant to test a new technology for converting paper pulp into textile fibers. The plant is to be built at the Äänekoski site in Finland next to the existing Metsä pulp and bioproduct factory and will have an annual capacity of 500 tonnes. Construction is scheduled to start as early as now in October 2018 and commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2019.

The pilot project is expected to take two to three years. "Based on the results of the demonstration project, we can then evaluate the technical and economic realities of building a clearly larger plant in Finland in the future", said Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring.

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