The dynamic bioeconomy cluster in Finland offers huge growth potential with projects worth over two billion euros. Several important projects are underway, and many interesting new plans are currently being studied.
Metsä Group’s new bioproduct mill is progressing according to plan
The construction of Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill at Äänekoski has progressed on schedule and according to budget. The bioproduct mill was more than 82 per cent complete at the end of 2016. Preparations for the trial run and commissioning are underway. The mill will start operating in the third quarter of 2017.
The new mill is the largest forest industry investment in Finland. The total investment will amount to approximately EUR 1.2 billion, of which 40 per cent will be equity financed and 60 per cent debt financed. The mill’s annual pulp production will be approximately 1.3 million tonnes of which 800,000 tonnes will be softwood pulp and 500,000 tonnes hardwood pulp. All side streams from the mill are planned to be utilised in the ecosystem that will be formed by various companies around the mill.
The new mill will increase the consumption of pulpwood in Finland by approximately 4 million cubic metres per year, or approximately 10 per cent. The mill will use a total of 6.5 million cubic metres of wood raw material annually, which will mainly be sourced from Finland.
Stora Enso sees growth potential in the dissolving pulp business
Stora Enso has been producing dissolving pulp for about five years. In an interview by Metsälehti at the end of December 2016, Sakari Eloranta, Senior Vice President, Operations and Investment Projects at Stora Enso said that Stora Enso sees growth potential in the dissolving pulp business. The company is studying the possibility of expanding its production of dissolving pulp. However, Eloranta emphasizes that no decisions have been made as yet.
If a new production site is established, the location would most probably be Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill in Kotka, Southern Finland, or Enocell Mill in Joensuu, Eastern Finland.
Dissolving pulp is a specific type of wood pulp characterized by its high cellulose content, high level of brightness and uniform molecular-weight distribution. Stora Enso’s dissolving pulp is produced at Enocell Mill and mainly sold to customers producing viscose fibres for the textile industry.