Symbiosis creates significant benefits and opportunities
Metsä Group’s industrial ecosystems are creating new business operations across sectors. In addition, they offer small and medium-sized bio-based companies a unique opportunity to manufacture innovative bioproducts next to a world-class industrial plant.
One example of Metsä Spring's investments is a pilot plant to be built in the area of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill to develop wood-based 3D fibre products. The novel product could replace, for example, food packages made out of fossil raw materials. The product is made directly from wet wood fibre pulp without intermediate steps. The pilot plant is a joint investment of Metsä Spring and Valmet.
In connection with the Äänekoski bioproduct mill, there is also a demo plant producing a new kind of textile wood-based textile fibre from the bioproduct mill's pulp. The demo plant is a joint venture between Metsä Spring and the Japanese Itochu. Textile fibre production is based on a direct dissolution method, which takes advantage of a new pulp-dissolving compound and is more environmentally friendly than current manufacturing methods for textile fibres.
At the Äänekoski mill site, there is also Metsä Fibre's plant producing biogas and biopellets from sludge from the mill’s wastewater treatment facility. Sludge generated during pulp production used to be regarded as waste that needed to be disposed of by burning it. Today, it is directed through pipes to the EcoEnergy plant, and is used for biogas and biopellets. The plant is the first one of its kind in the world.