Äänekoski is a unique manufacturing environment for CMC

​Nouryon manufactures CMC at Äänekoski alongside Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct mill. The partners are committed to sustainability and growth.
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  • Biochemicals, Sustainability, Markets and trends, 2021

The partner ecosystem around Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct mill at Äänekoski is optimal for creating more sustainable business – and growth.

An outstanding example of this is Nouryon, a leader in specialty chemicals, which manufactures carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC, at Äänekoski.

CMC is a sustainable, bio-based water-soluble polymer made from pulp. It is used in a variety of end markets, including home and personal care, buildings and infrastructure, food, pharmaceuticals and packaging.

A special kind of atmosphere  

Nouryon in Äänekoski receives vital raw materials directly from the Metsä Fibre mill and produces up to 70,000 tonnes of CMC annually.

“Having the Metsä Fibre mill next door creates a special kind of atmosphere which makes collaboration very natural,” says Geert Hofman, Vice President, Construction Specialties, at Nouryon.

This type of side stream utilisation is a great example of a circular economy, giving birth to new business models and entire ecosystems.

Hofman describes it as ‘a green edge’, which is what Nouryon also seeks.

“We want to improve our operational footprint and reduce CO2 and other emissions as well as waste. And we prioritise safety in all our operations.”

He sees CMC as a very good business, with an excellent future.

Maximise the potential

Hofman is “extremely glad” that Nouryon has found a like-minded partner in Metsä Fibre – another strong player dedicated to sustainability and growth.

“We have a mutual interest in creating the best possible value from wood.”

In addition, Metsä Fibre and Nouryon have similar cultures and the same view of the future, he says.

“Metsä Fibre has demonstrated consistent quality and a high level of service. Also, the company’s commitment to the environment is considerable,” he says, referring to the Finnish maxim that when you cut down a tree, you always plant new ones.

“The role of wood will continue to grow and the seamless collaboration that we have in Äänekoski will be very valuable,” he predicts.

This article was originally published in Fibre Magazine issue 2020–2021. Read the whole article.