An ecosystem of bioeconomy companies

Industrial ecosystems created by Metsä Group and its bio-based partner companies make effective (100%) use of northern wood raw material, producing not only high-quality pulp, but also for example biocomposites.

In addition to its existing bioproducts, Metsä Group is developing new bioproducts, particularly under Metsä Spring, its recently established innovation company. “It’s important that new bioproducts are developed and the forest industry product portfolio is expanded in Finland. Metsä Spring is taking the forest-based bioeconomy and circular economy to an entirely new level and is actively developing new business concepts in cooperation with experts in various fields,” says Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring.

These co-developed bioproducts of the future are a strong indication of the forest industry’s ability to renew and offer sustainable alternatives that can be used to replace fossil raw materials.

Metsä Group’s industrial ecosystems create considerable synergy benefits for bioindusty businesses.
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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.


Easier logistics and a smarter approach to ecology

Markku Nikkilä, Managing Director of Elastopoli Oy, the company behind Aqvacomp, agrees with Mäki. “Industrial ecosystems created around pulp production offer many opportunities and synergy benefits for bio-based companies,” says Markku Nikkilä.

Aqvacomp manufactures biocomposite in the Rauma bioproduct mill area by combining plastic with pulp, which is used to reinforce the biocomposite. According to Markku Nikkilä, manufacturing biocomposite next to a bioproduct mill makes more sense, both logistically and ecologically.

“The direct connection between the mills also impacts the quality of our end product, as well as our energy consumption, as the pulp fibre used in our biocomposite can be mixed with the plastic while the pulp fibre is still wet, which saves energy and ensures consistent product quality,” Nikkilä closes.

For further information, please contact:
Niklas von Weymarn
CEO, Metsä Spring
Tel. +358 40 547 6977

Visit the Metsä Spring website


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