Metsä Spring and Valmet to build €20m pilot plant for 3D fibre products

Finnish firms Metsä Spring and Valmet will be working together to build a €20 million pilot plant in Äänekoski, Finland, to produce new products from wood fibre. The move forms a part of the two firm’s research and development (R&D) project, which focuses on the development of wood-based recyclable 3D fibre products to replace packages made using fossil raw materials. Metsä Spring (@MetsaSpring) project head Jarkko Tuominen said: “Our objective is to develop a novel wood-based 3D fibre product, which can replace, for instance, packages made out of fossil raw materials. The pre-study phase with Valmet was a success.

According to Metsä, the main raw material used to make the new products is renewable, sustainably-grown and Finnish wood fibre. The 3D fibre products are recyclable. However, in case recycling is not possible, the material decomposes also biologically. Maximising the energy and raw material efficiencies and minimising the distribution chain logistics are enabled by the light structure of the material and by a new manufacturing technology.

The short-term goal of the project is to develop a novel durable, environmentally-friendly and easy-to-use food package. Based on a recent customer survey, products like this are in high demand on the market, and the demand will grow further in the future. The aim is set for high volume market segments. The construction of the pilot plant begins in the autumn of 2020 and the pilot plant is expected to be ready for operation by the end of 2021. The pilot plant will be used for the continued development of both the manufacturing technology and the 3D fibre product.

Source: Biomarket Insights

Author: Kirsi Seppänen