Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring and Valmet last December bagan construction of the 3D fibre product pilot plant in Äänekoski, Finland. The pilot plant enables testing and further development of the novel process for producing of a new type of packaging solution.The greenfield building will host the pilot line, which converts wood fibre into ready-to-use 3D fibre products, which, in turn, can replace similar packaging solutions made from plastic and aluminium. The goal of the pilot plant project is to develop a new competitive product and the supporting production process and equipment.
“Our project is a good example of our role as a pioneering company. We have an ambitious goal to build a significant business based on the top-class know-how of Metsä Group, Valmet and several other companies. We use familiar, sustainably-produced wood fibre as our main raw material and strive to process it into first-class packages while minimising the environmental impact. The pilot plant is developing and testing many new innovations that support, for example, our goal to replace plastic in various packaging solutions,” said Jarkko Tuominen, Project Lead at Metsä Spring.
Construction of the pilot plant began on December 10 and the plant is scheduled to start operations in late 2021. The location of the pilot plant, in a globally unique bioeconomy ecosystem, is ideal – for example – the company claims – Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct mill, Metsä Board’s paperboard mill and Excellence Centre, Metsä Wood’s veneer mill, Pro Nemus visitor centre and Metsä Spring’s and Itochu Corporation’s demo plant producing textile fibre from wood pulp are all located on the site.