Everything is ready in Ruka, Finland, to host the first edition of the World Bioeconomy Forum. The preparations have been progressing swiftly, and the event has gathered interest worldwide: there are speakers and participants coming from as far away as Australia, Indonesia, and India. Actors responsible for EU’s latest biostrategy update will also be present.
There is a new company in the world bioeconomy: Metsä Spring Ltd, the new innovation company established by Metsä Group. The company will, together with partner organisations, invest in new endeavours with the target to identify and develop new business opportunities in sustainable forest-based bioeconomy and circular economy. Niklas von Weymarn has been appointed CEO of the company. He transferred to Metsä Spring from the position of VP, Research in Metsä Fibre, also part of Metsä Group. The office of Metsä Spring is in the heart of the internationally-acknowledged Otaniemi innovation campus in Espoo, Finland. The establishment of the new innovation company – the Finnish multinational company underlines – does not affect the current research and development activities of Metsä Group’s current business areas.
We receive and publish with pleasure this contribution sent by professor Olli Dahl (Aalto University, Finland), who presents a list of all the main investments and their products in Finnish bioeconomy, and considers whether the country’s forest resources can cope with so much new potential capacity in the forest industry sector.
The Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill start-up will begin in mid-August, and pulp deliveries from the new mill to customers will begin in early September. The current pulp mill at Äänekoski – the company announced – will be shut down once the bioproduct mill starts up.
Finland is the cradle of the bioeconomy. And maybe someone could someday propose to change the name from Finland to Bio-land. The latest news is that buses in the Helsinki region and most of machinery and trucks used by the City of Helsinki are switching to waste and residue-based biofuels. Helsinki Region Transport HSL, the City of Helsinki and the producers of renewable fuels involved in the project are all pioneers in carbon-neutral transport. The project is internationally significant.
In Finland, NC Partnering has launched a new bio-ecosystem called the BioFutureFactory, “a highly fertile growing ground for a multitude of emerging bio-economy projects and applications, and with the added beauty of being a concept that is a perfect example of circular economy”, explains Jukka Kantola, CEO of the Finnish company in a talk with Il Bioeconomista about this new project, which aims at bringing costs of the feedstock down to enable bio-operators to build their operations on sustainable, renewable and economical premises.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Flow Festival, which will take place between 12 and 14 August in Suvilahti, Helsinki, will be a carbon-neutral event, seeking to minimize emissions through comprehensive environmental work. Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, will provide Neste Renewable Diesel made 100% from wastes and residues to the generation of electricity requirements of Flow. Most of the electricity required for the festival will come from generators, as the electric grid in the area can only supply a small fraction of the power required for the event.
“Creating a common framework and standardised system to evaluate the bio-based products, along with mandatory targets for biosourced products in public procurement, would certainly provide a boost the European bioeconomy. Improving access to finance for research and innovation would also foster growth.” Arno van den Ven, Senior Vice President, Innovation in Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this long exclusive interview he talks about Stora Enso Biomaterials, the wood-based economy and how to foster growth in the European bioeconomy.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Metsä Group, the Port of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki have reached an agreement on the use of the harbour and the lease of an area for a terminal building of around 30,000 square metres. The terminal will serve as an export warehouse for the bioproduct mill and will be completed before the mill is inaugurated in the third quarter of 2017.
Finnish bioeconomy confirms its dynamism. KaiCell Fibers has embarked on a venture to construct a state-of-the-art biorefinery mill as core component in an industry park projected to house several downstream operators drawing on wood as primary raw material.
The project is based on an alliance between Kainuun Liitto (The Regional Council of Kainuu) and NC Capital Partners. KaiCell will tap into the Kainuu region’s extensive and currently under-utilised fibre wood resources, and incorporate BAT (best available technology) to ensure high value-added products, maximum raw material efficiencies and minimum environmental loads throughput the process. Production is planned to commence by 2020.