Metsä Spring and Valmet construct a pilot plant in Äänekoski to develop a significant new added-value product for the forest industry
Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring and Valmet have decided to continue the development collaboration related to 3D fibre products and hence, to invest jointly approximately EUR 20 million in a new R&D project. As part of the project, a greenfield pilot plant will be built on Metsä Group’s mill site in Äänekoski, Finland. When operational, the pilot plant will employ roughly 10 persons. The technology applied in the pilot plant converts wet wood pulp into final 3D fibre products without any intermediate steps. In other words, the new environmentally-friendly 3D fibre products are ready to be shipped to end customers as such. “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. We have thus decided to accelerate the pace of development by constructing a pilot plant. I believe that our possibilities for developing a new significant added-value product for the Finnish forest industry are good”, says Jarkko Tuominen, head of the project at Metsä Spring.