Stora Enso is investing EUR 5 million to build a new production line and related infrastructure to manufacture formed fiber products at Hylte Mill in Sweden. The formed fiber technology enables manufacturing of products that are designed for circularity, meaning that they are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable and do not contain any plastic.
The formed fiber investment further strengthens Stora Enso’s opportunities to replace fossil-based products and contribute to combatting the global problem of plastic waste. First products are expected to be on the market by the end of 2019.
Formed fiber products are manufactured from various chemical pulps and chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) by pressing it into a desired shape in a molding machine. The raw material is pulp made from wood from FSC and PEFC certified, traceable sources in Sweden and Finland. Stora Enso will manufacture the raw material at its mills in Sweden and Finland and do the converting at Hylte Mill. The initial annual capacity during the pilot stage will be approximately 50 million units of product with the intention to expand.
The production line will be operated by a new business unit for formed fiber which will also conduct research and development of new formed fiber materials and technologies. Potential products include single-use food packaging items such as plastic-free cups, bowls, clamshells, plates and coffee cup lids as well as non-food applications, responding to the needs of eco-conscious consumers looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic.
“This investment is another step on our transformation journey to replace plastic and other fossil-based materials with renewable and recyclable alternatives. This investment allows us to help our customers build their brands as eco-friendly, circular companies,” says Sohrab Kazemahvazi, Vice President, Head of Formed Fiber.
Hylte Mill produces newsprint based on thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) and recycled fiber, and has experience from taking new production technologies into use, as Stora Enso’s biocomposite granules production line was inaugurated at the mill in 2018. At Hylte Mill, Stora Enso can make best use of the resources available to support the new investment: industrial infrastructure and highly competent workforce. The formed fiber business currently belongs to reporting segment Other.