The equity financing company Metsä Spring Ltd., Espoo/Finland, a company belonging to Metsä Group, Helsinki/Finland, and Itochu Corp., Tokyo/Japan, have established a joint venture which will invests approx. €40 million in building and operating a test plant to demonstrate a new technology for converting paper-grade pulp into textile fibers.
The textile fiber demo plant will be located next to Metsä Group’s bio-product mill in Äänekoski/Finland. Construction of the demo plant, with an annual capacity of about 500 tons, begins in October 2018 and it is planned to be started up in late 2019.
The new technology to be studied and further developed in the demo project is based on direct dissolution using a novel solvent for the pulp dissolution stage. Metsä Group’s wet paper-grade pulp will be used as the raw material. The new technology is estimated to be more environmentally friendly than the textile fiber production technologies currently in use.
The textile fiber demo plant is the first investment of Metsä Spring, established in May 2018. Metsä Spring, together with partners, invests in new endeavors with the target of identifying and developing new business opportunities within the sustainable forest-based bio-economy and circular economy.