FINLAND (News release) -- Metsä Group's innovation company Metsä Spring and Valmet are building a demo plant in Äänekoski, Finland. The plant will manufacture new 3D fibre products for food packaging and other purposes.
The demo plant reached its full height on 23 March 2021 with construction work proceeding as planned. The main equipment delivered by Valmet will be installed in the autumn 2021, and the first test runs should begin at the end of 2021 - approximately 12 months after the start of the construction.
The advanced production process is efficient and flexible. Wood fibre from Metsä Group's mills could be used to produce large volumes of completely ready packages for different purposes.
"We've chosen technologies that help us minimise the consumption of raw material and energy in production. The plan is that nothing goes to waste. The demo plant is located in an industrial production site operating in Äänekoski, which ensures the availability of the raw material and entirely fossil free energy. It also enables the wise use of water and other resources. And there is no need to transport materials from distant locations," says Hulkko.
The combination of Metsä Group's expertise in production and packaging design, Metsä Spring's innovative organisation and Valmet's experience as a technology supplier enables the demo plant to create a foundation for significant future business.
The demo plant will manufacture wood-based packages, which can replace plastic and aluminium packages. Products are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and their raw material comes from sustainably managed forests, which are primarily owned by Finnish families. There is already now significant demand for the products, and the demand is estimated to grow in the future.