The international trade of wood pellets has increased yearly for over ten years thanks to growing demand in Europe and Asia. Although shipments in the first half of 2022 were practically unchanged from the same period in 2021, an anticipated increase in demand in Europe in the second half of the year is likely to make 2022 another record year of close to 30 million tons shipped worldwide. The most significant change is the rising demand in Asia, with Japan and South Korea having become the second and fourth largest markets in the world, respectively. The United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium continue to be the major import markets in Europe.
In this year's “Hot Button Report”, released on November 9, 2022, by environmental NGO Canopy, Kelheim Fibres has once again achieved a top position with a dark green/green shirt and was able to improve its overall ranking by another 1.5 points compared to the previous year. The Hot Button Report thus confirms the viscose speciality fibre manufacturer's role when it comes to conserving Ancient and Endangered Forests.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has expanded the application of its Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) toolbox ProperTune beyond hard materials like metals to now model and design soft materials like wood, polymers and plastics. This allows companies to cut down product development time by at least 50%, decrease cost elements of product development, reduce environmentally harmful materials and design entirely new materials that perform better. This expanded use of ICME makes it fast and economically viable for the replacement of an increased number of unsustainable materials while providing improved material performance.
Global trade of softwood lumber fell about 10% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Most of the decline was driven by lower lumber demand in China, the US, and Germany. The slowdown in lumber consumption worldwide came at an opportune time since European countries, North America, and Asia boycotted Russian forest products after the country invaded Ukraine. As a result, Russia's lumber exports fell by over 30% y-o-y during the first six months of 2022 and are expected to fall further in the year's second half.
Viscose speciality fibres manufacturer Kelheim Fibres partners with TextileGenesisTM, an award-winning traceability platform that creates radical transparency from fibre-to-retail and ensures authenticity and provenance of sustainable textiles against generics.
Valmet will deliver a chip washing and EVO defibrating machine system to VRG Dongwha MDF, a joint stock company in Vietnam. The order is included in Valmet’s orders received of the third quarter 2022. The delivery is planned for September 2023. The value of the order will not be disclosed. A project of this size and scope is typically valued at around EUR 3–6 million.
Stora Enso’s new production site for cross-laminated timber (CLT) in Ždírec, the Czech Republic, was inaugurated earlier in October. Following a EUR 79 million investment, the new CLT site is one of the most modern in the world, supporting Stora Enso’s strategy of growth within wooden building solutions. With the new site, Stora Enso’s CLT production capacity will grow substantially to meet the increasing demand for sustainable, cost-effective and renewable building materials.
The new Rauma pine sawmill of Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, was inaugurated on Monday, 10 October 2022. The sawmill was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sanna Marin with Ilkka Hämälä, Metsä Group’s President and CEO, and Jussi Linnaranta, Chair of the Board of Directors of Metsäliitto Cooperative. With a value of EUR 260 million, the Rauma pine sawmill is the largest ever sawmill investment in Finland. The investment decision was based on the strong growth in global demand for sustainably produced premium sawn timber.
The new state-of-the-art pine sawmill in Rauma in Finland, owned by Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has moved from production test run to continuous sawn timber production. The sawmill is operating continuously in three shifts. Construction of the Rauma sawmill started in the spring of 2020, and the value of the investment is approximately EUR 260 million. This is the largest sawmill investment ever in Finland.
The world’s first autonomously operated logyard cranes have been successfully lifted up at Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. Supplied by international technology group Andritz, the delivery includes two 2 x 25-ton cranes on a 540 m long runway with a storage capacity of approximately 120,000 m3.
The significant reduction of water usage in paper manufacturing is based on an increasing rate of circular water usage in paper production. At sites which use predominantly recovered paper, the water circuits are often partially or completely closed. Despite the advantages associated with the resource protection, some adverse effects can be observed caused by an increasing accumulation of dissolved, colloidal and suspended material in the process water. This comprises in addition to hampered quality of the product also side effects like increased cleaning efforts caused by agglomeration and deposition of material on paper manufacturing aggregates. The potential to release substances to the aqueous phase during disintegration has so far not been considered in the method PTS-RH 021:2012 evaluating the recyclability of packaging products.
The 3D fibre product demo plant jointly owned by Metsä Group's innovation company Metsä Spring and Valmet was inaugurated in Äänekoski on Monday, 22 August 2022. The demo plant was inaugurated by Minister of Science and Culture, Petri Honkonen, President and CEO of Metsä Group Ilkka Hämälä and CEO of Valmet, Pasi Laine.