The growing importance of a bioeconomy strategy based on renewable raw materials is clearly reflected in the program of the Zellcheming Conference - Cellulose-Based Materials. The great potential of cellulose, the main component of plant cell walls and thus the world's most abundant organic compound, will be addressed in 24 scientific and technical presentations by internationally renowned speakers.
Lumber trade flows changed almost instantly when Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Trade sanctions and restrictions in financial transactions by Europe, North America, and major markets in Asia halted shipments from Russia and Belarus. In addition, exports from Ukraine were also disrupted. The total lumber exports from the three countries in the war zone were 34 million m3 in 2021. Over 25% of that volume was exported to countries with current sanctions against Russia and Belarus.
Huhtamaki, global provider of sustainable packaging solutions, has strengthened its manufacturing capabilities in smooth molder fiber, a transformative and technologically advanced material which can be used to produce high-precision food packaging and replace rigid plastics.
Central European roundwood markets are at a turning point. Over the past four years, forests have suffered extensive damage from a spruce bark beetle outbreak in much of the region, leading to temporary increases in harvesting, lumber production, and log exportation. The infestation in the Czech Republic and Germany has resulted in record-high timber harvests over the past few years. As a result, from 2017 to 2021, annual roundwood removals were up 15% and at an unsustainable level.
Up to the age of three, a baby uses around 5,000 diapers - and although common disposable diapers score points with their convenient handling, parents are increasingly looking for a healthy and sustainable alternative to these products, which are in most cases synthetic. After all, they cause an enormous amount of plastic waste - in Germany alone, 10 million diapers are disposed of every day.
ABB has been awarded a major contract by NatureWorks, manufacturer of polylactic acid (PLA), a low-carbon bioplastic made from renewable agricultural resources, to automate their new, greenfield plant in Thailand, converting sugar cane to the polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer, IngeoTM.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Ellepot, and OrganoClick have partnered to provide 100% biobased and biodegradable solutions to the horticulture market. Organic 2.0 paper pot is an entirely organic-based solution to grow crops on an industrial scale. The new product has allowed the companies to enter the organic crop segment, which is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is to initiate negotiations on changes related to its plans to discontinue the sawn timber production in Kyrö. According to the plans, production will end in the summer of 2022. The change negotiations at the Kyrö sawmill concern all the sawmill’s 73 employees.
The construction of Wisdome Stockholm, a scientific experience arena, is now underway. The building at Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm has a pioneering design and will be a landmark object for sustainable and climate-smart construction in wood. Stora Enso is the main partner and delivers wood construction materials to Wisdome Stockholm.
Metsäliitto Cooperative, the parent company of Metsä Group, has divested its entire holding in Finsilva Oyj, i.e. approximately 20 percent, to Dasos Capital Oy Ltd's forest fund. Contracts between Metsä Group and Finsilva related to wood trade and forest services continue unchanged.
Wood fiber costs for pulp manufacturers have gone up in practically all countries covered by the WRQ over the past year. In the 3Q/21, the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was at its highest level since 2014, 8.1% higher than the 3Q/20. The most significant price increases have occurred in Western Canada, US South, Latin America, and Oceania.