Fortum and Metsä Group join forces with Business Finland to create a world-class R&D programme with pulp fibre from renewable and sustainable sources as its node. The 4-year joint R&D programme, called ExpandFibre, aims to develop ground-breaking technologies and smart business concepts that are required to convert straw and wood pulp fibre into novel bioproducts, such as textile fibres. The R&D programme has been granted EUR 20 million from Business Finland.
The paper recycling industry is little more than 20 weeks away from a turning point. China has established itself over recent years as the dominant export outlet for recovered fibre surpluses arising in other parts of the world, but the country will be closing its doors from the end of this year and so final shipments will be need to leave Europe, for example, as early as mid-November.
PulPaper, an international event of the forest industry, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, next spring, will highlight the innovations and future opportunities of the bioeconomy. The event, to be held on the theme of “Building tomorrow’s bioeconomy”, emphasises the diversity of the forest bioeconomy and presents concrete applications and products. PulPaper will be held from 27 to 29 April 2021 at Messukeskus in Helsinki.
Valmet will supply a central control and data collection system to operate PVO-Vesivoima’s hydro power plants in the Iijoki, Kemijoki and Kokemäenjoki rivers in Finland. The order was included in Valmet's orders received of the first quarter 2020. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The system will be handed over to the customer in January 2021.
International technology group ANDRITZ has received an order from Klabin for a complete biomass gasification plant and a new biomass handling line for their Ortigueira mill in Brazil.
Stora Enso and Cordenka have signed a joint development agreement to develop precursors for bio-based carbon fiber. The co-development is driven by the need for high performance carbon fiber in transportation, construction and power generation.
Valmet and Metsä Fibre, which is part of Metsä Group, have signed a preliminary agreement according to which Valmet will deliver key technology covering all main process islands and automation systems to Metsä Fibre's planned Kemi bioproduct mill in Finland. The final agreement is subject to Metsä Fibre's investment decision. Metsä Fibre has announced that the readiness for the decision is expected to be reached during autumn 2020. If materialized, the new bioproduct mill would have an annual pulp production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes and in addition produce various other bioproducts. The production of the new mill is scheduled to begin in 2023.
Valmet will deliver a biomass-fired boiler plant to Tampereen Sähkölaitos Oy’s Naistenlahti power plant in Tampere, Finland. The new Naistenlahti 3 boiler will replace the Naistenlahti 2 boiler that has reached the end of its technical lifetime. The order is included in Valmet’s orders received of the second quarter 2020. The value of the order is approximately EUR 70 million. The boiler plant will be handed over to the customer at the end of the year 2022.
Getting paper recycling to even higher levels and improving the recyclability of paper based products - this is the main mission of the European Paper Recycling Council, an industry platform gathering associations along the paper value chain. This value chain is now further completed as EuRIC is signing the declaration on paper recycling.
A thousand litres of seawater can contain up to 8.3 million particles of microplastics. Until now, identifying these very small particles has been difficult – usually they are only detected once they have accumulated in the bodies of fish. A method developed at VTT utilises nanocellulose structures for early particle identification. Nanocellulose would allow particles to be captured even before they enter waterways. The properties of nanocellulose films and hydrogels support the identification and capture of very small microplastic particles.
Materials based on natural fibres are an interesting alternative to replace fossil-derived plastics. In the future, they may replace plastics in, for example, packaging, hygiene products, building materials and textiles. The Piloting Alternatives for Plastics project brings together a wide range of Finnish and international companies to take materials developed in laboratories towards more industrial production. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, VTT and companies.
Cepi, the Confederation of European paper industries and its members across Europe, strongly support the initiative of Pascal Canfin, Chair of the Environment Committee at the European Parliament, to launch a European alliance for a Green Recovery. Cepi joins 180 political decision-makers, business leaders, trade unions, NGOs, and think tanks who have come together to create the alliance.