After announcing the possibility of increasing folding carton capacity in Finland or Sweden, Metsä Board decided to start pre-engineering for a new folding boxboard production plant at its Kaskinen site in Finland. The pre-engineering phase will include technical design, design of infrastructure and logistics solutions and tendering for the main equipment. The company estimates that the possible investment decision could be made in 2024 at the earliest.
The new site would have an annual capacity of around 800,000 tonnes of folding boxboard. The consumption of raw materials, energy and water per tonne of boxboard would be significantly lower than at the existing sites, and the pre-engineering for the new plant is based on fossil-free production.
The Metsä board sees further growth in demand for packaging made from renewable raw materials and the replacement of plastic. The company claims that global demand for fresh fibreboard has been growing at 2-3% per year and is expected to grow at the same rate in the future. «The investment, when decided, is in line with Metsä Board’s strategy to grow in fibre-based materials and renew our industrial operations» says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board. «Our ambition is to have the world’s most resource-efficient mill, cutting-edge competitiveness and a product concept that enables carbon footprint reduction. Demand for packaging made from renewable raw materials and replacing plastic will continue to grow. We want to meet this demand with more sustainable packaging solutions that promote the circular economy».
The company already has an expansion project underway at its integrated Husum site in Sweden that will increase the company’s folding boxboard capacity by approximately 200,000 tonnes per year. The project is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2023 and the final additional capacity should be reached by the end of 2025. The plant is currently capable of producing up to 400 thousand tonnes per year of folding cartonboard, 250 thousand tonnes per year of white-top kraftliner and 730 thousand tonnes per year of bleached kraft pulp.