Stora Enso is investing 5 million euros to build a new production line and related infrastructure at the group’s Swedish plant of Hylte with the aim of manufacturing formed fiber products. The technology for the production of formed fiber products makes it possible to process renewable, recyclable and biodegradable products, which do not contain any plastics. The investment in the fiber forming further strengthens Stora Enso’s opportunities to replace fossil-based materials and contributes to fight against the global problem of waste plastic. The first products are expected to be launched on the market by the end of 2019.
Fiber formed products are manufactured from chemical and chemi-thermomechanical pulping (CTMP), whereby the pulp is pressed in the desired form in a moulding machine. Raw materials consist of wooden pulp from FSC and PEFC certified wood from traceable sources in Sweden and Finland. Stora Enso will produce the raw materials in its Swedish and Finnish plants and will then process them in the Hylte paper mill. During the pilot phase the initial annual capacity will be about 50 million units of product. The intention is, however, to further expand this production capacity.
The production line will be managed by a new business unit for formed fibers, which will also be involved in the research and development of new materials and technologies for formed fibers. Potential products include disposable food packaging, like cups, bowls, clam shells, plates and covers for coffee cups and non-food applications, thereby meeting the needs of green consumers who look for more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics.
«This investment is yet another step forward in our process of transformation to differentiate from plastics and other fossil-based materials with renewable, recyclable and biodegradable alternatives. And it enables us to help our customers build their brands as circular and environmentally friendly companies», says Sohrab Kazemahvazi, Vice President and Head of Formed Fiber.
The Hylte site produces newspaper from thermomechanical pulping (TMP) and recycled fibers, and has experience in the use of new production technologies, as Stora Enso’s production line of biocomposite granules was inaugurated exactly in this plant in 2018. In the Hylte plant, Stora Enso can make the most of its available resources, i.e. industrial infrastructures and highly skilled and competent workers, to support its investment.