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Re:newcell settles on Ortviken for new Circulose production plant

Swedish recycler of cellulosic textile waste, Re:newcell AB has announced that it has decided to establish a new textile recycling plant for the production of its Circulose pulp at SCA Ortviken’s industrial area in Sundsvall. Re:newcell estimates that this establishment will create around one hundred new full-time jobs in a plant that, at full production, will recycle 60 000 tonnes of textiles annually which is about half of Sweden’s annual consumption of textiles.

Swedish recycler of cellulosic textile waste, Re:newcell AB has decided to establish a new textile recycling plant for the production of its Circulose pulp at SCA Ortviken’s industrial area in Sundsvall. Re:newcell estimates that this establishment will create around one hundred new full-time jobs in a plant that, at full production, will recycle 60 000 tonnes of textiles annually which is about half of Sweden’s annual consumption of textiles (photo courtesy Re:NewCell).

In August 2020, forest industry major SCA announced its intention to invest SEK 1.45 billion (≈EUR 140.58 million) in the production of chemically pre-treated thermo-mechanical pulp (CTMP) at its Ortviken paper mill in Sundsvall while at the same time, discontinue publication paper manufacturing at the site.

We are incredibly proud to soon put the shovel to the ground for our next plant. Increasing our capacity is a must to be able to meet the fashion industry’s great demand for our uniquely recycled material, said Patrik Lundström, the CEO of Re:newcell.

Re:newcell currently operates a smaller industrial-scale plant in Kristinehamn where the company has since 2016, developed and optimized its world-unique, patented recycling process.

Ortviken an ideal site

In September 2020, it was revealed that Re:newcell was evaluating the option to set up operations on the Ortviken site, leveraging on the existing infrastructure and available skilled labour force in the region.

The lessons learned from Kristinehamn will now form the basis for a new and larger facility that will operate in a building on Ortviken’s industrial site where SCA produced publication paper.

Sundsvall and Ortviken are an ideal place for us to establish our new plant. Since our recycling process is based on traditional pulp technology, almost all the infrastructure we need is already in place. The most important thing, however, is that there is a lot of great expertise in the area. I look forward to welcoming hundreds of new colleagues to Renewcell in the coming years, said Patrik Lundström.

Site preparation underway

Renewcell began the evaluation of Ortviken during this spring and in September, consultations were started prior to the environmental permit application. SCA is closing down printing paper production at Ortviken’s industrial site and will then prepare spaces for Re:newcell’s operations where one of Ortviken’s paper machines is currently located.

SCA has also begun work on establishing its own production of chemically pretreated thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) on the premises. In October, Ortviken will begin site preparations for Re:newcell, and building refurbishing is planned to start after the turn of the year.

We are delighted that Re:newcell has choosen Ortviken as the place of establishment. We know that Ortviken is a very attractive industrial site with good infrastructure and not least first-class logistics conditions., said Ulf Larsson, CEO of SCA.

SCA will be the landlord for Re:newcell’s operations on the industrial site and provider of services such as steam, water purification, and other services. The first tonnes of recycled textile pulp under the brand name Circulose produced at Ortviken are planned to be shipped to customers during the first half of 2022.

Thanks to our experience from Kristinehamn and considering that so much is already in place, we can keep an ambitious timeline. The financing is ongoing and provided that the permit process runs smoothly, we will soon be able to recycle hundreds of millions of garments in Sundsvall every year. We will then start to make a real difference in an industry with a large and growing environmental and climate impact, ended Patrik Lundström.

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