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KaiCell Fibers to take sustainability all the way from stump to market

KaiCell Fibers Oy has announced that it has completed a technical-commercial feasibility study (FS) for its planned chemical and fibre products mill in northeast Finland bringing the ≈ EUR 1 billion project one step closer to becoming a reality.

KaiCell Fiber's proposed biorefinery has a planned annual capacity of around 450 000 tonnes chemical pulp.
KaiCell Fiber’s proposed biorefinery has a planned annual capacity of around 450 000 tonnes chemical pulp. KaiCell Fiber's proposed biorefinery has a planned annual capacity of around 450 000 tonnes chemical pulp.

In January, KaiCell Fibers Oy, a Finnish venture looking to set up a ≈ EUR 1 billion chemical pulp and fibre products mill in Paltamo, northeast Finland, announced that it had entered the full technical-commercial Feasibility Study (FS) stage. Having completed the said technical-commercial FS, mainly delivered by CTS Engtec Oy, KaiCell Fibers says it is “getting ready” for the next steps towards making the biorefinery in Paltamo, northeast Finland, a reality.

We shall now carefully study the FS findings and prepare us for Phase II, which will include the EIA (environmental impact assessment) and further developing of novel bio-products within commercial and business structure frameworks. The FS provides an excellent base for this. Land use plan of the mill site will commence shortly, along with many other concrete steps towards our ultimate objectives. The FS-study also serves to advance the financing process, which has been gathering steam during the FS process. KaiCell Fibers Ltd is privately owned and in the process of assembling private capital as base equity for the coming investments. The financial rounds are ongoing, said Jukka Kantola, CEO KaiCell Fibers Oy in a statement.

Forest lands in the Kainuu region cover over 2 million hectares, or around 8 percent of Finland’s total forested area. A good quarter of the Kainuu forest is excluded from commercial use. Out of the region’s annual growth, almost 7 million m3, about half is harvested, giving a utilisation rate well below Finland’s national level of close to 60 percent.

According to Kantola, the KaiCell Fibers concept is built firmly on the principles of sustainable development and brings new ways of thinking to the bioeconomy. Furthermore, over 90 percent of Kainuu’s forests are certified.

One of our key products will supersede toxic chemical use in major textile producing countries. One significant textile industry group is already engaging with us through a cooperation agreement. Entirely new bio-products are expected to materialise in BioFutureFactory, an innovation park aimed at small to medium sized companies along with institutions, poised to benefit from the mill’s side-streams, utilities and infrastructure. This will create a vibrant flurry of new business activity around the biorefinery in Paltamo, said Kantola.

Mill operations are based on the raw material available in the region, by dimensioning wood consumption around local forest growth within a radius of about 100 km thereby reducing the carbon footprint of transportation.

An increase of wood haulage distance from 100 to 300 kilometres grows the carbon footprint by 200 percent. It seems self-evident that transporting fresh wood, which is half water, over long distances makes little sense, ended Jukka Kantola

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