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Opening ceremony held for first-of-its-kind MCC plant

Opening ceremony held for first-of-its-kind MCC plant
Nordic Bioproducts Group has opened its state-of-the-art production facility in Lappeenranta, Finland with a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by Olli Kähkönen CEO and co-founder of Nordic Bioproducts Group (photo courtesy NBG).

Finnish biomaterials startup, Nordic Bioproducts Group (NBG), has held a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the official opening of its first commercial-scale production facility for microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and other cellulose derivatives in Lappeenranta. Powered by the company’s proprietary "AaltoCell Technology", this first-of-its-kind facility represents a significant leap in manufacturing and enabling continuous and sustainable production at scale.

A spinoff from Aalto University, Nordic Bioproducts Group was founded in 2019 by Professor Olli Dahl and then Senior Commercial Officer Olli Kähkönen in cooperation with the Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering.

The facility is designed to ensure quality and purity in microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) production, and features the world’s first continuous production line of up to 10,000 tonnes of MCC per annum,

It also prioritizes environmental sustainability by producing zero solid waste and using only a fraction of the chemicals, water, and electricity compared to traditional MCC production processes.

Furthermore, based on the findings of an independent third-party study, the process achieves a significant 72 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to traditional methods.

Exponential demand growth

NBG’s activated cellulose fibers meet strict food container safety regulations and are uncompromising in quality and purity. They are derived from clean water and FSC-certified, traceable, sustainably managed forests in Finland, making them the perfect solution for the growing industry without compromising product quality or price (photo courtesy NBG).

The global demand for MCC is high, and the market is projected to grow exponentially by 2030. MCC and other cellulose derivatives are valuable ingredients utilized across diverse industries, enriching product properties and performance.

Moreover, the use of cellulosic materials fosters environmental sustainability by replacing non-sustainable and potentially harmful substances in a range of applications such as bioplastics, concrete, paints, textiles, glues, and insulation.

As the purest and most versatile form of cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose has been used in a range of industries for decades – from pharmaceuticals and food supplements to food ingredients, cosmetics, and skincare.

The world was changed when crude oil was discovered, and now it is time to revolutionize the world with cellulose-based materials! Our goal is to bring ground-breaking solutions to the market that don’t cause negative environmental impact. This factory is a big investment in the green transition, and we would like to invite all companies to join us in thinking about how can we ensure that the planet survives for the next generation. We can’t do it alone, but our mass production facility for cellulosic products, like MCC, is a good start, remarked Olli Kähkönen, CEO and co-founder of Nordic Bioproducts Group.

Ideal location

Lappeenranta was chosen thanks to its proximity to six existing pulp mills, local supply, and a short distance to seaports, ensuring supply chain security.

Additionally, all ingredients come from FSC-certified, traceable, sustainably managed forests.

The factory has been built to meet modern standards, being people-centric and enforcing employee satisfaction, and currently employs  20 staff with double that number expected in the near future.

Production ramp-up underway

The first production phase started in March 2024, and now, the plant is gearing up to its full production capacity of up to 10,000 tons of MCC produced annually.

The facility is expected to generate EUR 40 million in revenue in the first full operating year, aiming to triple the revenue in the following three years.

Nordic Bioproducts Group already has ongoing partnerships globally, including collaborations with Asian corporations Marubeni and Thailand’s PTT MCC.

With the full production capacity now operational, the company is poised to welcome clients from various industries and countries.

Our innovative product meets the future needs of the market and the strict ExciPact certificate requirements. Already today we have ongoing cooperation with leading pharmaceutical, bioplastics, and nutraceutical companies and distributors. We welcome all to test and try our MCC and other derived cellulose products to see the full potential, concluded Olli Kähkönen.

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