Global forest products major Stora Enso Oyj has announced that it is investing EUR 5 million to build a new production line and related infrastructure to manufacture formed fibre products at its Hylte Mill in Sweden. The formed fibre technology enables the manufacturing of products that are designed for circularity, meaning that they are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable and do not contain any plastic.
According to a statement, the formed fibre investment further strengthens Stora Enso’s opportunities to replace fossil-based products and contribute to combatting the global problem of plastic waste. The first products are expected to be on the market by the end of 2019.
Formed fibre products are manufactured from various chemical pulps and chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) by pressing it into the desired shape in a molding machine. The raw material is pulp made from wood from FSC and PEFC certified, traceable sources in Sweden and Finland.
Stora Enso will manufacture the raw material at its mills in Sweden and Finland and do the converting at Hylte Mill. The initial annual capacity during the pilot stage will be approximately 50 million units of product, with the intention to expand.
The production line will be operated by a new business unit for formed fibre which will also conduct research and development of new formed fibre materials and technologies. Potential products include single-use food packaging items such as plastic-free cups, bowls, clamshells, plates and coffee cup lids as well as non-food applications, responding to the needs of eco-conscious consumers looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic.
This investment is another step on our transformation journey to replace plastic and other fossil-based materials with renewable and recyclable alternatives. This investment allows us to help our customers build their brands as eco-friendly, circular companies, said Sohrab Kazemahvazi, Vice President, Head of Formed Fiber.
Hylte Mill produces newsprint that is based on thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) and recycled fibre, and has experience from taking new production technologies into use, as Stora Enso’s biocomposite granules production line was inaugurated at the mill in 2018.