Metsä Group’s recently established investment and innovation arm, Metsä Spring, has announced its first project with the Japanese Itochu Corporation, worth 40 million euros. The joint venture will test the construction and operation of a textile fibre demo plant to be situated next to Metsä Group’s novel bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Central Finland.
The aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of a technology that transforms paper-grade pulp into textile fibres. The advanced technology has been developed in collaboration with Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
“With the plant, and the demonstration project related to it, we aim to prove the technical feasibility of the new textile fibre production technology,” says CEO of Metsä Spring Niklas von Weymarn. “Based on the results of the demonstration project, we can then evaluate the technical and economic realities of building a clearly larger plant in Finland in the future.”
The construction will begin in October 2018, and the plant is estimated to be up and running in late 2019 with an annual capacity of 500 tonnes. According to von Weymarn, the demonstration phase is expected to last two to three years. Business Finland has participated in the project with an R&D loan.
Cargotec’s operational component Kalmar, a supplier of cargo handling solutions and services, has inked a deal for 12 hybrid straddle carriers with the UK shipping company DP World Southampton. According to Kalmar, its hybrid straddle carriers save up to 40 per cent fuel in comparison to traditional diesel-powered carriers.
“They are also an ideal stepping stone to fully electrically powered straddle operations, which are already being trialled at DP World London Gateway with our Kalmar FastCharge shuttle carrier solution,” states Mikko Mononen, the head of intelligent horizontal transportation at Kalmar.
Finnish construction company YIT has been chosen as the contractor for a new hydropower plant near the city of Etne in Western Norway. The agreement is valued at 33 million euros, and the work will begin in October 2018 with a set completion date in late 2021. The agreement covers the construction of the power plant, five kilometres of tunnel, a power station and a water intake system. YIT recently signed its first hydropower plant construction contract in Norway, pledging to complete the project in December 2020.
Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.