Metsä & Andritz Cooperate On Pre-Study For Producing Kuura Fibre

Finland based Metsä Group is cooperating with international technology group Andritz to conduct a pre-study for the first possible commercial mill producing the Kuura textile fibre.

“This new type of textile fibre, developed by Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring, is made from Finnish wood,” Andritz said in a press release.

The primary objectives are to develop a pulp pre-treatment method, smart ways to integrate textile fibre production into the various departments of a bioproduct mill, and automation for Kuura production.

The pre-study is the first planning stage for a potential commercial mill project to process softwood pulp into a new type of man-made cellulosic fibre (MMCF).

The Kuura concept produces a sustainable, high value-added product without the use of fossil fuels.

The Kuura fibre and its production process are currently being developed in a demo plant at Metsä Group’s Äänekoski site in Finland.

Andritz supplied key process areas, including the fiberline, for the Äänekoski bioproduct mill, as well as some of the equipment for the demo plant.

“The first Kuura mill would be constructed next to one of our modern bioproduct mills, which would allow us to use renewable energy generated at the neighbouring mill and take advantage of several closed cycles,” Metsä Spring CEO Niklas von Weymarn said.

“In addition, all pulp, the main raw material for Kuura fibers, would come from nearby certified Finnish forests,” Weymarn added.

“Sustainability is an essential part of our business strategy and corporate culture,” Kari Tuominen, President and CEO of Andritz also said.

“Andritz equipment and process portfolio are at the core of the cooperation with Metsä Group, which marks a significant step towards producing a new type of MMCF,” he too added.

The pre-study is expected to take one year to complete, after which the mill planning can proceed to a more detailed pre-engineering stage.

Once operational, the mill is anticipated to produce approximately 100,000 tons of Kuura fibre per year and employ about 250 people.

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