Metsa Spring and Itochu's fibre demo plant started operation
September 15, 2020
FINLAND (News release) -- The demo plant in Äänekoski, Finland, owned and operated by MI Demo has now reached the stage where the first batch of product, i.e. wood-based textile fibre, has been produced.
In late 2018, Metsä Group's innovation company Metsä Spring and Japanese ITOCHU Corporation decided to establish a joint venture, MI Demo, and within the context of the JV, construct and start operating the demo plant converting Metsä Group's paper-grade pulp into textile fibre using a novel production process.
The actual production start-up and subsequent test run phase, a phase performed with several representatives from the main equipment suppliers present at the plant, was finally initiated in late February 2020, but had to be suspended mainly due to the global coronavirus pandemic in March. The specific preparations related to re-starting the test run were accelerated in July and the actual test run could be commenced in Mid-August with our key partners again present in Äänekoski. As a result of successful collaboration and test run activities, the extended MI Demo team has now been able to produce the first batch of textile fibre.
The test runs will be completed in the upcoming weeks. When this has been achieved, the actual work to demonstrate the feasibility of the new concept begins.