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jueves, 2 de febrero de 2017

KaiCell Fibers starts the feasibility study of a bioproducts mill in Finland

According to a recent press release (24/01/2017), KaiCell Fibers has begun the feasibility study for its future biorefinery in Finland. The company, a joint venture created by the regional council of Kainuu and NC Capital Partners, is pushing forward with its plans to construct a pulp and bioproducts production plant in the Kainuu region. The feasibility study will assess the full economic and technical viability of the project, as well as provide base data for environmental impact assessment.

The venture started on April 2016 with the purpose of building a state-of-the-art sulphate pulp mill as the core component in a bio-industrial park designed to accommodate downstream operators. They will add further value to the mill’s output and benefit from available synergies. The baseline product will be bleached sulphate pulp but the intention is to gradually reduce sales of market pulp as further processed bioproducts require more and more of the pulping capacity as feedstock. Below, a table based on the information at disposal until now.

Figure 1. Location of the KaiCell Fibers project: pulp mill, bioproduct unit and bioecosystem (extracted from KaiCell Fibers web page)

Project concept
The concept is made up of three distinct parts:
1) A state-of-the-art chemical pulping line.
2) A bioproduct unit, producing a major volume novel fibre.
3) An innovation driven bioecosystem entity, where multiple players can derive benefits from the by-products of the two above plants.
They are looking for partners to pursue this strategy to its full potential. You can contact through
Paltamo (Region of Kainuu, Finland).
The company has originally considered three alternative sites for the project: Kajaani, Paltamo and Suomussalmi. Last November, it announced that it had decided to build the facility on a plot of land that was acquired for this purpose by the Paltamo municipality in summer. Rail and major roads connect Paltamo to the Finnish west coast ports, and the airport of Kajaani is only thirty minutes away by car. The mill site covers 178 ha and easily accommodates all the three facilities described in the project concept.
Feedstock and processing capacity
Kainuu's forests produce mainly softwood. Taking into account harvesting logistics and haulage distances, and combining wood and wood chips from local sawmills, a total sustainable volume of 2.5 million m³ per year is considered realistic and enables the mill to operate at full capacity without the need for wood imports or long-distance sourcing.
Products and production capacity
The mill would produce some 400,000-500,000 tpy of pulp as well additional biobased products. Details about the final product range will be made public in due course.
Regional benefits
Economic benefit to the region will exceed 200 M€/year and the mill will directly employ about 200 people and indirectly about 1,000 people. The investment magnitude is 900-1.000 M€ and projected turnover about 450 M€/year.
Expected star-up date
Production is planned to commence in 2020.

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