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Metsä Group’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski reached its nominal capacity in August 2018, according to plan. According to the announcement, this makes Metsä Group the world’s largest producer of softwood market pulp.
The bioproduct mill was started up on August 15, 2017, on schedule and within budget. The start-up phase progressed in line with the target curve. The bioproduct mill produced its millionth tonne of pulp on August 8, 2018.
The bioproduct mill produces 1.3 million tonnes of high-quality softwood and birch pulp annually, in addition to other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine and bioenergy. New bioproducts that already complement the product portfolio include product gas from bark, sulphuric acid from the mill’s odorous gases and biogas from the sludge from its wastewater treatment plant, as well as biofuel pellets.
The bioproduct mill serves as a platform for the production of new bioproducts, as well as further developing and expanding the industrial ecosystem in Äänekoski. Metsä Group is actively exploring various processes and product paths. Key bioproduct development projects include pulp-based lignin products and textile fibres.
Äänekoski mill is the world’s first next-generation bioproduct mill, the investment in its construction totals EUR 1.2 billion. The project is located within the area of the present pulp mill. Pulp production at Äänekoski is increasing to 1.3Mt from roughly 0.5 Mt.
Earlier, Metsä Board upgraded screw presses at its pulp mill in Finland.