NC Partnering Newsletter 5/2017

This time we would like to take a closer look at one specific venture progressing in Finland. It is a good case example of a new type of biorefinery concept, which not only meets bioeconomy and circular economy expectations, but promises high levels of ecological and sustainability performance. The feedstock is based on local, sustainable and abundand forest resources, thus mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Also part of the scope is BioFutureFactory™, a vivid bio-ecosystem designed to help exciting new bio-applications become reality in a commercially viable way through the use of the main biorefinery’s side streams, utilities and complete infrastructure.

KaiCell Fibers biorefinery
venture in Paltamo

New innovative concept on several levelsKaiCell Fibers

Concept is entirely designed and formed by NC Partnering and its cluster network.

Rather than pursue the over-subscribed bio-fuel trend, the Paltamo takes wood-based bio-technology in a new direction – refining chemical pulp further into a novel type of raw material for the globally expanding natural fibres textile industry. This is backed up by exceptionally high side-stream utilization though an innovative ecosystem of bio-based enterprises benefiting from the main operation’s by-products, utilities and established infrastructure. The mill will produce and sell market pulp NBSK as complement to the advanced textile product, thus ensuring cash flow and financial viability during the ramp-up period.

The project enjoys very strong local support as well as broad acceptance at national political level. The mill site has been provided by the local municipality, and offers ample room for future expansion. The land use planning process for industrial use is already under way.

As part of the thee-year development stage, a full Feasibility Study is completed in May 2017, to be followed by the required EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) study, on which the applications for operating permits are based.

In parallel, management is engaging with regional stakeholders, forest owning bodies (with many of whom wood supply pre-agreements already have been signed), technological institutions, government financial institutions, and other pertinent entities to bring the venture towards a final investment decision by the end of 2018. This process will include complete pre-planning of the engineering; along with civil works plans and binding quotations from equipment and services suppliers.

The unique textile product is the result of bringing together normally unrelated technologies in a novel and cost-effective way. The risk of entering the market with a novel concept is mitigated through close cooperation with a major end-user and textile producer, who is expected to take an ownership stake in KaiCell Fibers.

KaiCell Fibers Ltd exists as a company since early 2016 with the explicit objective of making the biorefinery a reality. The current owners are prepared to exit once a constellation of industrial and financial partners has been established to take the venture into construction (two years projected from beginning 2019) and production (mid 2021).

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