Stora Enso is investing EUR 12 million to build a new production line that will manufacture biocomposite granules at Hylte Mill in Sweden. Biocomposite granules enable the use of renewable wood to substitute a large portion of the fossil-based materials in products typically produced in plastics. Production is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2018. The annual capacity will be approximately 15 000 tonnes per year. The ramp-up of the new production line and a new type of manufacturing is expected to take 2–3 years.
“This investment is part of Stora Enso’s transformation into a renewable materials company and demonstrates our ability to provide an innovative and more sustainable alternative to plastics. With this new biocomposite production line, we are well positioned to capture growth opportunities in climate and environmental friendly materials,” says Jari Suominen, EVP, Head of Stora Enso’s Wood Products division.
According to the company, once finalised, the investment will increase Stora Enso’s Wood Products sales by approximately EUR 25 million and will exceed the division's profitability target, operational return on operating capital (ROOC) of 18%. The biocomposite business will belong to the Wood Products division.
Biocomposite granules are a mix of wood fibres, polymers and additives and are used as raw material for injection moulding and the extrusion of products traditionally manufactured solely from plastic. The material can be used in a wide range of products from consumer goods (dish brushes, pots, etc.) to industrial applications, such as pallets or load bearing structures reinforced by glass fibre.