Agro-fibres to replace plastic: Establishing a research centre in a small Finnish municipality
Finnish agro-fibre research centre helps reduce fossil fuel reliance
A bioeconomy research and development centre were established by the Finnish company Fibre-X Finland Oy to develop substitutes for plastic from agro-fibres and agricultural waste. A brownfield industrial space was reused and refurbished to host test and laboratory equipment. New products and processes are already attracting interest from customers including a EUR 30 million bioeconomy plant using wood-based textile fibre and carbon-neutral production of biocarbon and viscose fibre from hemp.
The company employs 13 people and has had a rapid growth in operations. The turnover has grown from 400 000 EUR in 2021 to current 2.1 million EUR as of August 2022. Approximately 10 employees are working full time on the built pilot machine constructed in the project.
The company is designing and building a pilot plant for producing wood-based textile fibre in Lappeenranta, commissioned by Nordic Bioproducts. The value of the investment is around 30 million EUR, and it will have a significant regional economic impact throughout the province. The company is also designing a bio-plant concept in Northern Ostrobothnia that enables carbon-neutral production of biocarbon and viscose fibre from hemp.
It is planned to export new products through international partnerships that have already been forged.