Fibre customer magazine 2022/2023

Fibre magazine is a publication for Metsä Fibre's pulp customers, spanning the entire value chain of pulp production. The latest edition reports on the new bioproduct mill in Kemi, the circular economy and environmental work carried out at our pulp mills.




Kemi means growth Toward a circular economy Sustainable pulp


Sales greeting The customer survey results will help us serve you even better page 4

World of fibre News from us and around the world pages 5–7

Sustainability We will reach our 2030 sustainability objectives sooner than expected page 8

Updates from the CEO Aiming for sustainable growth with our customers page 9

Long-term environmental work is part of our daily operations, pages 66–73

Pulp market Megatrends point to good demand for pulp pages 20–23

Made of pulp The search for alternatives to plastics is bringing new opportunities to the paperboard industry pages 10–17

Cooperation ESL Shipping wants to be a frontrunner in sustainable shipping pages 18–19

Enabler of a good life Starting your day with pulp

in your mouth pages 24–25

The paperboard industry is seeking new innovations, pages 10–17

Our customer APRIL Group invests in sustainability pages 26–27

Sustainable forestry Caring for natural forest values is an important part of national policies pages 28–35

Perspective A wood-based circular economy is trending page 36

Kemi bioproduct mill Our new mill in Kemi will start up in the third quarter of 2023 pages 37–48





Kemi bioproduct mill

The bioproduct mill in Kemi will start up in the third quarter of 2023 When completed, it will be the most efficient wood-processing plant in the northern hemisphere and will represent world-class quality in every respect.

pages 37–48

Our operations Nemus Futurum demonstrates sustainable forest management pages 49–52 Regional focus Major investments boost growth in China’s Guangxi province pages 53–55 Influencer Antti Vasara from VTT Research says deep technologies will revolutionise the forest sector pages 56–60

Innovations and investments Biochemicals production is increasing to match demand pages 61–63

Pulp tech Fines Management Audit offers substantial benefits pages 74–75 Professional Mikael Engman helps our customers in Asia pages 76–77

Our customer Tissue giant Sofidel appreciates Metsä Fibre’s global operations pages 64–65

Responsible actions Environmental impact monitoring is an important part of our mills’ operations pages 66–73

Metsä Fibre Key figures for our operations pages 78–79


Sales greeting

Learn more about the survey results online

Serving you even better The results of the customer survey we conducted in all our market areas in spring 2022 made for delightful reading. You responded to the survey actively and provided us with a great deal of positive and constructive feedback on our operations. A warm thanks to all the respondents! We received positive feedback on our product quality, reliability and customer service as well as emphasis on sustainability. We also asked how we could develop long-term cooperation with you. From the responses, many of you are looking forward to working more closely with us and meeting in person around the same table. The customer survey provides us with valuable information and helps us to continuously im- prove our operations. We have now analysed the results and determined the steps we will take in all market areas. The four key areas of development are supply chain management, products and innovation, partnerships and cooperation, and price and cost management. In the future, we will provide increasingly strong support to our customers, for example in de- veloping sustainability and reducing energy consumption and water use. With Kemi bioproduct mill coming online next year, we will be able to meet the demand for sustainably produced premium pulp better than ever. We always aim to exceed our customers’ expectations. This we can do by continuous renewal and ongoing development of our strengths. We will continue asking your opinion on how well we succeed in these efforts.

Ari Harmaala SVP, Sales and Marketing Metsä Fibre


World of fibre

Fibre Online becomes Metsä Pulp Online Fibre Online has established itself as an important information channel serving pulp customers any time of day, any day of the week. In early 2023, a renewed Fibre Online will be launched as Metsä Pulp Online. The service architecture has been redesigned and ported to a new software platform for improved performance, and will be faster in opening reports with large data volumes. The service has also been redesigned to make it easier to use and to simplify user manage- ment. As usual, the service will continue to provide information on deliveries and their schedules, as well as on product quality. In addition, the service contains all the essential documents related to sustainability and product safety. Tari Väätäinen , Technical Customer Service Manager who oversees Metsä Pulp Online, says the company’s customers have played and will continue to play an important role in service development. “The development work has been based on feedback and ideas from customers. In recent years, our development efforts have mainly focused on improving service functionality and diversifying the content.” Although customers mainly use the online service independently, Metsä Fibre’s professionals help them with deployment. Once the access permissions and user IDs to the service are ready for use, Metsä Fibre’s experts test them with the customer to ensure that they work properly. At the same time, the experts go through the content and functionality of the online service. “We can provide training conveniently at the customer’s premises or on Teams, either as individual or group training. Of course, guidance is also available at other times should it be needed,” says Väätäinen.

Recognition for our sustainability work EcoVadis has again awarded the highest Platinum level rating for sustainability to Metsä Fibre. With a score of 82/100, Metsä Fibre is among the top one per cent of pulp, paper and paperboard manufacturers assessed by EcoVadis. The EcoVadis assessment focuses on 21 recog- nised sustainability criteria from the perspective of the environment, labour and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. In environmental issues, Metsä Fibre received an especially high score (90/100). The company’s scores in the other themes were also higher than in the previous year.

Online course on pulp production Metsä Fibre has an online course on the pulp produc- tion process for customers. It provides a closer look at the production of premium pulp and the factors that affect its quality. The course is available for customers in the Metsä Learning Hub service, which also offers a course on sustainability. To gain access to the service, please get in touch with your contact person.


World of fibre

75 % Forests cover

12.6 % Finland has 2.9 million hectares of protected forests and forests in restricted forestry use. This is 12.6 per cent of the forest area.

108 Finnish forests grow by roughly 108 million cubic metres annually. M m 3

more than 75 per cent of Finland’s land area. In relation to its surface area, Finland is the most forested country in Europe.

Source: Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Next-generation packaging materials

Please give us feedback on our magazine!

Could biobased polymers be transformed into new barriers and coatings for packaging materials? What is the potential of fibre-­ based materials in packaging reuse? These are among the themes that are being investigated in a joint programme, ExpandFibre Ecosystem, launched by Metsä Group and the Finnish energy group Fortum, which has been granted a total of EUR 70 million in public research funding. Up to now 12 significant research projects have been launched in the ExpandFibre ecosystem. Important themes for Metsä Group are packaging, textile fibres, biocomposites, and other new fibre products. All research projects involve many expert partners for whom these themes are particularly relevant. Metsä’s customers are also involved in the projects. The ExpandFibre Ecosystem is an opportunity for finding innova- tion and collaboration partners and new business opportunities, gaining better insights and connections to project preparation initiatives between companies, and between companies and research institutes, and sharing thoughts and ideas with those who have the same vision for a sustainable future.

We produce Fibre magazine for our pulp customers and hope to get feedback from you on the magazine’s content. Where did we succeed? What could we improve? What was especially interesting, what offered new information or was enjoyable? What topics would you like to read about in future issues?

Metsä Group and Valmet’s demo plant for alternatives to plastic packaging A 3D fibre product demo plant began operation in the spring of 2022 in Äänekoski, producing a new product, Muoto®. Made from renewable and sustainably grown wood raw material, Muoto® is an excellent alternative to plastic in various end uses, such as food packaging products of various sizes and shapes. The plant is jointly owned by Valmet and Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring. Muoto®’s features and production method are being developed at the demo plant, and its market potential is being tested. If market interest and product viability can be established on a large scale, Metsä Group will consider building a larger production unit.


World of fibre

Did you know?

Kemi bioproduct mill will produce 2.0 TWh of renewable electricity per year, which corresponds to the annual energy consumption of about detached houses with electric heating in Finnish weather conditions. 100,000

Support for future competence

In the spring of 2022, Metsä Group donated nearly one million euros to seven Finnish universities. The donations were allocated to the faculties of tech­ nology, natural sciences or agriculture and forestry at the universities in question. At the end of 2021, Metsä Group donated half a million euros to its partner universities in Helsinki and Oulu.

Supporting biodiversity

Metsä Group provides financial inputs and expertise for develop- ment projects that substantially and effectively improve biodiversity and the state of water bodies in Finland. The measures are part of the nature management programme for 2021–2023. Implemented in non-commercial forests, the projects can be related to aquatic bird habitats and wetlands, watercourses, small water bodies and coastal environments, the living conditions of pollinators and new water protection methods. The first two rounds of funding have already taken place and the funding decisions made. The next funding round will be launched in the spring of 2023. “I am pleased that we now have a programme that safeguards forest biodiversity. We will invest millions of euros in the project over a ten-year period, without profit targets,” says Katja Tuomola , VP, Sustainability Management at Metsä Group. The protection of herb-rich forests is another way to safeguard the biodiversity of forest nature. Herb-rich forests account for only one to two per cent of Finland’s forest area, but they are home to approx- imately 45 per cent of its endangered forest-dwelling species. “The nutrient-rich soil of herb-rich forests offers good conditions for abundant flora, which in turn provides nutrition for insects and other fauna. This is why we recommend nature management instead of timber cultivation for herb-rich forests.” From 2022 onwards, Metsä Group will inspect the herb-rich forests of its owner-members and provide guidance for their management.

Memorable visits in Pro Nemus Metsä Group’s Pro Nemus visitor centre features exhi- bitions and interactive experiences. It provides a com- prehensive view of the Group’s operations, products, and innovations, as well as the many possibilities of Nordic wood. The visitor centre is intended for Metsä Group’s various stakeholders, such as customers, forest owners, influencers and students. The visitor centre is next to Äänekoski bioproduct mill. Pro Nemus is Latin and means ‘for forests’. The centre is continuously being developed to provide memorable and informative experiences for visitors. If you would like to visit Pro Nemus, please contact your Metsä Fibre contact person.


Read more about our sustainability targets and the work we are undertaking to achieve them


The sustainability targets set by Metsä Group for 2030 are being met even faster than previously predicted. Metsä Fibre has a significant role in making these goals into reality. Take a look at our numbers for 2021. Status of our 2030 sustainability targets

Metsä Fibre is committed to promoting sustainability, carbon neutrality and resource efficiency through its operations. Clean water, the circular economy and climate change mitigation are issues that we want to help create solutions for. Our journey to fulfilling these targets has been accelerated by our significant investments in the new Rauma sawmill and Kemi bioproduct mill which will start up in 2023.



Target 2030: Fossil fuel based CO2 emissions 0, share of fossil-free fuels 100%. Metsä Fibre 2021: Share of fossil-free fuels 97%.

Target 2030: Traceability of all raw materials 100%. Metsä Fibre 2021: Traceability of all raw materials 96%, traceability of wood raw material 100%.



Target 2030: 100% of raw material suppliers complying with the set environmental, social and economical sustainability demands (Supplier Code of Conduct). Metsä Fibre 2021: 97% of raw material suppliers complying with the above sustainability requirements.

Target 2030: Share of fossil-free raw materials 100%.

Metsä Fibre 2021: Share of fossil-free raw materials 99.99%, in pulp production 100%.



Target 2030: Production side streams 100% utilised as materials or energy. Metsä Fibre 2021: Utilisation of production side streams at 85%. We are actively seeking new uses for the green liquor dregs that results from pulp production.

Target 2030: Reducing pulp mill process water use per product tonne 25% from the 2018 level. Metsä Fibre 2021: Water use reduced –1%.



Target 2030: Accident frequency (LTA1) 0. Metsä Fibre 2021: Accident frequency 7.6.

Target 2030: Ethics index of 100% measured from ethics barometer. Metsä Fibre 2021: Ethics index of 83.5%.


Target 2030: Increasing the volume of carbon stored in forests by 30% compared to the level reached in 2018.

Target 2030: Increasing the amount of carbon stored in products by 30% compared to the level reached in 2018.

Target 2030: Safeguarding the biodiversity of forests and increasing the volume of decaying wood.

These are Metsä Group level sustainability targets and Metsä Forest’s sustainability actions.


Updates from the CEO

Towards sustainable excellence

MATTI REMES, Photo: Kristiina Hemminki, Fotonokka

Metsä Fibre aims for sustainable excellence. It means industrial efficiency, long-term customer relationships and solutions promoting sustainability. Population growth, urbanisation, loss of biodiversity, climate change and digitalisation. Although these megatrends have long influenced the forest industry, their significance to and impact on our operating environment and our customers’ business are becoming even stronger. Our updated strategy is a response to changes in the business environment. Our objectives can now be crystallised in three strategic programmes: We seek industrial efficiency to ensure the continuous improve- ment of competitiveness. We also support our customers’ indus- trial efficiency with our products and services. In the pulp business, we work systematically to ensure our mills’ reliable operations and environmental efficiency. By using cutting-edge technology, we systematically renew our production units. Once completed, Kemi bioproduct mill, which is currently under construction, will be the most efficient wood-processing plant in the northern hemisphere and will give us more pulp capacity and promote the achievement of our sustainability ob- jectives. We emphasise long-term customer relationships and their continuous development. We believe that lasting cooperation ensures the best results for all parties. We want to serve our customers by supplying premium pulp and by offering professional technical customer service. Many of our customers in the pulp business are expanding their production and strengthening their customer relationships. Thanks to our increas- ing production capacity, we can support our customers’ growth by providing greater volumes of sustainably produced pulp. We strive for sustainable solutions to mitigate climate change and promote the circular economy. We develop new bioproducts to replace products made from fossil raw materials and we will go on strengthening our bioproduct mill concept to make full use of production side streams. We will continue our efforts to improve the environmental performance of our mills.

We use Nordic wood from sustainably managed forests and take biodiversity into account in sourcing wood. We are committed to fossil fuel free production by 2030. These themes have also become increasingly important to our customers and partners. We work together to mitigate climate change and reduce the environmental impacts of the entire pro- duction and conversion chain. Our vision is to be our customers’ preferred partner. This am- bitious goal requires continuous improvement of our operations. I believe that we can achieve our vision through long-term co- operation. We aim for sustainable excellence. In practice this means sus- tainable and profitable growth together with our customers. •

Ismo Nousiainen, CEO, Metsä Fibre



Made of pulp

Getting creative

SAMI ANTEROINEN, Photos: Metsä Board

Sustainability is shaping the face of packaging. Big brands and smart consumers are looking for sustainable, biodegradable, recy- clable and even reusable solutions. “We are talking about one of the largest industries in the world. Packaging is used in food, consumer goods, equipment – basically everywhere,” says João Cordeiro , Global Head of Pulp & Paper for AFRY, an advisory services supplier. “Well-designed packaging protects the contents it carries, avoids damage during transport and preserves the product’s original properties. It also promotes the goods to consumers.” The main packaging materials used today globally are plastics, metals, glass, wood, and paper and board. Cordeiro points out that plastics still account for the lion’s share of the industry thanks to their cost, weight, and diverse usability. “Renewable fibre-based packaging consists mainly of paper and boards. Today it totals some 230 million tonnes globally and is the second largest packaging raw material. And it is gaining market share from many other substrates,” says Cordeiro. With plastic finding itself on the wrong side of history, is this the moment for the board industry to step up with innovative packaging solutions?

100% recyclable paperboard lid

The Paper Lid Company’s lid for takeaway cups is made from fully recyclable dispersion barrier board. It uses a novel technology developed by The Paper Lid Company that makes it possible to form the paperboard into the desired shape. The result is a one-piece lid that clicks firmly in place and offers performance that is comparable to a traditional plastic lid. The carbon footprint of a paperboard lid is at least 50 per cent lower than that of a plastic lid and it is fully recyclable.


“The cartonboard industry has many opportunities to grow.”

“Moving away from plastic calls for a major transformation of the global packaging industry. Driven by increasing consumer awareness, regulators, brand owners and material providers are seeking innovative approaches to sustainable packaging.” Global brands are reacting Cordeiro has observed enthusiastic new strategic choices in the design and material selection of several leading global brand own- ers. Many have announced strong commitments to reduce their packaging carbon footprint, with the use of unsustainable plastic materials as a clear “no-no”. Unilever, for example, a multinational consumer goods pro- ducer, has announced that by 2025 it will half its use of virgin plastic, a reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes per year. “After more than fifty years of growth, plastic packaging usage appears to have peaked and is beginning to decline in many countries and for many packers. Likewise, regulators – national, regional, or municipal – are also concerned with the problems caused by single-use plastics.” Against this background, it is no wonder that demand for fibre- based packaging materials is growing. The global market for car- tonboards is reaching 50 million tonnes. Most of this volume consists of folding cartons used for the packaging of consumer and fast-moving goods such as food, confectionary, beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. “The cartonboard industry has many opportunities to grow.” Wanted: innovative barriers With plastics heading for exit, it is important to recognise the role of barriers in boards. Many cartonboards receive a plastic coating layer of some sort, Cordeiro says.

“Typically, board-based packages need a very thin PE-coating layer to provide additional barriers – for example against water or gases. These are necessary in many applications to assure adequate packaging functionality.” He believes that, for the high-quality coated cartonboard seg- ment to keep growing, a combination of mechanical and chemical pulps is needed. “Both short and long fibre chemical pulps are needed for these folding packaging applications. Our recent estimates indicate that the global demand for bleached kraft market pulps within the packaging segment alone will exceed 10 million tonnes by 2035.” Disruption brings confusion Mark Beamesderfer , Packaging Services Director, Americas for Metsä Board, agrees that real change is happening around us. “The transition away from plastic is taking place at an accelerated rate, due to government legislation to reduce and eliminate many traditionally plastic packaging products and utensils,” he says, add- ing that there is a lot of confusion in the marketplace. “We find ourselves in a situation where we used to have plastic straws wrapped in paper, but now have paper straws wrapped in plastic.” Beamesderfer believes the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on supply chains and material availability have also impacted the market by disrupting sustainable packaging initiatives. Many grocery store or restaurant takeout containers have regressed from paperboard back to plastics. “Rest assured, as we put the pandemic behind us and supply chain issues rectify themselves, we will see a strong resurgence of paper-based packaging. Brands will get back to focusing on their sustainability commitments, incentivised by the increase in

João Cordeiro Global Head of Pulp & Paper for advisory services sup- plier AFRY, says that regulators, brand owners and ma- terial providers are all seeking innovative approaches for sustainable packaging.

Mark Beamesderfer Packaging Services Director, Americas for Metsä Board, believes that tremendous change is taking place in packaging right now although there is also some marketplace confusion.


“It is part of our core competence to come up with the fibres required for structures that are light but also sturdy enough.”

global oil prices and subsequent effects on the price of plastic.” Beamesderfer observes that so far plastic has offered visibility, in very concrete terms. The use of plastics provides consumers with a window into the package so that they can view the contents prior to purchase. But does the consumer really need to see batteries, disposable pens or lighters before purchase? “Now a vast number of purchases are researched, chosen, and ordered online. It is up to the packaging service components of pulp and board manufacturers to continually challenge brands in reinventing their packages for product display that have tra- ditionally been made with plastic components.” Go to the source The quality and sustainability of wood is obviously the starting point of environmental-friendly packaging. Our experts can help board manufacturers to find the best solutions, says Tom Nickull , VP, Sales Services for Metsä Fibre. “When it comes to demanding industries, such as food and beverage, traceability of the entire value chain is very important – and something that the big brands have come to insist upon. In addition, pulp production itself needs to consider the envi- ronment at all times and ensure product safety with certificates.” For Metsä Fibre, having high-quality Nordic wood as the raw material is a huge deal. “We have excellent wood to work with here, yielding clean virgin fibre. The quality of the fibre is developed further by our production process.” Fibre can go the distance Metsä Fibre has made a name for itself with its knowledge of different fibre types. The food and beverage sector certainly appre-

ciates the innovative, lighter structures that have resulted from this know-how. “It is part of our core competence to come up with the fibres required for structures that are light but also sturdy enough,” says Nickull. As for the future of packaging, he agrees that a sea change is taking place; plastic is on its way out and sustainable alternatives are advancing by leaps and bounds. “Wood fibre, as a great renewable material, is certainly one key here. There is a lot more fibre can achieve.” Who needs a plastic lid for their coffee cup? In many regards, innovation is just waiting to happen all around the packaging industry. Matti Salonoja , founder of The Paper Lid Company, recognised the need for a paperboard lid for take-away cups years ago – and eventually decided that he was going to do something about it. Teaming up with a friend Ilkka Harju , who is the Packaging Services Director EMEA and APAC at Metsä Board, Salonoja set out to create a fully recyclable paperboard lid. “We tested the first version of the lid back in 2016 and the final breakthrough came in 2020.” In January 2022, the revolutionary paperboard lid finally hit the market. By summer the sales of the product had reached 20 million units. “Our lid is only 20–30 per cent more expensive than the tradi- tional plastic lid and it cuts the carbon footprint by at least half,” Salonoja says. His pitch has made waves around Europe. The United Kingdom is presently the number one export destination for the “it” lid, with Germany as the runner-up.

Matti Salonoja Founder of The Paper Lid Company, perceives big opportunities in the global food and beverage sector and expects to see radical innovations in the near future.

Tom Nickull VP, Sales Services for Metsä Fibre, sees fibre as a key renewable material for the sustainable packaging solu- tions of today – and that fibre is only getting started.


It is clear that companies big and small are looking into packaging to promote sustainability.

Viipurilainen and Metsä Board’s package design team from Äänekoski Excellence Center got to work on developing a pack- age that is 100 per cent recyclable and resource effective. The outcome is a new package that cuts CO2 emissions by 34 per cent and reduces material requirements by 25 per cent. “We were also able to reduce the amount of plastic used, which was a big deal for us,” says Ylä-Hemmilä. The new packages were launched in January 2022. Even with relatively small bakery operations, the numbers add up over time. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, the bakery used about 20,000 packages a year. A little change goes a long way to making things more sustainable. “This year, we are placing extra emphasis on sustainability issues and want to keep developing on that front. We feel great about our collaboration with Metsä Board. It really makes a difference.” Chocolate lovers delight Kultasuklaa is another Finnish family enterprise with a strong focus on sustainable packaging. A maker of chocolates, Kulta- suklaa wanted to have less plastic in its packages. In talks with

Make it click But what is all the fuss about? The lid is made from fully recyclable dispersion coated barrier board, and it is suitable for use with both hot and cold beverages. It uses a novel technology developed by The Paper Lid Company that allows the paperboard to be formed into the desired shape, explains Salonoja. “The result is a one-piece lid that clicks firmly in place, offering performance that is on a level with a traditional plastic lid.” He points out that paperboard made from renewable fresh fibre is a great sustainable raw material – and something that both brands and consumers can feel good about. “By pooling our expertise with Metsä Board, we were able to innovate a new solution for the takeaway cup market.” Salonoja sees similar opportunities all around the food and beverage sector. “If the cost of making these types of packaging solutions remains moderate, we will see some radical changes in the industry.” When bakery goes green It is clear that companies big and small are looking into packaging to promote sustainability. Finnish bakery Viipurilainen Kotileipomo is a century-old family business with an eye for green solutions. Teppo Ylä-Hemmilä , Bread Artist & Head of Innovation, says that as the bakery started the search for a new packaging solution for their pastries and cakes, there were two key requirements. “We wanted to bring down the environmental footprint of our packages and also find a solution that takes time off the assembly of the package.”

A stylish package for pastries

Viipurilainen Kotileipomo’s pastry package comes in three sizes and two alter- native designs. One option has a small cellophane window, whereas the other is made completely of paperboard. The box is simple to use, consisting of just one foldable sheet of board which is thick and resistant to grease. The board is manu- factured without fluorochemicals and optical brighteners, which makes it suitable for direct food contact. The packages are biogradable and can be composted industrially or at home.

Teppo Yli-Hemmilä Bread Artist & Head of Innovation at family bakery Viipurilainen Kotileipomo, says that smaller players such as bakeries are keen on sustainable packaging, too.

Juri Kaskela Owner of chocolate-maker Kultasuklaa, says that chocolate poses challenges for packaging – but that Metsä Board found proper sustainable solutions.



Dispersion coated barrier board is recyclable and biodegradable.

Metsä Board, a sustainable solution emerged. The company’s “It’s all about love” praline box features dispersion coated barrier board MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB. “We were able to reduce the share of plastic in the product considerably,” says Juri Kaskela , owner of Kultasuklaa. The four-praline box, launched for Valentine’s Day 2020, has an innovative structure: the external packaging is made from a single piece of paperboard which forms a heart. “The heart-shaped pralines are protected by dispersion coated barrier board on the packaging’s inner surface.” Cupid-compatible Kultasuklaa chose dispersion coated barrier paperboard because it is recyclable and biodegradable. The paperboard does not require plastic separation and can easily be recycled together with other paper or paperboard. “The design is a really beautiful innovation that certainly adds value to our product,” Kaskela says, adding that discussions with Metsä Board started a couple of years before the actual launch. “We had great dialogue from start to finish. It is a tremendous advantage to have world-class expertise available for a smallish company.” He adds that Metsä Board experts were quick to grasp the chal- lenges related to premium chocolate. For example, the packaging needs to protect the products from air and light, while maintain- ing suitable grease and moisture resistance. “We speak the same language. The innovation process itself was rather quick. Metsä Board already knew us well.” •

No more broken hearts

Kultasuklaa’s four-praline packaging has an innovative structure: the external packaging is made from a single piece of paperboard, which forms a heart. The heart-shaped pralines are protected by dispersion coated barrier board on the packaging’s inner surface. The grid that keeps the pralines in place and separate is made from a single piece of dispersion coated barrier board. The package it can be recycled along with other paper or paperboard, or composted.




Cooperating to reduce maritime emissions

MATTI REMES, Photo: Roope Permanto

Interest in low-carbon maritime freight is surging, says Matti-Mikael Koskinen from ESL Shipping. The company’s long-term partnership with Metsä Group offers the opportunity to invest in low-emission vehicles.

Matti-Mikael Koskinen , Managing Director of ESL Ship- ping, is at the helm of one of the leading dry bulk shipping companies operating in the Baltic Sea. It is an excellent vantage point for following developments in international maritime transport. A shipping industry veteran with two decades of ex- perience in the field highlights one trend in particular. Especially in Northern Europe, there is strongly growing interest in environmentally friendly maritime transports with carbon emissions that are as low as possible. “We want to be among the frontrunners in sustainable maritime transport and we plan to reduce our emissions by 50 per cent per transport unit by 2030. We aim for fully carbon neutral operations by 2050,” he explains. Common vision for reducing emissions Koskinen points out that close and long-term cooperation with customers is required to reduce maritime emissions. A good example of this is the partnership between ESL Shipping and Metsä Group, which has lasted for many years. The shipping company transports pulp, sawn timber and other wood products to European ports and wood raw material to Metsä Group’s production plants.

“Both companies have a clear vision for reducing envi- ronmental impacts. To cut emissions, we must invest in an increasingly environmentally friendly fleet. This, in turn, calls for a partner committed to long-term cooperation.” The most efficient vessels in their size category AtoB@C Shipping, a Swedish subsidiary of ESL Shipping, has placed an order for seven new vessels. Their greenhouse gas emissions will be nearly 50 per cent less per cargo unit transported than those of vessels currently in use. The Green Coaster vessels to be introduced in 2023– 2024 are energy-efficient electric hybrid vessels with bat- tery packs and shore-side electricity solutions that enable completely emission-free and noiseless port calls. They can arrive and leave the port running on electric power alone. The vessels are the world’s most efficient in their class. They have a deadweight capacity of 5,350 tonnes, a length of 90 metres, a beam of 16 metres and a draft of 6 metres. “In addition to being energy-efficient, the vessels have been designed to transport increasingly large cargoes.” Koskinen says pulp can be transported more efficiently because the cargo holds are considerably larger in rela- tion to the deadweight capacity than in older vessels. This


means that the entire loading capacity of the vessels can be used when loading high bales of pulp. The total value of the vessel order is around EUR 70 million. Koskinen explains that the order can be expanded with several optional vessels in the future. “This investment will boost ESL Shipping’s competitive- ness and future growth as an industrial partner. With these new vessels, we are also preparing for an increase in Metsä Fibre’s production volumes, following the new Rauma saw- mill and the completion of Kemi bioproduct mill next year.” The ice class of ESL Shipping’s new vessels is 1A, mean- ing that they can operate in difficult ice conditions with icebreaker escort. This is necessary to ensure transport operations and security of supply in northern waters. “The most challenging part in designing the new vessels comes from the need to ensure high energy efficiency in addition to a high ice class.” Good design offers cost savings Thanks to the close partnership with Metsä Group, overall logistics can be planned together. By combining import and export transports, savings can be achieved in time, energy, and costs for both companies.

Alongside his daily duties, the shipping company’s man- aging director keeps close tabs on technological develop- ments related to maritime transport. To achieve carbon neutral transports in the future, it is essential to replace the diesel fuels currently in use with non-fossil fuels. Reductions in maritime emissions call for industrial scale production of renewable fuels, Koskinen says. At present, the availability of such fuels is very limited. “Biofuels obtained from forest industry side streams can be one solution.” In terms of emissions in relation to the volumes of cargo carried, maritime transports are already an environmentally friendly option compared to other modes of transport. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the carbon dioxide emissions of a cargo ship total 7.9 grams per tonne-kilometre, compared to 80 grams for lorries and 435 grams for air cargo. Continuous improvement is something that motivates Koskinen in his job. “I want to design my work so that we develop with the customer and jointly create new things.” •


Pulp market

Megatrends continue to drive pulp demand


Although economic uncertainty is casting a shadow on the market, the underlying megatrends will continue to boost long-term demand for multi-purpose, responsibly produced pulp.

grow by 1–3 per cent annually up to 2035. Amberla says this estimate still holds true. Oliver Lansdell , director of the consultancy company Hawkins Wright, says a key driver of pulp market growth is the increasing consumption of tissue paper, particularly in emerging markets. Most tissue is made from market pulp. “We expect the demand for tissue paper to grow by 2–3 per cent per year in the long term,” he estimates. Megatrends underpin growing demand The growing consumption of tissue paper is fundamentally linked to megatrends such as urbanisation and increasing consumer pur- chasing power, which continue to gain momentum, particularly in emerging economies. “Global megatrends are underpinning basic pulp demand growth, as the use of both packaging paperboard and tissue pa- per products is increasing. These will provide a solid basis for demand growth in the long term. Of course, there will continue to be cyclical fluctuations between years,” says Amberla. A good example of growing product categories are hygiene products made of tissue, such as toilet paper, and paper hand towels and handkerchiefs. Meanwhile, the demand for pulp-based paperboard and other packaging materials is growing as living standards in emerging econ-

During 2022, expectations for global economic growth have de- clined as the dark clouds of accelerating inflation, rising interest rates and the Russian invasion of Ukraine gather on the horizon. This also has both direct and indirect effects on global pulp markets. “Short-term turbulence is possible in the pulp markets,” says John Litvay , partner at the consultancy company Brian McClay & Associates (BMA). BMA has reduced its estimate for pulp market growth in 2022 and 2023 amid forecasts for declining global economic growth. Consumption growth is expected to be 1.7 per cent annually. Tomi Amberla , director of AFRY Management Consulting, also sees the short-term outlook as more challenging than be- fore. Inflation, slowing economic growth and the global political situation could reduce the demand for pulp. “Pulp demand varies from year to year. It is greatly affected by general economic development,” he points out. Steady long-term growth However, experts say that the long-term growth outlook for the pulp market has not changed. “We expect the demand for pulp to grow at an average annual rate of 2.5 per cent over the next 10–20 years,” says Litvay. In a study conducted for the Finnish Forest Industries Feder- ation last year, AFRY estimated that the global pulp market will


omies improve. Instead of visiting traditional market stalls, more and more consumers are buying packaged food from grocery stores. The fast-growing online shopping sector also requires more packaging materials to transport products. Wood fibre offers alternatives to plastic The global green transition away from fossil raw materials is driv- ing demand for pulp, says Lansdell. Any alternative materials must be renewable with a low carbon footprint. An example of this is seen in the packaging industry which is looking for solutions to replace plastics in disposable dishes and food packaging. “Fibre-based alternatives to plastic bottles are also being sought. All these applications require both recycled and fresh fibres. In the coming years, we will certainly see more innovations based on wood fibre,” he says. This development is being driven by legislation that restricts the manufacture of products made from fossil raw materials. The EU has already banned certain single-use plastic products and many countries have restricted the use of plastic bags, for example.

Litvay points out that cellulose-based textile fibres will also play an increasingly important role in the global textile market in the future. “The demand for sustainably produced textile fibres will grow as oil-based materials are replaced by less environmentally harmful alternatives. In addition, cotton cultivation is under pressure as it uses a lot of water and takes up space that could be used for food production,” he says. Lansdell agrees that textiles made from wood fibres will make a breakthrough in the coming years. “Finland is one of the pioneers in developing new technologies. Though production is still expensive, costs are falling. The oppor- tunities are enormous. Consumers, governments and NGOs alike want new alternatives to polyester and cotton.” Demand for all pulp grades Amberla says the long-term growth outlook is bright for all pulp grades. “Megatrends will have a positive impact on the demand for both bleached and unbleached softwood and hardwood pulp.”

Global tissue paper production development



Million tonnes


+2–3% /y







Source: Hawkins Wright, Metsä Fibre


Global fibre use development

Market pulp (virgin fibre)

Integrated pulp

Recycled fibre

Million tonnes







Source: Hawkins Wright

Chemical market pulp supply 2021


The global green transition away from fossil raw materials is driving demand for pulp.





Source: Hawkins Wright

China Other Asia Europe

North America Other

John Litvay Director and partner of the consultancy company Brian McClay & Associates (BMA), who has been observing international pulp markets for two decades. Litvay previously worked as a consultant for Pöyry and as strategy team leader at Georgia-Pacific LLC.


“We expect the demand for pulp to grow at an average annual rate of 2.5 per cent over the next 10–20 years.”

Bleached softwood and hardwood pulp is required for applica- tions such as tissue paper, packaging materials and office paper. The demand for unbleached pulp is driven by packaging, which is required for transporting goods bought online as well as for food packaging. “The demand for unbleached pulp is increasing due to Chi- nese import restrictions on recycled paper. In the production of packaging board, fresh fibre is then required to replace it,” Litvay points out. Growth focus on Asian markets In the future, China will play an increasingly important role in the global pulp market. Its share of market pulp consumption has risen to around 40 per cent. “China’s already significant paper and board industry will keep growing in the coming years, albeit at a slower pace than before. However, there may not be enough domestically produced fibre available,” says Lansdell. In addition to China, demand for pulp is growing in other emerging economies. For example, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India are all at different stages of development, but all have a growing and prospering middle class. The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) expects paper consumption in India to grow by 6–7 per cent in the com- ing years. “The availability of wood is poor in regions with the world’s high- est population growth. Market pulp is the most economical way to get raw material for local paper mills, as it is not economically feasi- ble to ship products like tissue paper across the seas,” says Amberla. He points out that global demand for pulp is also being boosted by a decline in the amount of high-quality recycled fibre, which

is due to a decline in the consumption of printing and writing paper in Europe and North America. “The recycled paper that is not available has to be replaced by fresh fibre in the manufacture of new products.” Increasing volatility in pulp markets Predicting pulp prices has never been easy, but Amberla says it has become even more challenging due to increased volatility, in other words, price fluctuation. This is primarily due to China becoming one of the largest buyers of pulp globally. “The Chinese pulp market is inherently speculative. Volatility is further increased by the growth of the country’s own pulp pro- duction capacity, as there are large fluctuations in the production volumes of local pulp mills.” When the price of domestically sourced wood raw material and imported wood chips is low, it is worth running mills at full capacity. When raw material is expensive, more market pulp is used for paper production in China. Volatility in the international pulp market is amplified by chang- es in pulp supply around the world. Amberla says there have been more supply shocks recently than in the past for various reasons. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted production and supply chains at some mills in North America and other places. Con- gestion in major ports and occasional container shortages have also affected pulp shipments. Climate change is also having an impact on pulp markets. For example, exceptional weather conditions have hampered pro- duction plant operations in Canada, with floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall disrupting road and rail links in British Columbia last year. •

Tomi Amberla Director at AFRY Management Consulting. He leads the Biorefining unit specialising in pulp and new bioprod- ucts. Amberla has held various positions at AFRY since 2007 and previously worked as a researcher at the University of Helsinki.

Oliver Lansdell Director of Hawkins Wright has over two decades of experience in analysis and consultancy in international pulp and paper markets. Lansdell previously worked as an analyst for the Pulp and Paper Products Council in Canada.


Enabler of a good life

Pulp for your health

MARJA BERISA, Photo: Minna Kurjenluoma

Cellulose gum or sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is an ingredient you probably use daily but never see.

Without realising it, most people use wood-based cellulose every day. Toothpaste is one of the products that contain cellulose gum (CMC). “Pulp is used for more widely than just to produce pa- per and board. It is also used to make CMC, a specialty ingredient which is used in several consumer products,” says Pirkko-Leena Hakkarainen , Product Development Director at Metsä Fibre. CMC is a water-soluble cellulose derivative that binds raw materials into a smooth, easy-to-use product. It gives toothpaste its homogenous structure, easy flow, proper viscosity, and glossy appearance. Whitening toothpaste and toothpaste for sensitive teeth contain different types of CMC. Another dental application of cellulose gum is fixtures. It is used in the adhesive that creates a perfect fit for false teeth. Invisible but essential Nouryon, a global leader in specialty chemicals, manufac- tures CMC in Äänekoski, Finland. The company receives the key raw material, cellulose, directly from Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct mill. The production plants are located on the same site. “CMC is a very versatile ingredient. It is used in condi- ments, bakery products, protein drinks, yoghurts, laundry

detergents, eye drops, ice packs, wine refining, veterinary medicine, oil drilling and hundreds of other applications,” says Yogesh Solanki , Technical Development Manager at Nouryon. CMC is produced in two stages. In the first step, cellu- lose is suspended in an alkaline solution, which opens the cellulose structure and allows the next reaction to happen. “In the second stage the cellulose can react with sodium monochloroacetate to yield sodium carboxymethyl cellu- lose,” Solanki explains. Grades for different uses Today, CMC comes in three different main types. Technical CMC is for industrial applications. Purified, low-salt CMC is used in paper and board production. Highly purified CMC is for food and other consumer products. In regulated industries, legislation and testing can take several years so gaining approval is a costly process. Every ingredient must be of the highest quality. CMC is far from a bulk product, as Hakkarainen notes. “Rather, it is a large collection of different grades that all have unique uses and functionality. Nordic wood based high-quality pulp offers a good basis for many modern CMC product types, and for future developments in this area.” •

Yogesh Solanki Technical Development Manager at Nouryon, based in London. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Pirkko-Leena Hakkarainen Product Development Director at Metsä Fibre. She has a Ph.D. in Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry.


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