Stora Enso is leasing the former paper machinery hall at its Veitsiluoto site in Finland to the textile technology company Infinited Fiber Company, which plans to build a commercial-scale factory to produce regenerated textile fiber from textile waste. Earlier this month Stora Enso sold its district heating business at Veitsiluoto to utility infrastructure company Nevel, a provider of advanced industrial and municipal infrastructure solutions.
“We always want to find sustainable and financially robust long-term solutions to ensure a viable future for our former sites. I am pleased with our rapid progress in signing a lease with companies that can take advantage of the Veitsiluoto infrastructure and bring new business to the area. Our work at Veitsiluoto continues in order to bring more activity and jobs to the site,” says Seppo Parvi, Stora Enso’s CFO and Country Manager for Finland.
According to Infinited Fiber Company, their factory will create an estimated 270 new jobs at Veitsiluoto site. Infinited Fiber Company’s technology enables cotton-rich textile waste to be transformed into a high-quality Infinna™ textile fiber that is biodegradable and contains no microplastics. Textiles made from it can be recycled together with cotton-containing textile waste in the same process.
“We are planning to invest around 400 million euros to build a factory in Veitsiluoto. Our customers are global leaders in the fashion and apparel industry, and we expect to export nearly all the future Infinna™ fiber output of the planned factory. The Veitsiluoto area has many strengths that will support future business, in particular its location by the sea, existing infrastructure and availability of skilled workforce. It is a privilege to be able to create new business in this environment,” says Petri Alava, CEO and co-founder of Infinited Fiber Company.
Stora Enso has been mapping the future business opportunities in the Veitsiluoto area since summer 2021. The evaluation criteria have been the economic viability of the operator, the financing of the project and the employment impact of the business. Work to find additional activity to the site continues.
Stora Enso ceased pulp and paper production at Veitsiluoto in September 2021. Stora Enso’s sawmill continues to operate on the site and is celebrating its centenary this year. The company still employs around 100 people at the sawmill, in human resources and at the service centre in Veitsiluoto.