Published 28 October 2019
Stora Enso's strategy in the existing pulp business is to secure competitiveness by differentiating the company’s pulp production. In the Nordic pulp mills, this means focusing on special grades, such as dissolving pulp, the brand name of which is Pure by Stora Enso.
In line with the strategy, Stora Enso's Enocell Mill in North Karelia, Eastern Finland has been converted during 2018-2019 to focus entirely on the production of dissolving pulp. Test runs are currently ongoing at the mill, and softwood pulp production will be gradually discontinued after the EUR 52 million investment.
In textiles, dissolving pulp can be used as a raw material to make viscose for replacing cotton and fossil-based materials, such as polyester. The demand for wood-based textile fibers is growing faster than that for all other types of textile fibers. Currently, only around 7% of the world’s textiles are wood-fiber based, while fossil raw materials are used in roughly 70% of textiles.
"Stora Enso has a unique position in the market with its dissolving pulp product portfolio. To make viscose, both softwood and hardwood dissolving pulp are used. With the Enocell investment completed, Stora Enso will be one of the first companies to be able to provide both, with one product line for each," says Sauli Purho, Enocell Mill Manager.
With Enocell Mill's total capacity of 430 000 tonnes dissolving pulp annually, whereof 185 000 tonnes hardwood and 245 000 tonnes softwood dissolving pulp, Stora Enso has the possibility to broaden its customer portfolio into specialties and new applications.
Dissolving pulp is very versatile and blends easily with many fibers. Many brand owners in the textile and clothing industries are looking for alternatives for cotton and synthetic fibers. Pure by Stora Enso can be used in a large range of consumer and industrial products, from fashion to pharmaceuticals, from non-woven applications to bio-based acoustic surfaces, but also in the production of cellophane – a truly renewable alternative to plastics.