The basic process of the biorefinery is the production of chemical pulp. Nearly one quarter of the planned 435 000 tonnes of production will be directed to further processing on site.
Kaicell Fibers aims to sell the rest of the production as market pulp world widely for paper, tissue and cardboard industries.
Chemical pulp is used especially in areas where the strength of Nordic pulp is required. These are, in particular, the highest quality tissue products, which have been driven by the rapid growth of China's middle class. Strength in cardboard is an important feature for example in food packaging, special envelopes and various kinds of packaging for construction industry such as cement sacks.
The pulp market has also grown during the years when the demand for printing papers has fallen. Digitalisation has strengthened the market for pulp-based packaging boards while the market for printing papers has deteriorated.
Asia and especially China have been the strongest driving force in the pulp market. Demand for hygiene products is expected to increase particularly, with the improvement of living standards. in particular, as the standard of living increases. During the recent years, demand for Nordic pulp has increased by 2 percent per annum.
In the packaging market, pulp-based board products compete with oil-based plastic packaging. We estimate that global pressures to reduce the use of fossil fuels favour the position of renewable cartons on the market.
The entire market is 64 million tonnes
ArbronTM is a pulp-based, ecological textile raw material. It replaces the traditional viscose process, which suffers from numerous disadvantages of carbon disulfide. Replacing of toxic carbon disulfide is a key factor why our Chinese partner CHTC is interested in commercializing the product to the world's largest textile market.
KaiCell Fibers aims to produce about 100 000 tonnes of Arbron™ fiber per year. The world textile fiber market is about 95 million tonnes. Of this, regenerated fibers account for 6%, or 5,5 million tonnes. The main raw materials for regenerated fibers are naturally occurring polymers such as cellulose and proteins. ArbronTM belongs to the converted fibers among all the artificial textile fibers.
Arbron™ is targeted to markets of high growth potential. Growth in the textile market is based on growth of population and rising standard of living. The market is expected to grow to about 140 million tonnes by 2025, which means an increase of more than 50% compared to the current level.
The ecological textile fiber market is expected to grow faster than average market. Textiles produced from regenerated fibers have a strong position on the market for their durability and ecology. They can replace, for example, cotton, which requires much water and pesticides to grow.
The planned 100 000 tonnes of Arbron™ fiber raw material is only slightly above 1 per cent of the total size of viscose market.
Strong growth in the textiles market also creates the conditions for stable pricing, which smoothens price fluctuations of the pulp market.
The entire market 95.3 million tonnes
The market for textile fibers was about 95 million tonnes in 2016. Pulp-based fibers accounted for 5% of the total market. At the first stage, ArbronTM is aiming at about 0,1% proportion of the market.
The BiofutureFactory™, which is a technology village, provides circumstances for the development of bioproducts to partners who operate at the area of bioeconomy.
From KaiCell Fibers’ perspective, BioFutureFactory™ is a partner and customer. In connection with the industrial use of wood, side streams such as bark and black liquor are produced in quantities, which can be utilized by partners in the development of bioproducts. Similarly, the surplus energy generated by pulp production can also be utilized by other operators.
For KaiCell Fibers, sales of side streams to the partners is economically feasible. For partners, the solution provides the ready infrastructure, raw materials and community, which together enable innovative business.
The emergence of an innovative network at the area of the bio-industry creates the preconditions for developing new know-how. It also opens up opportunities for all parties, which are difficult to foresee in advance.