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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This page contains frequently asked questions about the biorefinery. Read more about our project.

What does the KaiCell Fibers biorefinery produce when it is finished?

KaiCell's product-strategic concept is made up of three distinct part:

  1. A state-of-the-art chemical pulping line, produced from local fibers in the adjacent areas;
  2. Arbron™, a breaking-new natural raw material for the textile industry, which will help avoid undesirable carbon sulfur in the process of viscose production, thus provide a solution to a major environmental problem in the textile industry globally;
  3. BioFutureFactory™, an innovative bio-ecosystem where innovative operators can develop new bioproducts by efficiently utilizing the side streams and byproducts from the above two plants.

Will KaiCell Fibers sell market pulp?

Production which is not converted by the downstream partners will be sold on the international pulp market.  As the share of new bioproducts increases, the share of market pulp will fall.

What is Arbron™?

Arbron™ is a registered trademark for both the production process of fiber raw material in the textile industry and the material. Arbron™ is also used as a new textile fiber name.

KaiCell Fibers have publicly announced cooperation with the Chinese CHTC group. What will be CHTC's role in KCF?

KaiCell Fibers Ltd and CHTC group have signed a preliminary collaboration agreement regarding the development of Arbron™. Both parties share the objective of bringing Arbron into commercial production, as this will avoid the significant detrimental aspects of the viscose production which is widely practiced in the current manufacturing process in China.

What is the production capacity of the biorefinery?

The capacity is 450 000 tonnes of pulp production, and a significant part of the production is processed further into bioproducts.

From where does KaiCell Fibers acquire the required wood raw material?

KaiCell's wood procurement is based on a local fiber, which is purchased locally from reliable woods by trusted wood dealers. By using the local fiber, transport emissions and CO-emissions can be reduced  significantly.

What kind of wood the biorefinery is using?

The mill uses pulp wood coming mainly from young and middle-aged commercial forests. Thinning ensures healthy growth of forests.

Are there enough forest resources available in Kainuu region

At present, only about half of the annual growth of the forest in Kainuu region is harvested (Source: LUKE).  Because of low pulp wood demand, part of the thinning is not made.  This has not brought any positive effect to the economic development in the region.

How much wood is needed? Figures?

Kaicell Fibers biorefinery uses about 2.5 million m3 pulp wood and sawmill chips annually. The total forest annual growth is 6.9 million m3 in Kainuu. This includes sawlogs, pulp wood and commercial round wood size energy wood. In previous years, the harvesting has been on the level of 3.2 million m3 per year, which is less than half of the forest annual growth.  

How big share of wooden raw material is coming from certified forests?

About a quarter of the forestry land is out of commercial utilization in Kainuu.  Over 90% of the forests are certified.  KaiCell Fibers support sustainable forestry and will certify its wood procurement system.

What is the time frame for the biorefinery to be built and started?

The goal is to make an investment decision in 2019, after which a three-year construction phase will begin. The biorefinery production would start by 2023.

Why Paltamo's factory area have so special shape?

The needs of future operations have been taken into account during the mill site planning phase. The design combines the requirements of basic products, downstream products and bioproducts. There will be a new bioecosystem in the area.

What are the environmental impacts of a biorefinery located in Paltamo?

The environmental impacts of the biorefinery will be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). During this process, environmental impacts are evaluated, reported and published, and are conducted through both local stakeholders and authorities.

How the cellulose is produced?

The cellulose production begins by peeling and finishing of raw material, i.e. pulpwood. Wood chips are processed in a digester, where the fibers of the wood are separated from hemicellulose and lignin. The method of making chemical pulp can be the sulphite method or acid sulphite method. The process can be batch or continuous. Batch process has a number of parallel cooking vessels in different stages. They are filled and unloaded one at a time. In continuous process, the process is carried out as a continuous stream in one or two vessels in the series.

The pulp is brownish in color. It is washed and usually bleached. The pulp is dried and delivered for further processing.

From where does the factory take fresh water?

The fresh water will be taken from the lake Oulujärvi.

Where will the mill's treated effluents end up?

The purified effluents will be passed to the lake Oulujärvi. The selection of technology applied to the process will be based on BAT-principles (BAT = Best Available Technology).

How sulphates are formed at a pulp mill?

The pulp mill uses sulfuric acid to manufacture bleaching chemicals and to adjust pH in processes. Effluent contains sulphate which is derived from the applications mentioned above. The amount of wastewater’s sulphate can be reduced by optimizing chemical use and seeking substitute alternatives.

There are 17 pulp mills in Finland, whether they are discussing sulphates?

Sulphates have been long ceased to be a critical issue in modern pulp mills, nor are they considered an environmental threat to waterways. There are many pulp mills larger than the one planned for Paltamo located by smaller waterways, indicating that Paltamo's load would be lower than for existing pulp mills in Finland and elsewhere. In existing mills, sulphate concentrations are been well controlled using proven technology. The KaiCell pulp mill processes are based on BAT (Best Available Technology).

The water volume of Lake Oulujärvi is 6.7 km3 and its turnover is 0.85 years, meaning it changes in less than one year. KaiCell's wastewater amount is about 0.2 percent of the annual turnover.

This can be illustrated in popular terms.

If Lake Oulujärvi's volume corresponds to a 10l bucket, KaiCell’s purified process water adds two table spoons to the bucket.

If, however, sulphate is considered a table salt, KaiCell's sulphate load is equal to the percentage volume of teaspoon mixed with bucket water.

On the other hand, the recommended amount for sulphate in household water is up to 250 mg/l, corresponding to a teaspoonful sulphate in relation to bucket volume, which would be about 100 times the amount of sulphate discharged by KaiCell.

How the AOX emissions are formed?

AOX or chlorinated organic compounds are formed in the pulp bleaching process when chlorine dioxide reacts with residual ligning in the pulp which is brightened.

How the AOX emissions from existing pulp mills have developed?

AOX emissions decreased already in the 90s when elemental chlorine was abandoned as bleaching chemical. Nowadays, when chlorine dioxide is used in bleaching, and oxygen and peroxide are used to minimize its demand, the AOX emissions have declined significantly. Current levels of AOX have been found to have no effect on toxicity of the effluent.

What are the regional benefits of the biorefinery?

The project will generate around 200 million euros per year. Biorefinery employs directly about 220 people and indirectly over 1 000. The investment is approximately 900 million euros.

Building-time impacts to the economy for a couple of years are also significant.

How does KaiCell Fibers finance the investment?

Several forms of financing are possible, but in principle, KaiCell Fibers is seeking partners to bring the project forward.