Valmet's technology to first of its kind textile recycling plant

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Valmet will deliver the main equipment for Renewcell’s planned 60,000 metric tonne capacity textile recycling plant at Ortviken industrial site in Sundsvall, Sweden.

This is a major milestone in the establishment of the first of its kind commercial scale textile recycling plant in the world. Renewcell’s new Ortviken plant is scheduled to begin operations in the first half of 2022.

“We have gone through a rigorous selection process and are confident that Valmet is the best possible long-term partner to Renewcell on our mission to change the global fashion industry. With a trusted supplier like Valmet providing the core equipment, we reduce project risk and gain a committed partner with industry-leading expertise. We look forward to working closely with Valmet to put together a top-of-the-line textile recycling plant concept that is ready to be rolled out not just at Ortviken but worldwide,” comments Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell.

“Sustainable textile recycling is well aligned with Valmet’s mission of converting renewable resources into sustainable results. I’m very proud that Renewcell selected Valmet as the key supplier for this groundbreaking plant. Our teams have been working well together in developing these solutions and I’m delighted to see this outcome. This will be an important project and a key reference within this new business area, and we look forward to a continued cooperation with Renewcell,” says Bertel Karlstedt, President, Pulp and Energy business line, Valmet.

valmet 2mar21 2Renewcell’s textile recycling plant will be located in Ortviken industrial site in Sundsvall, Sweden (Photo SCA / Bergslagsbild)

First industrial scale textile-to-pulp plant delivery

Through its patented process, Renewcell is able to upcycle cellulosic textile waste, such as cotton and viscose clothes, transforming it into a dissolving pulp product called Circulose®, produced from 100% recycled textiles. In 2018 Renewcell opened a demonstration plant in Kristinehamn, Sweden, which can produce up to 4,500 tonnes of Circulose® per year. The new Ortviken plant will have a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year with a possibility to increase the capacity in the future.

“By replacing virgin textile fibers like cotton with fibers produced from Circulose®, fashion brands can reduce the climate and environmental impact caused by raw material extraction and fashion waste generation significantly. We have been recognized for our work to make fashion more sustainable. Most recently, Circulose® was included as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions 2020,” Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell tells.

“This project is an excellent example of how we can utilize Valmet’s wide expertise in bio, pulp and paper technology in textile recycling. In a project like this Valmet is not only a technology provider, but this is a joint journey. During the past year we have worked together to finetune the technology for textile recycling. We have utilized Valmet’s pilot machines at our Swedish and Finnish R&D centers to do test runs in turning recycled textile raw material into dissolving pulp sheets,” explains Rickard Andersson, Vice President, Fiber Processing business unit, Valmet. 

valmet 2mar21 3Pilot trials for pulp drying have been conducted at Valmet Fiber Technology Center in Inkeroinen, Finland

Utilizing pulp and paper making technology

Valmet will supply process equipment for stock preparation, bleaching and drying commonly used in large scale state-of-the-art dissolving pulp plants tailored for this project. Valmet’s delivery includes machine equipment installation, commissioning and technical support. Significant part of the technology is designed and produced in Sundsvall, Sweden and in Tampere and Jyväskylä, Finland. The pulp drying and baling part is second-hand equipment originally delivered by Valmet to another customer and now being dismantled in France and shipped to Sweden with needed technical support and installation from Valmet at Renewcell site.

valmet 2mar21 4Circulose pulp bales produced at Renewcell pilot plant in Kristnehamn, Sweden

Source: Valmet