Infinited Fiber Company’s first commercial-scale factory to produce regenerated textile fibre for the world’s leading apparel companies will be in Kemi, at the site of renewable materials company Stora Enso’s closed Veitsiluoto paper mill.
The size of the investment is estimated at EUR400m, and it is expected to create around 270 jobs in the area. The annual fibre production capacity of the planned factory is expected to be 30,000 metric tonnes, which is equivalent to the fibre needed for about 100 million T-shirts, say Infinited Fiber.
“Circularity is at the heart of our business. We aim to make use of existing resources in all that we do, which makes the historic Veitsiluoto industrial site a great fit for us. At the same time, we will be creating new export products and jobs,” says Infinited Fiber Company CEO and co-founder Petri Alava. “Finland has solid bioeconomy know-how and is very supportive of circular economy innovations. We see these as major strengths that enable Finland to become a leader in the creation of the new, circular economy-based textile industry value chain.”
Infinited Fiber Company’s technology enables cotton-rich textile waste to be transformed into a versatile, high-quality regenerated textile fibre called Infinna, which looks and feels like cotton.
Major international fashion and apparel companies – including PVH Europe, which is known for the Tommy Hilfiger brand, Patagonia, Pangaia, H&M Group and Bestseller – have already committed to Infinna purchases through multi-year agreements.
Last month, Spanish retail giant Inditex announced a three-year commitment to buy 30% of Infinited Fiber Company’s annual future production volume of Infinna, in a deal valued at more than EUR100m (US$).
Infinited Fiber Company says it expects to export most of the output of its planned factory making Kemi an ideal location as the city’s port serves as an efficient link to the rest of the world.
It will convert a building housing a discontinued paper production line into an Infinna fibre factory. Both the factory engineering and project implementation as well as the related financing negotiations commenced at the beginning of the year and are progressing well, it notes. Infinited Fiber Company has also agreed on the provision of energy and water related services with utility infrastructure company Nevel.
Once up and running, the factory is expected to provide direct employment for around 220 people, and for a further 50 through on-site support functions such as services, maintenance, and logistics. The additional indirect employment impact is estimated to be around 800 jobs. The factory is anticipated to operate at full capacity in 2025.