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October 17, 2022

Ukraine war delays Infinited Fiber Company’s Infinna roll-out

Infinited Fiber Company has revealed the first commercial fibre deliveries of its circular celloluse material, Infinna, will be delayed due to the Ukraine War.

By Laura Husband

Infinited Fiber Company has said its plan to build the world’s first commercial-scale Infinna textile fibre factory in Kemi, Finland, has progressed largely according to plan, however the Ukraine war has created challenges that mean the first commercial fibre deliveries from its new Finland factory are not expected to begin until January 2026.

The company explained the site-specific basic engineering, recruitment planning, vendor selection, and permit processes are on track, but it had to re-evaluate its overall factory project timeline due to the limited component availability caused by the continuing impacts of the pandemic and the Ukraine war.

The company stated the war has prolonged significantly the delivery times for some of the key equipment and machinery needed for the factory, but the scope of the project remains unchanged and construction work at the site is expected to begin during 2023 as previously communicated.

In addition, Infinited Fiber Company explained the European energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine has caused the electricity prices in Finland to roughly triple, and the prices of some of the key chemicals needed in the fibre regeneration process have risen by some 200-300% since the start of the war.

Infinited Fiber Company CEO and co-founder Petri Alava said: “We of course don’t have a crystal ball. But according to our advisors and other experts, utility and commodity prices are forecast to normalise before 2026, when we now expect the first commercial fibre deliveries from Kemi to be shipped. In addition to the likely normalisation of the market, the extended timeline enables us to undertake the necessary measures to develop the profitability of the future factory. The growing demand for Infinna, despite the general turbulence, is an encouraging and clear indication of the fashion industry’s commitment to circularity.”

Alava added: “We are not immune to the global market context in which we operate. The supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic are still wreaking havoc, and the ongoing war in Ukraine has dealt a heavy blow to the global utility, commodity, and financial markets – and to us. We are satisfied with the progress at the site of our planned commercial-scale factory and the opening of the factory remains our key priority. The current, unstable market environment has highlighted the need for us to also accelerate efforts to simultaneously pursue other avenues for scaling production, with the ultimate aim of serving our customers in the best possible way in the long run.”

Infinited Fiber Company said in June that it planned to build a factory using a EUR400m (US$421m) investment to produce Infinna, which is a textile fibre that can be created 100% from cotton-rich textile waste.

The factory is being built at a discontinued paper mill in Kemi, Finland and is expected to create around 270 jobs in the area and to have an annual production capacity of 30,000 metric tons, equivalent to the fibre needed for about 100 million T-shirts.

The future factory’s customer-base is said to include several of the world’s leading apparel companies, with most of the future production capacity already sold out for several years.

Earlier this year, Infinited Fiber Company CEO Petri Alava told Just Style that brands are deviating from vague green claims and are seeking concrete solutions to circularity. 

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