KEMI – Finnish textile recycling business Infinited Fiber Company (IFC) has announced details of a new commercial-scale factory. The company plans to produce up to 30,000 tonnes of its proprietary material, Infinna, annually at the €400m (US$420m) facility. The factory will be built on Stora Enso’s closed Veitsiluoto paper mill in Kemi, a Finnish city on the northern shore of the Baltic Sea.
IFC’s chief executive and co-founder, Petri Alava, said: “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.”
IFC’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 Zara’s parent company Inditex, 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. IFC expects to export most of the output of its planned factory. This makes Kemi an ideal location as the city’s port serves as a link to the rest of the world.
IFC will convert a building which houses a discontinued paper production line into an Infinna fibre factory. Both the factory engineering and project implementation as well as the related financing negotiations were commenced at the beginning of the year and are progressing well. IFC 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.