Valmet Panelboard and Sorm/PrimeBoard combine forces in straw-board technology

Published Nov 04, 1999 00.00.00 +2 GMT

SUNDSVALL (Sweden), 99-11-04 - - -

Sorm Inc./PrimeBoard, Wahpeton, North Dakota, USA and Valmet Panelboard (formerly known as Sunds Defibrator Panelboard Systems) have joined forces to provide the market with straw-board solutions. The companies have signed an agreement to combine Sorm/PrimeBoard's process know-how and Valmet Panelboard's equipment know-how and sell complete wheat-straw lines to customers worldwide. Sorm is the management company for PrimeBoard Inc., the oldest commercially viable producer of straw-board and considered the best in this segment of the panelboard industry. It has more than five years of accumulated experience and know-how in straw-board production. Valmet Panelboard is a leading developer and supplier of panelboard machinery for production of superior quality board products at low energy consumption.

Real benefits to customers

According to Ed Shorma of Sorm Inc./PrimeBoard, this new cooperation agreement will give the customers real benefits. "We have found that Valmet Panelboard equipment has the ability to make a reliable particleboard process for wheat straw, which is a very difficult raw material. Combining our long experience with Valmet's environmentally friendly equipment will ensure that the customers will get an excellent, working line. It will be a safe investment."

Olli Mikonheimo, president of Valmet Panelboard Oy, formerlySunds Defibrator Loviisa Oy, fully agrees with Mr. Shorma. "This is still a new product on the market as such, but the growth potential is huge. Sorm/PrimeBoard's proven excellence in the field and understanding of all problems incurred will enable us to eliminate them already when making the process. We have also made particleboard lines for other annual plants like cotton stalks and bagasse. This experience combined with Sorm/PrimeBoard's mastering of straw process enables us to deliver full production lines that will work perfectly."

Commercially viable and environmentally sound

Wheat-straw is a waste product in most countries. Previously, waste straw was normally left in the fields and burned as a fertilizer. However, this practice is increasingly being banned in many countries as the understanding of environmental consequences grows and the environmental laws become more restrictive. Making straw-board from this waste material into a commercially profitable product is a long-awaited solution. The problem until now has been the lack of know-how in the use of wheat-straw as material on a large scale. This new agreement will combine this understanding with years of experience in process and equipment design. Board produced from wheat straw is moisture-resistant, strong and easily moldable. It is perfectly suited for many demanding applications.

With the recent merger of Sunds Defibrator and Valmet Paper Machinery, forming Valmet, the Fiber and Paper Technology business area within Metso, a world leading supplier of technologies, systems and equipment for the pulp, paper and panelboard industry is formed.

Metso Corporation was created through the merger of Valmet and Rauma on July 1, 1999 and comprises three business areas - Fiber and Paper Technology, Automation and Control Technology and Machinery. In 1998, the pro forma net sales of Metso amounted to EUR 3.7 billion (FIM 22 billion). The combined number of employees was approximately 23,000. Metso Corporation is listed on the Helsinki and New York Stock Exchanges.