Metsä Spring hires textile fibre industry expert Kishore Shouche to strengthen the Kuura development team

Kishore Shouche has extensive industry experience from both pilot and commercial textile fibre production, adding critical technical insights to Metsä Spring’s Kuura textile fibre demo plant in Äänekoski, Finland.

Metsä Group’s innovation company, Metsä Spring,is supporting the Kuura textile fibre project at the demo plant in Äänekoski by hiring a new Technology Manager, Kishore Shouche (second on left in the picture). The project aims to build a new, sustainable, and commercially viable Nordic wood textile fibre business for Metsä Group. Kishore’s nearly three decades of experience in the textile fibre industry is a key element in the company’s plan to scale the project from the demo stage towards commercial production.

Kishore joins the Management team of the company that owns and operates the demo plant. The other members of the team are Development Manager Katja Konola-Manninen, Maintenance Manager Jari Montonen, Operations Manager Mika Kalliomaa and CEO Heli Kuorikoski. Kishore is Metsä Spring’s third hire from outside the EU.

“We are developing a production method that is new to Metsä Group. We have learned a lot during the past few years, but having Kishore on board is a great complement to the team, and he will help take our project to the next level. He brings a vast amount of relevant technological know-how as well as general process development experience to our team,” says Metsä Spring CEO Niklas von Weymarn.

The textile fibre market is expected to grow up to US$66 billion by 2030. The Kuura concept is based on using softwood pulp from Metsä Group’s Äänekoski bioproduct mill for the production of a new sustainable and recyclable textile fibre for the textile and non-woven industries. The plant in Äänekoski is an important part of Metsä Spring’s attempt to develop and scale up the Kuura textile fibre production. In parallel to the work at the demo plant, Metsä Spring is also developing a plan for what a commercial textile fibre factory would look like. In such a factory concept, all side streams are recycled into sensible uses.

The Kuura project’s success is dependent on a strong team effort. The team at the demo plant consists of about 20 people with backgrounds in everything from Master’s degrees in chemistry and engineering to mechanical and technical staff. Everyone works together on the floor, solving challenges and developing the process by utilising all available technological know-how and abilities to make Kuura the best possible fibre for commercial production.

“Creating something new means everyone works together, getting the best out of each team member’s experience and background. Kishore comes into a highly collaborative team and will be able to contribute with his industry knowledge and technical skills from day one. We are very proud he chose to work with us and excited for what the future holds for the Kuura textile fibre,” says Heli Kuorikoski, CEO of the demo plant company.

“When I spoke to the Metsä Spring team about this opportunity, there was no doubt in my mind that this is my next professional challenge. Coming into a collaborative team to develop something new, with Metsä Group backing us through the process, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can’t wait to be part of this journey,” says Kishore Shouche.

For additional information:
Media kit with pictures

Heli Kuorikoski, CEO of the demo plant company

Metsä Spring

Metsä Spring was established in 2018 as Metsä Group’s innovation company. Metsä Spring invests in and supports potential sustainable innovations and technologies that find new purposes and higher value for Nordic wood to replace fossil-based materials and chemicals in everyday products. Metsä Spring supports a diverse, equal, and inclusive culture. 

To date, Metsä Spring has made five external startup investments to Woodio, Innomost, Montinutra, Fibrewood and Adsorbi, and has launched two in-house development projects, Kuura and Muoto.