Together with the leading forest companies Stora Enso, Sveaskog, Södra and Holmen, the Swedish innovation and technology development company SweTree Technologies invests SEK 50 million ($5.3 million) in a pilot plant for automated and large-scale production of elite forest plants.
SweTree Technologies has for several years developed a technology for automated production of forest plants based on somatic embryogenesis. With this technology leap, it is possible to quickly and efficiently produce more plants originating from the best forest breeding material. This is favourable for the forest economy and for the bioeconomy, but also for the environment since the trees grow faster and capture more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere thus allowing more fossil products to be replaced with renewable raw material. It will also enable development of qualitative properties of the trees, such as resistance to diseases and pests.
“We have now started the design of the pilot plant. It will be built in close proximity to SweTree Technologies’ existing premises in Umea, Sweden, and completed within a year. The following year, it is envisaged that the pilot plant will run and be used to verify the technology. The goal of the pilot plant is to get a decision basis for a first full-scale commercial plant with capacity of 20 million spruce plants per year”, says Christofer Rhén, CEO of SweTree Technologies.