UAB Natūralus Pluoštas starts construction of hemp stalks processing plant
UAB Natūralus Pluoštas has received building permit and began construction of hemp stalk processing plant in Kedainiai Free Economic Zone. The company is investing 8 million euro in a modern factory, which will be fully operational from January 2019. The factory will produce textile hemp fiber, it is planned that most of it will be exported.
"Upon the start-up of the plant, we plan to process 30 thousand tons of hemp stalks. Later on, we plan to increase the quantity of processed raw material up to 50 thousand tons per year. „Ten thousand tons of fibre will be produced per year and we plan to increase the production up to 20 thousand tons “, said Raimondas Petreikis, CEO of UAB Natūralus Pluoštas.
The plant of 7000 m2 is being built in a 2.5 ha area and it is expected to start a trial run in October 2018. The factory will employ 30 people, which the company hopes to find in Kedainiai district.
A modern factory with a special feature of the no-waste production is being built by Axis Technologies. The hemp collected will be processed to obtain hemp fiber, while the rest of the plant (shives and super short fibers) will also be used in agricultural and industrial sectors.
„The plant will process hemp supplied by local farmers, hemp fibre and other products, will be supplied to companies in Lithuania, Europe, Canada, China and other countries in Asia“, said Raimondas Petreikis.
Natūralus Pluoštas will supply hemp fiber for textile, pulp, construction industries, as well hemp shives and hemp pellets to be used as biofuel.
According to R. Petreikis, the company is focusing on the high quality parameters of the product. „In order to obtain high-quality textile hemp fiber, we have breeded and registered new variety „Austa SK which is certified already and company Naturalus Pluostas was added to industrial hemp product suppliers list“. The variety „Austa SK“ is characterized by high fiber content - more than 35%. „The goal is set to reach 40% of fiber content”, said R. Petreikis.
Natūralus Pluoštas co-operates with agricultural products trading company Agrosfera, which will provide favourable conditions for Lithuanian farmers when industrial hemp is selected as the main or alternative plant for crop rotation. The company will provide farmers with "Austa SK" hemp seeds and undertakes to buy harvested crop.
Industrial hemp is considered as sustainable and ecological farming culture that preserves the soil and environment, overwhelms weeds and is particularly suitable for crop rotation. The culture is especially attractive to ecological farms and farmers are able to receive government support.
Textile industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa L) has been grown in Lithuania for various uses since many years. Same as flax, industrial hemp is considered to be historically an integral part of farming. Textile industrial hemp is widely used in textile, building materials, food, biofuel production industries. Use of hemp fiber is growing especially in textile industry, where hemp fiber is in high demand.