Symbiosis creates significant benefits and opportunities
Metsä Group’s industrial ecosystems are creating new business operations across sectors. In addition, they offer small and medium-sized bio-based companies a unique opportunity to manufacture innovative bioproducts next to a world-class industrial plant.
One example of the partners within the ecosystem around Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is EcoEnergy SF, which produces biogas and biopellets from sludge from the mill’s wastewater treatment facility. Sludge generated during pulp production used to be regarded as waste that needed to be disposed of by burning it. Today, it is directed through pipes to the EcoEnergy plant, and is used for biogas and biopellets. The plant is the first one of its kind in the world.
According to Tero Mäki, Managing Director of EcoEnergy SF, the company benefits greatly from its symbiotic relationship with a major bioproduct mill, particularly in terms of logistics. “The connection between our processes is a lifeline that provides us with the right amount of raw material at the right time – in the most inexpensive and ecological manner. We can use renewable energy and water produced by the bioproduct mill, without major investments. This makes our operations competitive. Without these commodities, our financial operating model would be entirely different,” says Tero Mäki.
“In Äänekoski, things work and our discussions are always carried out in a good spirit and we are on the same level, despite the enormous differences in size between the plants. I appreciate this very much,” says Tero Mäki.