Boost for Finland through investments in sustainable industry

​Metsä Fibre, a part of Metsä Group, has started pre-engineering project to build a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. If implemented, at EUR 1.5 billion, this will be the largest investment in the history of Finland’s forest industry. 

Jari-Pekka Johansson

We are planning the largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry in Kemi: a modern bioproduct mill. Metsä Group’s new mill would have a considerable impact on the whole of Finland during both its construction and operation. The greatest impact would be created during the bioproduct mill’s life cycle in the production phase of 30–40 years.

The mill area in Kemi is an important employer, a total of approximately 500 people work at our mill area in Kemi. The planned investment of EUR 1.5 billion would secure the 250 jobs at the current pulp mill for decades to come. If implemented, the new bioproduct mill would employ around 2,500 people throughout its direct value chain in Finland, which would mean an increase of 1,500 people compared to current pulp mill.

The year 2020 has been an extraordinary time for the whole world and at such times in particular, responsible investments in the homeland are needed. In this challenging situation, Finland needs investments to maintain the national economy and the welfare it enables. I find it particularly important that we are planning not only a domestic investment worth more than a billion, but also an environmentally efficient, top-level, fossil free bioproduct mill. The mill would not use any fossil fuels: all the energy it needs would be produced from wood. The wood raw material and side streams would be utilised 100% as products and bioenergy. The bioproduct mill is a forerunner building a responsible future. The mill’s electricity self-sufficiency rate would be 250%, and it would further strengthen Metsä Group’s major position as a producer of electricity based on domestic renewable fuels. 

If implemented, the investment would also have a significant impact in the Kemi region. During the mill’s construction phase, its employment effect is estimated at nearly 10,000 person-years, of which more than half would be done in Kemi. This figure has been estimated based on our Äänekoski bioproduct mill project, in which more than 13,500 people and more than a thousand companies worked at the site during the entire construction project over a period of two years. The project’s domestic content was 70%. In the project, 64% of the employees and 89% of the companies were Finnish. The degree of Finnish origin is also estimated to be high in the Kemi project. We have already signed several preliminary agreements for our bioproduct mill project, and companies operating strongly in Finland have been selected as our main implementation partners.

We started the project engineering phase for the bioproduct mill at the beginning of August 2020. This proves that we have progressed with the project as planned. During the project engineering phase, everything is planned in details in the mill’s construction, equipment installations and commissioning. More than 400 professionals in total from Metsä Group, Botnia Mill Service, Valmet, ABB, AFRY and Fimpec are currently working in the organisation. 

We are in a good position to continue the work to make sure all the necessary prerequisites are in place for implementing a successful major project in Finland and building the most advanced, fossil free bioproduct mill in Kemi. 

Jari-Pekka Johansson
Director of the Kemi bioproduct mill project, Metsä Fibre

Jari-Pekka Johansson is supervising the planning of the largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry. He is a seasoned project professional with more than 20 years of experience in industrial projects in the forest industry and other fields. Johansson worked in Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill project in Äänekoski as Valmet’s representative and Project Director in 2014–2017. Since the beginning of 2019, he has been working as the director of Metsä Group’s Kemi bioproduct mill project.

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