Construction work on the Kemi bioproduct mill is running at full speed. A steady stream of trucks rumbles past the site gate day in, day out.
Concrete formworks, building eaves, safety rails, bursting panels and the roof structures for the new port warehouse all need boards and planks. Supplied by Metsä Fibre’s Vilppula and Renko sawmills, they arrive by trailer every week.
Finland’s largest construction site, Metsä Group’s mill area in Kemi, also uses plywood and laminated veneer lumber (LVL), such as for the roof elements of the new mill’s 37,000 square-metre pulp warehouse in the Port of Kemi’s Ajos Harbour. Like sawn timber, the plywood and LVL are supplied by Metsä Group, more precisely by Metsä Wood’s Suolahti and Lohja mills.
Antti Eskola, in charge of procurement for the Kemi bioproduct mill project, sees obvious reasons for favouring Metsä Group’s own products. Quality is the most important one.
“Sustainability plays a key role in our bioproduct mill project. The same principle applies to the construction of the mill and to the materials used. Metsä Fibre’s products satisfy our strict quality and environmental requirements and the raw material comes from sustainably grown forests.”
Dedicated warehouse for the Kemi site
The construction site in Kemi requires enormous volumes of sawn timber. To make deliveries as smooth as possible and satisfy the needs of timber warehousing and logistics, the project management, contractors, production units and the K-Rauta Äimärautio hardware store in Oulu worked together to set up a product delivery chain. K-Rauta is the market leader in the hardware sector in Finland. It offers products and services for building, renovation, yards and gardens, as well as home furnishing. K-Rauta is part of Kesko, a Finnish listed company.
Forecasts for the building contractors’ future needs for wood products are prepared regularly on site. This information is submitted to the Metsä Fibre and Metsä Wood production units, as well as to K-Rauta Äimärautio, which has allocated an entire wood-product warehouse in Oulu to the Kemi site.
When the need for material approaches, the contractors working on the site order the products from K-Rauta Äimärautio, which delivers them straight from their production units or from the Äimärautio warehouse.
“Foresight and on-time deliveries are key aspects in this respect, because the site has very limited space for long-term storage,” says Eskola.
K-Rauta Äimärautio was chosen as a partner following a stringent and thorough process.
A full trailer of sawn timber every week
K-Rauta Äimärautio supplies goods to many of the region’s construction firms and also works as a logistics partner in their projects.
Tuomas Pajala, Store Manager of K-Rauta Äimärautio, notes that the Kemi bioproduct mill project differs from similar supply projects in its systematic approach and storage volumes.
“In the Kemi project, orders come in at least a week before delivery, and urgent needs are handled at a few days’ notice. The volumes, as such, do not differ a whole lot from those of other customers, but in this case, they are earmarked exclusively to Metsä Group’s Kemi project.”
Deliveries are made by one full trailer every week. The products are collected for delivery the previous day. K-Rauta’s own purchaser can track the orders created in the system, monitor the expected requirements and, if necessary, place additional warehouse orders with Metsä Group.
“We have people from sales, logistics and storage participating in the project. In addition, our purchaser manages the amounts in intermediate storage and places supplementary orders as required. Cooperation with Metsä Fibre’s sawn timber sales has worked very well,” says Pajala.
Antti Eskola agrees.
“Also competent service, the location of the premises, IT systems and efficient logistics were important considerations in our selection of partner. All of these have worked well,” says Eskola.
This article was originally published in Timber Magazine issue 2021-2022.