Nordic wood in Kemi buildings

The use of Finnish pine is growing strongly in industrial construction. Metsä Fibre’s own projects in Kemi are setting prominent examples in working with sustainable raw materials.
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  • 2023, Kemi bioproductmill, Sawn timber

Construction of the port warehouse at Metsä Fibre’s new Kemi bioproduct mill used 5,000 cubic metres of Nordic wood.

The 465-metre long building with 37,500 square metres of space has a roof structure with load-bearing glulam beams manufactured from Metsä Fibre’s sawn timber. The roof elements installed over the beams have been made from Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL and roofing plywood.

With the right design, it is possible to construct very large structures from wood products.

The entire roof structure of the product warehouse is wood. There are 153 pieces of 14.5-metre longitudinal load-bearing glulam beams and 189 pieces of 26.5-metre transverse ridge and bottom beams. On top of these beams are the roof elements made of laminated veneer lumber and plywood. In total, there are 39,000 square metres of elements.

“With the right design, it is possible to construct very large structures from wood products,” says Pasi Pulkkinen, Vice President, Land Logistics at Metsä Group.

He explains that careful surface treatment of the wood ensures that it stands up to the stresses of the maritime climate and varying seasonal conditions.

“We wanted to utilise wood as the construction material for the warehouse. This particular structure is by the sea and has no heating. It is used to store pulp, which creates heat and moisture inside the warehouse. These conditions require that the roof structure tolerates the climate and has excellent moisture resistance.”

Thanks to the wood elements, construction was fast and easy.

Kemi mill office showcases sawn timber

The four-storey mill office at Metsä Fibre’s Kemi bioproduct mill is central to the integrated mill. The company has used a large amount of its own wood materials to build the office. All in all, 900 cubic metres of wood are being used in the building.

Wood should be seen and felt. One of the office walls is completely made of glass, which allows natural light into the office, while presenting an impressive wood frame that is visible outside the building. The frame for the facade elements is wood, and the external cladding consists of architectural elements. The floating concrete slab system floor of the building is supported by a Kerto® LVL element.

“Thanks to the wood elements, the construction of the operating office was fast and easy. The weight of wood per cubic metre is about 500 kilos, whereas the same amount of concrete weighs 2,500 kilos,” says Kemi bioproduct mill’s Construction Manager Eelon Lappalainen.

The building has no element joints that require casting or heating. Because of this, its construction proceeded quickly even in winter, despite having a completely custom frame.

“The earlier the customer, contractor, materials procurement, and subcontractors start planning the project, the better the end result,” says Lappalainen.

This article was originally published in Timber Magazine issue 2022–2023 as a part of a longer article.

In this article


Pasi Pulkkinen
VP, Land Logistics, Metsä Group



Eelon Lappalainen
Construction Manager, Kemi bioproduct mill project, Metsä Fibre