The builders of the bioproduct mill: Successful solutions make the project manager happy

Ossi Puromäki, the project manager responsible for the project services of the Kemi bioproduct mill project, is pleased that his team was able to succeed in inspecting deliveries and managing tasks related to project logistics in a challenging global situation.
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  • 2023, Kemi bioproductmill, Our professionals

The construction of the Kemi bioproduct mill of Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has progressed according to plan and on schedule.

"As for logistics, all special deliveries are now in Kemi, and only bulk items and individual components are still coming. All things considered, we have managed well and as planned in keeping everything under control. This is thanks to our professional team", says project manager Ossi Puromäki.

Puromäki’s team is responsible for project services. The team’s duties include inspecting the production and deliveries of ordered machines and equipment, coordinating project logistics, installations and worksite management. Building the maintenance for the bioproduct mill, completed during the third quarter, is one of the team’s key responsibilities.

"We also took advantage of virtual technology and its possibilities in handling inspections, or remote inspections as we called them, and used the resources of our extensive partner network to send inspectors specifically on-site to various locations. Now the nature of our operations has changed, as the shop fabrication phase is over. We still organise intensified inspections of the deliveries of all small and even individual components, the delivery times of which have been impacted by the semiconductor shortage."

Execution based on precise planning

Currently, Puromäki’s focus has shifted from delivery inspections and logistics to installations of the new mill and increasingly to its maintenance.

A major mill project requires precise planning, but it is not always possible to make the plans millimetre-perfect in advance.

"This job requires the ability to coordinate and manage, see the big picture and understand how everything depends on something else, as well as how each phase can progress as smoothly and efficiently as possible."

"When I started my career as a salaried employee at 25 years of age, my colleague at the time said it was easy to drive fast on a straight road, but real talent emerged in twists and bends. In working every day, it is easy to get to know how different people act in various situations."

Puromäki has had a long career in maintenance at Metsä Group’s mills, and he was also involved in building the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski. He thinks it a great advantage that he has already led a similar project once before.

"Project work is much more straightforward than work in a running mill. There is hardly any time to plan for various operating models. My basic task is obviously to avoid and solve various challenges and problem situations. This makes my days more interesting, because I enjoy successful solutions that help the project progress as planned and on schedule. It feels good when you can get things back on the right track."

Safety is a central theme guiding all decision making, and it is in Puromäki’s mind every day. As soon as he enters the worksite, he observes how well the worksite arrangements are functioning and how winter maintenance is being managed. Safety matters are the first things on the agenda at various contractor, department and coordination meetings. When the work is planned well from the safety perspective, and risk assessment has been carried out appropriately, the work in general is purposeful, productive, effective and safe.

Almost half of Puromäki’s workday is spent at various team meetings. There is plenty of variety, because he can solve situations from minor issues to challenging installations and diverse quality matters.

To Puromäki, the project’s highlight is the moment the first bale comes out from the brand new mill. It is the great goal in which everyone’s actions in the project culminates.

"It is great that we have such a top project organisation which was assembled just for this project, with the right persons in the right positions."

Ossi Puromäki

Residence Äänekoski
Age 51
Position Project manager responsible for the project services of the bioproduct mill being built in Kemi
Education Machine automation engineer
Career About 26 years in maintenance and development positions in forestry
Family Wife and two grown-up daughters
Hobbies Skiing (last winter 1,672 km), jogging, biking, hunting and forestry


The builders of the bioproduct mill

The builders of the bioproduct mill is a series of articles that introduces readers to the people bringing the Kemi bioproduct mill to life and describes their work as part of the biggest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry. This is the ninth article in the series.

Read other published articles:

A project that pays attention to safety will stay on track

New bioproduct mill to be built with best available technology

Ensuring safety is a common effort

The construction of the bioproduct mill is progressing according to plan

Information exchange among contractors is important

An interactive approach ensures results

Commissioning takes the bioproduct mill towards a successful start-up

A successful bioproduct mill commissioning requires strong work coordination

Aiming for full capacity after the bioproduct mill’s start-up