Investment programme proceeding as planned

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Investment update from Finland and Estonia

The investment aimed at improving the productivity of Kerto® LVL and plywood products has progressed well in Metsä Wood. New Kerto LVL line in Lohja is being prepared for testing, pilings have started at the mill plant in Pärnu and the modification of facilities for a new birch veneer peeling and drying line are under works in Äänekoski.

​Lohja is preparing tests for the new production line

"The Lohja mill is now running hardware installations. Testing of the equipment will be carried out in June-July and the launch of the new line is scheduled for the third quarter. The opening ceremony will be held in Lohja in September, "says Jari Tikkanen, SVP, Production and Technology at Metsä Wood.

At the Lohja mill, there have been three Kerto® LVL production lines operating until the end of last year, but two of these will be abandoned with the investment. A new line, KL4, which is considerably more efficient, has been built to replace them. Before the beginning of the construction work, the oldest line was dismantled, and the second and third lines were run throughout the construction work. When the new number 4 line is in full swing, the second line is also dismantled.

"Keeping line two in production along the new line’s construction site requires temporary arrangements at the mill. When the new line is in full swing, the second line will be called off. The staff at Lohja mill have played a key role in keeping the production running on both lines despite the challenging construction phase, " Tikkanen congratulates.

New mill piling in Pärnu

In spring, Metsä Wood bought a 10-hectare industrial site in Pärnu,  Estonia and started constructing a new birch plywood mill on the site in April.

"There have been earthworks on the site so far and we have now started piling the production hall. The foundation work will begin after the piling works", Tikkanen explains.

"Our contractor for the Pärnu mill project is a company called Nordecon, which is one of Estonia's largest construction companies. Nordecon is responsible for project management in terms of construction", he adds.

The 27,000 square metre mill hall will be about the same size as the pulp terminal completed in Vuosaari, Helsinki. This is equivalent to almost four football fields. Production in the mill will start in the second half of 2018. Machinery installations will start in January 2018, although the installation of the largest machine frames will begin already in the autumn before the mill is completely covered.

Birch veneer mill to the paper machine hall in Äänekoski

In Äänekoski, Metsä Board's old paper mill will be transformed into a new veneer mill for Metsä Wood. The veneers used for birch plywood production in Estonia will therefore be produced in Central Finland.

A log handling line will be built in the outer area of the hall and a new peeling line and a drying machine indoors. At the moment, dismantling of Metsä Board's old coating line is still under way, but after that it will be possible to start casting the openings in the floor (left by massive production equipment) and then install the new machines. The construction of the log handling line and other yard projects are scheduled to begin in July.

The fire in the mill building in May had no impact on demolition work or the timetables of the project. The fire took place in a part of the building where no new functions will be installed.

Preparations for the new spruce-based plywood product designed for Suolahti mill are still in progress. "The project has proceeded to product testing with the customer, but the investment decision has not yet been made. It is hoped that the decision will be finalised soon," says Jari Tikkanen.