Metsä Fibre is planning to build a “next-generation bio-product mill” in the Äänekoski, Finland, that will have annual pulp production of 1.3 million tonnes, and will produce a diverse range of bio-products.
The approximately EUR 1.1 billion investment would be the largest ever investment in the forest industry in Finland. Metsä Fibre will launch the environmental audits and permit processes immediately with the aim to have them completed during the first quarter of 2015. The final investment decision is planned to be made in early 2015, in which case the new mill would become operational during 2017.
In addition to high-quality pulp, the mill will produce bio-energy and various bio-materials in a resource-efficient way. A unique bio-economy ecosystem of companies will be built around pulp production, says Metsä Fibre.
“Our new mill will be the most efficient and modern bio-product mill in the world. The global increase in the demand for high-quality softwood pulp is the most important driver for the investment, and our aim is to strengthen our leading position in this market," says Kari Jordan, president and CEO of Metsä Group.
The mill will not use any fossil-based fuels; all of the energy required for it will be generated from wood. The wood raw material and side streams will be utilized 100% as products and bio-energy.
The mill will increase the consumption of fibre wood in Finland by approximately 4 million cubic metres (about 10%) per year. The annual harvesting of softwood can be increased sustainably by approximately 7 million cubic metres, and birch fibre by 4 million cubic metres. The fibre wood will be procured mainly in Finland.