Metsä Fibre, has made the decision proceed with a previously announced plan to build a massive pulp and bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland. The construction work will begin immediately, and the mill is scheduled to be completed during the third quarter of 2017.
The new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is the largest investment within the forest industry in Finland. The total investment will amount to approximately EUR 1.2 billion.
The bioproduct mill’s annual pulp production will be approximately 1.3 million tonnes, of which 800,000 tonnes will be softwood pulp and 500,000 tonnes hardwood pulp. The softwood pulp will be exported mainly to Europe and Asia. In addition to premium pulp, the mill will produce much more electricity than it will need, as well as tall oil and turpentine, among other bioproducts. All side streams from the bioproduct mill are planned to be utilized in the grouping of various companies around the mill.
The new mill will increase the consumption of pulpwood in Finland by approximately 4 million cubic metres per year, or approximately 10%. The mill will use a total of 6.5 million cubic metres of wood raw material annually, which will mainly be sourced from Finland.
Valmet and Andritz will be responsible for the main equipment deliveries.
“The steady growth in the demand for northern softwood pulp on the global market is the main driver for the investment. We aim to strengthen our leading position in this market, increase Metsä Fibre's business, and improve our profitability in the long term,” says Kari Jordan, president and CEO of Metsä Group
Minimized emissions, low specific water consumption, as well as high energy and material efficiency were the central design criteria for the bioproduct mill. The wood raw material used by the mill and all side streams will be fully utilized as products and bioenergy.
The mill concept maximizes the bioenergy to be sold and increases the share of renewable energy in Finland by approximately two percentage points. Furthermore, the mill will not use any fossil fuels. All of the energy it requires will be generated from wood. The electricity self-sufficiency rate of the mill will be 240%.
After completion, the bioproduct mill will increase the annual value of Finland's exports by EUR 0.5 billion, and its income effect on Finland will be more than EUR 0.5 billion annually, according to Metsä. During construction, the bioproduct mill's effect on employment is expected to be approximately 6,000 jobs. When completed, it is expected to generate 2,500 jobs in the entire value chain, of which approximately 1,500 will be new. The mill itself will employ approximately 200 people.