April 21, 2015

Next-generation bioproduct mill to be built in Äänekoski

The new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is the largest investment of the forest industry in Finland. The new mill will be built in the existing Metsä Group mill area in Äänekoski.
The new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is the largest investment of the forest industry in Finland. The new mill will be built in the existing Metsä Group mill area in Äänekoski.
Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has today made the decision to build a bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland in the area of the existing pulp mill.

The construction work will begin immediately, and the mill is scheduled to be completed in late 2017. The plans to build the bioproduct mill were published a year ago.

The new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is the largest investment of the forest industry in Finland. The total investment will amount to approximately 1.2 billion euros, of which 40 per cent will be equity financed and 60 per cent debt financed.

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 utilised in the ecosystem that will be formed by various companies around the mill.

“The steady growth in the demand for northern softwood pulp on the global market is the main driver for the investment,” says Kari Jordan, president and CEO of Metsä Group. “We aim to strengthen our leading position in this market, increase Metsä Fibre’s business, and improve our profitability in the long term.”

After completion, the bioproduct mill will increase the annual value of Finland’s exports by half a billion euros, and its income effect on Finland will be more than 0.5 billion euros annually. During construction, the bioproduct mill’s effect on employment will be approximately 6 000 jobs and when completed more than 2 500 jobs in the entire value chain, of which approximately 1 500 will be new. The mill itself will employ approximately 200 people.

The bioproduct mill will contribute to achieving renewable energy targets in Finland. The mill concept maximises 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 per cent.

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