The new mill is the first next-generation bioproduct mill in the world. Its annual pulp production capacity is 1.3 million tonnes. In addition to high-quality softwood and hardwood pulp, it is producing a broad range of other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine, bioelectricity, product gas, sulphuric acid and biogas. The bioproduct mill came into operation as planned on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 at 6:00 in the morning.
A network of companies manufacturing various types of bioproducts will broaden around the bioproduct mill. These companies will convert pulp production side streams into bioproducts that offer higher added value than before.
Expanding the product range to completely new bioproducts was a central principle in the design of the bioproduct mill. We are studying several processes and product paths and will implement them gradually. Upgrading of lignin and manufacture of textile fibres from pulp are progressing at the research stage.
Why the bioproduct mill was built?
- The demand for softwood pulp is increasing steadily.
- The demand for softwood market pulp was around 24 million tonnes in 2014 and is expected to increase to around 26 million tonnes by 2025. Demand is growing most strongly in Asia, particularly in China.
- The price competitiveness of the mill is at a good level, as it is using northern softwood pulp.
- The mill was constructed in the area of the previous Metsä Fibre pulp mill in Äänekoski in Central Finland. The new mill replaced part of the previous mill and serves the local forest industry. The previous pulp mill in Äänekoski was shut down and its dismantling is currently in progress.
- Its location is ideal in terms of availability of raw materials, and the necessary logistics networks are already in place.
- The bioproduct mill is creating a diverse ecosystem of bioeconomy companies that will develop and produce the bioproducts of the future from wood raw materials. This ecosystem will benefit not only the region, but also Finland.
Effects of the bioproduct mill
- The bioproduct mill is the largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry. It is expected to have an annual impact of more than EUR 0.5 billion on Finland’s income.
- The annual increase in the value of exports is EUR 0.5 billion.
- The bioproduct mill is diversifying the structure of the Finnish forest economy and bioeconomy and expands their product selection through high-added-value products.
- The overall effect on employment during the construction phase was more than 6,000 person-years.
- Its employment effect throughout the value chain in Finland will be 2,500 jobs, including 1,500 new jobs.
- The most significant employment effects are expected to be in the forest industry and transport.
- The bioproduct mill is helping Finland achieve its goals in terms of renewable energy. The mill is producing 2.4 times as much energy as it needs.
- The mill is increasing the share of renewable energy in Finland by more than two percentage points.
- Despite the increase in pulp production, the bioproduct mill is able to operate within the emission limits of the previous mill´s environmental permit.
- The bioproduct mill is significantly increasing the use of wood in Finland as a whole.
- The annual use of pulpwood is increasing by around 4 million cubic metres at the national level.
- The sustainable increase potential is 7 million cubic metres of softwood fibre and 4 million cubic metres of birch fibre. The wood is mainly purchased in Finland.
- Äänekoski’s central location and the broad member base of Metsäliitto Cooperative are ensuring a sufficient supply of wood. Pulpwood supply is supported by Metsä Group’s strong wood product industry, which uses logs as a raw material.