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What does the Kemi mill produce?
Metsä Fibre’s pulp mill in Kemi produces softwood and birch pulp to be used as raw material for high-quality board and soft tissue. The current softwood and hardwood pulp production capacity of the Kemi pulp mill is approximately 620,000 tonnes per year, and the mill uses over three million cubic metres of wood per year. The mill’s electricity self-sufficiency rate is over 150 per cent, and the mill employs approximately 1,500 people in its direct value chain in Finland.
Metsä Board’s board mill, located in the same mill integrate with the Kemi pulp mill, produces fresh fibre kraftliner to be used as raw material for corrugated consumer and storage packaging. The annual board production capacity, 420,000 tonnes, is very competitive. The capacity and product quality have been improved through planned investments.
Why is the Kemi mill the one that will be renewed?
Kemi mill is the oldest of Metsä Fibre’s four mills. It is now time to either modernise the old mill or replace it with a new one. Kemi pulp mill has been modernised in phases, and most of the technology dates back to the 1980s. The pulp mill will require considerable investments over the next decade.
What exactly are you going to do when you renew the Kemi mill?
There are two options for the renewal of the Kemi pulp mill. The first option is a new bioproduct mill that is clearly larger in terms of production capacity, consumption of wood raw material and impact on employment compared with the current mill. The second option is to extend the life cycle of the current mill by modernising a number of departments, keeping the production capacity unchanged. The project is now at the prefeasibility study phase, which will last until summer 2019. On the basis of the completed prefeasibility study, we will choose the better solution of the two.
What does ‘prefeasibility study’ mean and how does it affect the choice between the two options?
The prefeasibility study investigates the feasibility of building a bioproduct mill. As a result of the study, we will decide whether we will build a new bioproduct mill in Kemi or whether we will modernise the old mill.
The prefeasibility study includes analysing whether the supply of wood raw material is sufficient for a completely new mill. In addition, we will survey the possibilities for the development of Kemi’s industrial infrastructure and logistics connections. The entire supply chain from forest to mill and from mill to customers must run reliably and cost-efficiently. Therefore, our prefeasibility study surveys the needs and possibilities to develop the industrial infrastructure of Kemi as well as logistics connections on land, in the port and at sea.
The renewal will take Metsä Fibre’s entire production mix into consideration as well as the effect of the investments on Metsä Fibre’s performance and its position as a forerunner in the industry.
How will the prefeasibility study progress and when will the construction work begin?
We launched the Kemi pulp mill prefeasibility study in May 2018, and it will run until summer 2019. Once the prefeasibility study is completed, we will decide on the initiation of possible EIA and environmental permit procedures. The building process of the mill and its schedule will be at a more detailed level after the completion of the prefeasibility study.
What is the Äänekoski bioproduct mill?
Similar to our other mills, the Äänekoski bioproduct mill produces high-quality softwood and birch pulp and also a broad range of other products, such as tall oil, turpentine and bioenergy. In addition, the Äänekoski bioproduct mill produces producer gas, sulphuric acid and biogas. Possible new products to be manufactured from the side streams of production include textile fibres and lignin products. At the moment, Äänekoski mill has the best potential for their production. The Äänekoski bioproduct mill was designed from the very start to enable a wide range of products and further expansion of the bioeconomy system formed by companies that manufacture different bioproducts.
What are the new bioproducts?
In addition to pulp, the Äänekoski bioproduct mill produces a wide variety of other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine, bioenergy, producer gas, sulphuric acid and biogas. Possible new products to be manufactured from the side streams of production include textile fibres and lignin products.
More information about the new bioproducts can be found on the Äänekoski bioproduct mill website.
How can you procure wood sustainably?
Metsä Fibre procures only traceable wood, and the certification rate is high. We ensure the sustainable management and growth of northern forests and foster nature values. We use raw material, water and energy resource-wisely and produce renewable energy from side streams.
The wood we use comes from areas that are rich in forests and in which forest growth exceeds the volume of use. We always know the origin of the wood we procure. Forest certification verified by an external party is a proof of lawful and sustainable use of forests for us and our customers.
What will be the environmental impacts of the modernised mill?
The environmental impacts of the project will be assessed and the objective is to minimise them through the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, which will take place after the prefeasibility study.
The energy, material and environmental efficiency of the possible bioproduct mill will be among the best in the world. It will enable the integrated manufacture of new bioproducts and resource-efficient use of the side streams of the industrial process. For instance, the production capacity of the new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is nearly three times that of the old pulp mill. However, it does not exceed the emission limits specified in the environmental permit of the previous mill, and it also meets the requirements of the waste water permit. More detailed information about the environmental impact of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill on waters and air quality can be found on the mill website.
How many jobs will the Kemi mill renewal project create in the value chain?
The social effects of the Kemi mill renewal can be described at a more detailed level after the prefeasibility study is completed. For example, the total employment effect of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill in the construction phase was over 6,000 person-years. In the entire value chain, the employment effect in Finland is over 2,500 jobs, of which approximately 1,500 are new jobs.
What is the value of the increased export?
We will be able to specify the increased value attributable to the renewal in Kemi at a more detailed level after the prefeasibility study is completed. For example, the Äänekoski bioproduct mill was the largest investment in the history of Finnish forest industry. Its annual income effect on Finland is approximately EUR 0.5 billion.