Metsä Fibre is planning to build a next-generation bioproduct mill in Kemi which would have the capacity to produce 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp a year as well as numerous other bioproducts. If realised, the mill would be the most efficient wood-processing mill in the northern hemisphere.
The Kemi bioproduct mill would be built according to the model implemented at Äänekoski.
"We have a good bioproduct mill concept and project implementation model which we can repeat in Kemi. It's important for us to build the best possible mill on the basis of these lessons. We'll be taking Kemi's special characteristics and the technological advancements that have taken place since Äänekoski into account," says Jari-Pekka Johansson, Project Director of the Kemi bioproduct mill project.
Johansson worked in Metsä Group's Äänekoski bioproduct mill project as Valmet's representative and Project Director in 2014–2017. Valmet was one of the two main equipment suppliers.
Preparatory work is underway
The final investment decision concerning Kemi will be made at earliest in the summer of 2020. The new mill could start up in the first half of the 2020s.
The preparatory work included in the pre-engineering phase began in the mill area in July 2019. The preparatory work includes the cleaning and organisation of the mill's land areas and the demolition of buildings. The work serves to ensure the smooth progress of the excavation work following the possible investment decision.
The mill's environmental impact will also be examined this autumn. Metsä Fibre filed the EIA report with the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment on 15 September and the environmental permit application with the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland on 20 September.
Pulp, other bioproducts and energy
The bioproduct mill's key product would be pulp. The side streams of the pulp production are used in the production of both traditional bioproducts, such as tall oil and turpentine, and new bioproducts, such as product gas and sulphuric acid.
"We'll be making a reservation for the production of, for example, lignin and textile fibres as early as during the pre-engineering phase," says Johansson.
The process creates so much renewable bioenergy that the mill's self-sufficiency in terms of electrical energy would be 250 per cent.
It is intended that the Kemi bioproduct mill will primarily use the pulpwood generated in the thinning and regeneration fellings in Northern Finland as its raw material. The wood raw material and side streams would be used in full at the mill as products and bioenergy.
The Kemi investment in figures
Value of investment EUR 1.5 billion
Capacity 1.5 million tonnes of pulp
Use of wood 7.6 million m3
Jobs 250; 2,500 in the value chain in Finland
Further information about the project is available at: https://www.metsafibre.com/en/about-us/Kemi-bioproduct-mill/Pages/default.aspx.