The Digipolis team is happy to announce that the Kemi bioproduct mill project has reached the official investment decision.
Metsä Fibre, part of the Metsä Group, announced today that they had reached the decision to build a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. The value of the investment is EUR 1.6 billion and it is the largest investment ever made by the Finnish forest industry in Finland. The mill will be completed during the third quarter of 2023. The construction phase will take approximately two and a half years.
The investment has significant positive economic impacts for the whole of Finland. It will secure the 250 jobs in the existing pulp mill in Kemi for decades to come and increase the annual value of Finland’s exports by approximately EUR 0.5 billion. In addition, the positive annual income effect in Finland from wood sales and domestic purchases will also be approximately EUR 0.5 billion.
The economic impact during the construction phase is significant both in the Kemi region and in the whole of Finland. The Kemi bioproduct mill project’s degree of Finnish origin is estimated to be very high, approximately 70%. During the construction phase, the employment impact will be nearly 10,000 person-years and more than half of it will be located in Kemi. Furthermore, the investment decision leads to infrastructure development by the public sector, which improves transportation and traffic route infrastructure in Northern Finland, especially in the Kemi region.
The Kemi bioproduct mill will use approximately 7.6 million cubic metres of pulpwood a year, which is 4.5 million cubic metres more than the current pulp mill in Kemi. Wood is planned to be procured mainly from Finland. The wood will be procured from sustainably managed forests. In their press release, Metsä Group emphasizes ecological and sustainable wood procurement, which enhances growth and carbon sequestration of forests, safeguards the biodiversity of forest nature and improves water protection associated with forestry work.
The Kemi bioproduct mill will have a pivotal role in the circular economy of the Kemi region. Metsä Group has a unique bioproduct mill concept, where renewable wood raw material and production side streams are used in full as different bioproducts, thus replacing fossil-based materials and fossil fuels. For example, the mill will produce 2.0 TWh of renewable electricity annually. Renewable energy in the form of electricity, wood-based fuels and heat will be sold from the mill to external customers.
The preparatory work at the mill site has been ongoing already from 2019, and local companies have had a strong role in the implementation of the preparatory work. The construction of the mill will be implemented as buyer-driven subcontracting, which also allows for the participation of smaller companies. For local businesses, the mill investment will create demand directly related to the mill construction. In addition, the services used by the people working for the project will significantly increase the demand for services in the Kemi region.
Simultaneously with the investment decision, Metsä Board, also part of the Metsä Group, announced to start a development programme for its Kemi paperboard mill to increase its capacity. The total investment value of the programme is approximately EUR 67 million. The development programme will increase the mill's annual white-top kraftliner capacity by approximately 40,000 tonnes. At the same time, the material and energy efficiency of the production process improves. The development programme will reduce the Kemi paperboard mill’s water consumption by about 40 per cent and energy consumption by about 5 per cent per tonne of paperboard produced.