Espoo, Finland – Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has launched a prefeasibility study on renewal of Kemi pulp mill.
In the prefeasibility study Metsä Fibre is investigating two options:
Replacing completely the current pulp mill with a new bioproduct mill. Compared to the current mill, the new mill would be clearly larger in terms of production capacity, consumption of wood raw material and impact on employment. The self-sufficiency in electricity would be considerably raised and the bioproduct range would be expanded.
Extending the life cycle of the current mill by modernising several departments and maintaining production capacity and wood consumption largely unchanged.
"The shift from fossil-based economy towards sustainable bioeconomy is accelerating. The forest industry and Metsä Group have a significant role in this development. In the launched study, we will evaluate the preconditions for a very significant investment in Kemi, Finland,” says Metsä Group’s President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä.
The prefeasibility study examines in particular the availability of wood raw material and the development potential of Kemi's industrial infrastructure and logistic connections. The study phase is expected to continue until the summer 2019, when decisions on a possible launch of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental permit procedures would be made. The prefeasibility study is led by Timo Merikallio, M.Sc. (Eng.) who was responsible for the planning and construction of Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill, the largest forest industry investment in Europe, which started up in August 2017 in Äänekoski, Finland.
Metsä Fibre produces softwood and hardwood pulp in the Kemi integrate mainly for raw material for tissue paper and kraftliner, and Metsä Board, also part of Metsä Group, produces high-quality kraftliners for packaging end-uses. The kraftliner production, the annual capacity of which is approximately 420,000 tonnes is highly competitive, and its capacity and product quality have been developed with continuous investments.
Kemi's pulp mill's current annual production capacity of softwood and hardwood pulp is approximately 620,000 tonnes. Annually the mill uses more than 3 million cubic metres of wood. The mill's self-sufficiency in electricity is nearly 145%. The pulp mill employs approximately 1,500 people in its direct value chain in Finland. The Kemi pulp mill has been rebuilt in stages, and its technology is mainly from the 1980s. The pulp mill has significant investment needs over the next decade.
Metsä Fibre is owned by Metsä Group’s parent company Metsäliitto Cooperative (50.1%), Itochu Corporation (25.0%) and Metsä Board Corporation (24.9%).
Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers.
Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.0 billion in 2017, and it employs approximately 9,100 people. The Group operates in nearly 30 countries. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 104,000 Finnish forest owners.