Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, and Sulzer Pumps Finland have signed an agreement on the supply of process pumps, medium-consistency pumps and mixers for the main processes of the bioproduct mill to be built in Kemi, Finland. The delivery consists of several hundred devices and its Finnish origin is about 60%.
The environmentally efficient mill to be commissioned in 2023 will operate entirely without fossil fuels, with a high level of energy efficiency and material efficiency. Sulzer has extensive experience in energy-efficient pumping and mixing solutions for the pulp, paper and board industries, and systematically strives to reduce its own environmental footprint. Sulzer, together with other leading players in the industry, is also involved in the development of new products from wood-based raw materials together with leading players in the industry.
“We have set high material, energy and environmental targets for the Kemi bioproduct mill. Only the best available technology will be used. That is why we require that also our partners provide the technically most reliable solutions and that they are familiar with our processes and needs. Based on our experience, Sulzer’s solutions fall into this category,” says Jari-Pekka Johansson, Director of the bioproduct mill project at Metsä Fibre.
Metsä Fibre and Sulzer are long-term partners. Sulzer was also the supplier of pumps and mixers for the new generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, which was completed in 2017. The Äänekoski project went very smoothly, which contributed to the conclusion of the supply agreement with Sulzer for the Kemi bioproduct mill. Thanks to its reliable and effective pumping and mixing solutions, Sulzer is known as a total supplier to the pulp and paper industry, including industrial wastewater solutions.
“It’s great to be involved in the development of new generation pulp technology,” says Jukka Vanhala, Sales Manager at Sulzer Pumps Finland Oy.
Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill project in Kemi is progressing according to plan and earthworks and pile driving are currently being carried out. About 200 people and about 40 different companies work at the site. The bioproduct mill project’s degree of Finnish origin is estimated to be high, about 70%. During the construction phase, the mill’s employment effect is estimated at nearly 10,000 person-years, of which more than 50% will be completed in Kemi. The total number of employees working during the construction phase is estimated to be about 15,000. The investment in the new mill will secure the 250 jobs of Kemi’s current mill for the coming decades. Through its direct value chain, the new bioproduct mill will employ around 2,500 people in Finland, which will be 1,500 people more than the employment effect of the current pulp mill in Kemi.
Totalling EUR 1.6 billion, the investment in Metsä Group’s Kemi bioproduct mill is the largest in the history of the Finnish forest industry. The mill will produce 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts. The mill’s electricity self-sufficiency rate will be 250%, which will further strengthen Metsä Group’s position as a major electricity producer relying on renewable Finnish fuels.