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jueves, 17 de agosto de 2017

Metsä next-generation bioproduct mill becomes operational in Finland

Metsä Bioproduct Mill in Äänekoski is already a reality. Metsä Group announced yesterday that the facility had come into operation on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 at 6:00 in the morning (see official announcement). The construction project was carried out as planned (see project schedule in Figure 2). Before the bioproduct mill started up, the old pulp mill in Äänekoski was shut down and its dismantling is currently in progress. Pulp deliveries from the new mill to customers will begin in early September 2017.

Figure 1. Metsä Group's bioproduct mill construction site in Äänekoski photographed in July 2017 (extracted from the web page of the project)

The new forest biorefinery will achieve its nominal capacity approximately a year after start-up. The mill will produce 1.3 million tons of pulp per year, along with other bioproducts such as tall oil and turpentine. Other products complement the portfolio: product gas from bark, sulphuric acid from the mill’s odorous gases and biogas and biofuel pellets from sludge. Moreover, several processes and product paths are being actively studied. The most important new bioproduct development projects are lignin products, textile fibres and biocomposites.

With a value of 1,200 M€, the bioproduct mill is the largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry. The employment effect of the construction period was more than 6,000 person-years. The number of employees working on the construction site reached its peak between autumn 2016 and spring 2017: 3,000 people. In operation, the mill will create 2,500 jobs throughout the value chain in Finland (mainly, harvesting and transportation), including around 1,500 new jobs.

Figure 2. Project schedule (extracted from the web page of the project)

In order to have  clearer picture of the huge magnitude of the new biorefinery, these are some of the figures provided by Metsä in the web page of the project:

Total area required for the mill
40 ha
Total building volume
1,200,000 m3
In-situ concrete
100,000 m3
Steel structures
7,000 tons
New bridge for lorries
80 m
Railway work (new tracks)
4.5 km
220,000 m3
Raw-water pipe (diameter 2.2 m)
1.2 km

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