Metsä Fibre has made the decision to build the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma, Finland. Construction will begin in the spring of 2020. Production at the sawmill is set to begin during the 3Q 2022. The coronavirus outbreak may have an impact on the schedules.
Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group, says: “The pre-engineering of Kemi bioproduct mill has progressed well and we expect to reach the decision-making stage in the autumn of 2020, as the environmental permit process is finalised. In this challenging situation faced by the society, what Finland needs now is investments and faith in the future. We estimate that the role of Finnish suppliers will be significant in implementing these investments.”
The value of the Rauma sawmill investment is approximately Euro 200 million, and the new unit will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of pine sawn timber a year. The new sawmill will be a worldwide forerunner in technology and efficiency. For example, using machine vision and artificial intelligence in different stages of the sawing process is a significant new development. Similar technology is not yet in use anywhere in the sawmill industry.
“The next-generation sawmill to be constructed in Rauma is a significant leap forward for the whole industry. The new technology allows for the transition from workstations to control room monitoring and continuous operation. The key elements of the Rauma sawmill’s operating model include employees’ in-depth expertise and multiple skills as well as user maintenance,” says Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre. “The demand for high-quality sawn timber will increase globally, especially in the demanding component and woodworking industries.”
The new sawmill will employ around 100 people directly and around 500 people across its direct value chain in Finland. The sawmill’s employment impact during the construction phase is estimated to be roughly 1,500 person-years. The annual use of logs sourced in Finland is estimated to be around 1.5 million cubic metres. Sawn timber produced by the Rauma sawmill will be sold mainly to Europe and Asia.
Metsä Fibre has made an agreement with Veisto on the delivery of the new sawline. This delivery’s degree of Finnish origin is more than 80%. Negotiations with other equipment suppliers are underway. The company has signed an agreement with AFRY on planning the sawmill’s construction phase and with A-Insinöörit on construction management services.
Photo: Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre.