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Home BUSINESSMetsä to build next-generation bio-product mill
Thu, 24 Apr, 2014 12:00:44 AM
FTimes- Xinhua Report, April 24
Kari Jordan, president and CEO of the Metsä Group at a press conference in Helsinki on Wednesday. Photo – Str / Lehtikuva.
Finnish forest industrial group Metsä announced on Wednesday that it plans to invest 1.1 billion euros (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) to build a bio-product factory in central Finland.
According to Metsä Group, the new factory will be the world's first next-generation bio-product mill capable of converting wood-based materials into a wide range of products.
A press release said that a unique bio-economy ecosystem will be built around pulp production. The wood-based raw materials and byproducts will be utilized by 100 percent to produce pulp, bio-energy and other products.
Instead of using fossil-based fuels, all of the energy required for production will be bio-energy generated from wood-based materials, said the group.
"The global increase in the demand for high-quality softwood pulp is the most important driver for the investment, and our aim is to strengthen our leading position in this market," said Kari Jordan, president and CEO of the Group.
Metsä Fibre, one of the five branches of Metsä Group, will be responsible to build the factory in the existing mill area in Aanekoski, central Finland. The factory is expected to go into operation in 2017, and its annual production capacity of pulp will be up to 1.3 million tons.
The total investment of 1.1 billion euros is the largest ever investment in Finland's forest industry. Jordan said the investment will support Metsa Fibre's growth and improve profitability in the long run.
The investment is supposed to generate over 500 million euros annually, and offer 2,500 jobs in the forest industry around Finland, a blessed message for the stagnant Finnish economy. Furthermore, the bio-product factory will help achieve the renewable energy targets in Finland by nearly 2 percent.
The Finland-based groupoperates in 30 countries, with the core businesses being pulp, paper products, wood products, as well as wood trade and forestry services. Its sales totaled 4.9 billion euros in 2013, and it employs about 11,500 staff.
Metsä Fibre is one of the largest pulp manufactures in Europe. The company's main products are bleached soft wood and birch pulp, which are used to produce high-quality paper products.  
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