Fimpec signs contract with SSAB for Project Management Services in Luleå’s fossil-free steel investment

(Photo: SSAB)

In early April, SSAB committed to constructing a cutting-edge mini mill for fossil-free steel in Luleå as the next phase of its green transition. The project is now initiated, and Fimpec has been chosen as a project management partner.

According to the contract between the companies, Fimpec will play a significant role in the project’s management. Its responsibilities will include leading the engineering process, including Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the integration of 3D models. Other responsibilities will be within the scopes of contract management, procurement, schedule management, Quality control, HSE and logistics..

“As part of SSAB’s project organizations, we bring in experience  from several large-scale industrial investment projects. The project has started with strong collaboration, and, we are now jointly building the project’s engineering organization with SSAB,” says Raimo Kaunismäki, Project Service Manager at Fimpec.

Mikko Turunen, Managing Director of Fimpec PMO, states that the contract with SSAB is substantial and well-suited to Fimpec’s expertise.

“The project is a long-term mega-investment in SSAB’s fossil-free steel, with a lifecycle extending over several decades. It is a privilege to partner with our client to promote this green transition investment, which aligns excellently with our capabilities,” he evaluates.

The fossil-free steel mini mill under construction in Luleå will have an annual capacity of about 2.5 million tons of steel, replacing the existing blast furnace-based production system. The total investment is estimated at approximately €4.5 billion. The new facility is expected to commence operations by the end of 2028, achieving full capacity the following year.

»Read more about the project on SSAB’s website

More information:

Mikko Turunen
Managing Director, Fimpec PMO Oy
tel: +358 40 844 7566
email: mikko.turunen@fimpec.com

EPCM and EPC in clean transition projects

Sami Nissinen, Jorma Paananen and Tero Siintoharju.

Projects in the clean transition often involve actors who lack experience in managing large and demanding construction projects. However, these projects need to be completed cost-effectively, within budget, and without surprises. EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Management) model offers a tested solution for industrial investment projects of varying sizes. In this model, the client employs an EPCM Consultant to assist in all phases of the project.

At Fimpec, we are familiar with this type of operation from various projects. The division of labor between the client and the EPCM Consultant can vary depending on the project and the client’s needs, but a typical division is as follows:

Client

  • Sets the project timeline and content requirements.
  • Reviews and approves plans in a controlled manner.
  • Participates in procurement negotiations, sets procurement frameworks, and signs procurement contracts.
  • Monitors the project.

Fimpec’s EPCM Consultant

  • Develops and maintains the overall project schedule, leads the project.
  • Oversees the creation of implementation engineering documents.
  • Prepares technical and commercial inquiries for procurements, sends out inquiries, receives bids, and provides procurement recommendations to the client.
  • Oversees project equipment and facility deliveries.
  • Maintains project engineering documents.
  • Supervises construction and the construction site.
  • Oversees installation and commissioning.
  • Supervises training.
  • Compiles the final engineering documentation.

Expertise and experience at the client’s disposal

The role of an EPCM Consultant can be summarized as helping the client in every aspect of the project so that decisions are based on adequate understanding and expertise. This means the consultant must convey what the client does not know and where potential project risks lie.

To achieve this, the EPCM Consultant needs expertise in engineering and its subcontracting, scheduling, procurement, as well as construction management and related supervision. At Fimpec, we solve this by utilizing the expertise of our specialists in various areas.

This way, we can see things on behalf of the client and ensure that the project progresses according to the plan we have developed together.

The importance of procurement expertise cannot be overstated. In industrial projects, the significance of timely and on-schedule procurements is crucial for the project to proceed on schedule. This requires deep experience in both procurement and the industry, not to mention an understanding of cultural differences between procurement countries.

What alternative does EPC offer?

Especially in wind and solar power projects, EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) model also emerges as a delivery option. Here, the client makes a contract with an EPC Contractor, who takes responsibility for the entirety: engineering, procurement, and construction, and makes their own contracts with subcontractors and equipment suppliers.

Thus, the client is in a contractual relationship only with the EPC Contractor, who delivers the facility on a turnkey basis. In contrast, in an EPCM project, the client makes contracts with equipment suppliers and contractors with the help and support of an EPCM Consultant.

From the owner’s perspective, an EPCM project is often more clearly defined and therefore more cost-effective solution. However, it’s important to note that the risk of success lies more heavily with the client compared to the EPC model, where risks are generally lower but the price higher due to the contractor’s total risk reservation.

EPC projects are also familiar to us at Fimpec, and we are currently involved in the solar park project being built by investment company Exilion in Simo, which is being implemented with this procurement method. We have been involved in the project from the preparatory phase and now act in the implementation phase in an Owner’s Engineering role supervising the EPC Contractor. Practically, we take care of the client’s interests on their behalf.

The right implementation model should always be considered case by case

Projects vary, and it’s important to note that no specific implementation method is an intrinsic value in construction projects. The starting point for selection should be the objectives set for the project and examine which implementation model best helps achieve those objectives. Thus, it’s not advisable to stick to the first procurement form that comes up but to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of different options for that specific project with its unique characteristics.

This is also how we operate in projects where we are involved from an early stage. We offer our experience to the client and together seek the most suitable implementation method for the project to maximize benefits with minimal input.

Case-specific consideration is a good starting point for all construction projects, but as construction projects related to clean transition increase, it’s interesting to ponder how the project models presented above function in them.

A decisive factor in the choice of delivery options is the complexity of the project and its level of technological novelty. As projects become more complex, the pool of actors and suppliers willing and able to take responsibility for the entirety under the EPC model decreases, or at least the bid price increases to such an extent that the solution may not necessarily be the best from a business perspective.

Simplistically, projects that apply established technology, such as solar park projects, are in many cases suitable for EPC deliveries. In these, the construction project’s entirety mainly consists of the solar power system and infrastructure construction and is often so straightforward that an EPC Contractor can be found at a reasonable price.

Renewable energy projects at the other extreme, such as hydrogen economy projects, contain very different areas, many of which require both specific expertise and concurrent technological development. For such projects, EPCM is generally a better option as the risk is shared between the client and the supplier.

Wind power projects and the emerging hybrid power plant projects fall between these extremes. Based on our experience, they are often so diverse that EPC delivery is not possible at the desired price, while EPCM often provides a viable option for their implementation.

Would you like to discuss your construction project and how we can assist in its completion?, Contact us:

Sami Nissinen, Business Unit Director, Fimpec Energy Services
Phone: +358 40 348 5401
Email: sami.nissinen(at)fimpec.com

Jorma Paananen, Business Unit Director, Fimpec Project Management Services
Phone: +358 400 347 373
Email: jorma.paananen(at)fimpec.com

Fimpec opens office in Sweden´s northernmost town, Kiruna

Leif Hedlund and Michael Uhland

Operations are already in full swing with both the recruitment of new staff and the start-up of customer projects. Fimpec AB focuses on project management and planning of construction projects in energy, industry, infrastructure and real estate. The Swedish operations began just over a year ago and have since then, in addition to Kiruna, established offices in Västerås and Stockholm.

“There is so much to deal with here in the Kiruna area. The major urban transformation in the new Kiruna, all the sought-after rare earth elements in the area and, not least, all the infrastructure needed for all this. In addition, it is fun to work in a smaller but flexible company where there is more room for personal experiences and initiatives”, says Michael Uhland, Team Leader Kiruna, Fimpec AB.

“We had the opportunity to build Fimpec’s presence in Malmfälten with Michael Uhhland who has decades of experience in construction and is known and respected in the area. We couldn’t pass up such an opportunity”, says Leif Hedlund, Director of Fimpec in Northern Sweden.

For more information
Leif Hedlund
Director of Northern Sweden, Fimpec AB
+46 705 08 08 34
leif.hedlund@fimpec.com

Fimpec sells its Subsidiary, SystemTest OÜ, in Estonia

The sale of the entire share capital of SystemTest OÜ was executed, with Eimer Automaatika OÜ as the buyer, which has demonstrated strong interest in continuing the company’s operations into the future.

“SystemTest, in collaboration with Eimer Automaatika, has the capability to sustain and develop its own business. We believe that this strategic decision will create new growth prospects for both companies and enable a strategic focus on our respective areas of expertise,” stated Frans Jokinen, Development Director of Fimpec.

Fimpec will continue its determined expansion in the fields of consulting, technical design, and project management. The strategic decision to divest from total automation system deliveries allows Fimpec to direct its core competencies towards advancing the green transition and strengthening its position in the industry.

For more information:

Frans Jokinen, Development Director, Fimpec Group
+358 45 359 4828, frans.jokinen@fimpec.com

Column: Sweden should do like Finland – a new model for faster permits

Sweden’s energy supply has lost many years of development and is largely stuck in a structure from the eighties. This applies to the power plants, regardless of the technology used, and the distribution network mainly for electricity. Now the state of affairs and the strong need for modernization have come to attention in recent years as the negative effects of an outdated power distribution structure have become increasingly apparent.

Lately, however, we have seen many positive initiatives to reduce Sweden’s vulnerable situation. But the process is slow, not least the authority processes with all the necessary permits take time and can easily be delayed.

It often takes many years before the first sod is taken. The permit processes follow one another in a variety of steps, where everything can be canceled or be put on hold due to defects in form, because some body puts obstacles in the way or because someone is dissatisfied with the location of buildings, switchgear, power lines and the like. Absolutely reasonable demands to have their views heard and weighed take time.

Overall, any changes cost time, cause delays and mean that the calculations don’t hold. Objections for environmental reasons in particular take a lot of time. At the same time, it is greater environmental concerns that drive the demands for changed energy extraction and distribution. The questions are not simple. Being told about something five years later where the conditions may have fundamentally changed as well as the cost of keeping everyone up to date in the process may well seem discouraging.

Finland is in the process of introducing a system where the main idea is that it is possible to apply to all authorities in parallel whose approval permit is required. In the past, in Finland as well as in Sweden, it has been required that permission be given by all authorities in turn. Something that has caused there to be many links in the permit chain where potential delays could occur at all levels.

The new model means that everyone who is to speak on an issue can do so at the same time and that all objections can be assessed at the same time. Not that the various reasons have to be assessed one after the other in a long line.

In Finland, it is also intended that an authority should have the main responsibility for piloting the application through the process, which is also intended to streamline and make everything run both smoother and faster. Then the applicants would be able to decide at an early stage whether it is worth continuing the process to build something and whether one should invest instead in some alternative solution or completely abandon the efforts to get something done.

In Finland, the hope is that most things can be managed via a contact in the world of authorities.

Should authority processes take one or five years? Let’s embrace Finland’s initiative – for the sake of the environment.

Anders Hallgren
CEO of Fimpec Sweden

The article was originally published on the NyTeknik website in Swedish. » Read more

Turku Region Waste­water Treat­ment Plant Ltd’s invest­ment comp­leted on schedule and below budget – new outlet pipe and UV plant inaugu­rated in May

The UV disinfection facility was excavated into the bedrock.

The new outlet pipe and UV disinfection plant mark a substantial improvement in the Turku Region Wastewater Plant’s capacity and reliability. The purification process is also more effective now with UV disinfection performed on the wastewater after the regular treatment process. As a result, the wastewater will meet hygiene requirements set for swimming water, and the hygienic environmental load on the Turku sea area is reduced.

Fimpec involved in Turku Region Wastewater Treatment Plant’s biggest ever investment

Fimpec PMO Oy was in charge of project management, supervision, safety coordination, cost control and project reporting to the customer’s management between 2020 and 2023. Several Fimpec experts from different service sectors participated in the project.

“We at Fimpec are honoured to have been able to work on such an extensive and unique project in close co-operation with the professionals at Turku Region Wastewater Treatment Plant Ltd and other parties,” says Fimpec’s Esa Kunnassaari, Head of Operations, Project Services, who was in charge of the project management services for the project.

Project completed on schedule and below budget

The purchases for the project were carried out as public procurement. The approved cost estimate for the project was EUR 48 million, and the final costs were around EUR 45 million. Despite the complex nature of the project, use of technology that was unproven in Finnish ground conditions and major changes in the global situation, the project was completed on schedule and below budget.

The outlet pipe was taken into full use in early July 2022, and the trial run of the UV disinfection plant began in January 2023. The UV plant was taken into use at the end of March 2023. The successful execution of this large-scale and complex project required close co-operation between several parties to reach the common goal.

“The outlet pipe project is a textbook example of successful co-operation between different stakeholders. Fimpec’s operations and competence contributed significantly to the planned completion of the project,” says Mirva Levomäki, Managing Director of Turku Region Wastewater Treatment Plant Ltd.

A first in Finland: pipeline installed using the microtunneling method without any disturbances

The new outlet pipe measures around 800 metres in length and has a diameter of 2.5 meters. The reinforced concrete pipe was driven into the ground using the microtunneling method. This is the first microtunneling project of this scale to have been carried out in Finland.

The pipe segments were jacked into the ground to a depth of approximately 8 metres. The method helped to minimise the carbon footprint and environmental impacts of the pipeline project as excavations were only required at the start and end points of the pipeline. The pipeline was jacked below municipal infrastructure and busy street areas without any disturbances.

» Read more here

The launching shaft at the Turku harbour (left) and reception shaft at the Hansapuisto park next to the treatment plant (right)

The excavation required for the outlet tunnel and UV disinfection plant called for technical expertise and smooth communication with the residents and operators in the area

Another major component of the entire project was the excavation of the 300-metre outlet tunnel and the space for the UV disinfection plant. The UV plant and outlet tunnel were excavated adjacent to the underground treatment plant already in use. The outlet tunnel was excavated from the UV plant to the Hansapuisto park, where the tunnel connects to the 804-metre jacked pipeline. The outlet tunnel and pipeline total 1,104 metres in length. The space for the UV disinfection plant was excavated under challenging conditions close to apartment blocks and a day-care centre. The space extended partly beneath the operational day-care centre.

Any disturbance caused by the project were minimised through meticulous pre-planning, vibration monitoring and property audits.

“During the excavation, attention had to be paid to ensure the disturbance-free operation of the fully operational Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant. The excavation work was also scheduled according to the nap times of the day-care centre’s children. At this phase of the project, special attention was paid to informing the neighbourhood and addressing any questions raised by the local residents and operators,” says Kunnassaari.

The last part of the investment, the UV disinfection plant, was handed over to the treatment plant on 30 March 2023

UV disinfection in progress.

With the completion of the UV disinfection plant, the entire investment was completed in March 2023. The UV plant build adjacent to the Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant is used to disinfect the wastewaters before tunnelling to the outlet pipe. The effectiveness of UV disinfection has already been controlled through follow-up measurements, and the results are excellent.

“The project has involved special requirements throughout, and the network of experts operating at the site has done a fantastic job resolving them. Building the UV disinfection plant was part of a complex project in which the operation of the plant was integrated into the operational wastewater treatment plant,” Kunnassaari says.

» Read more here

“Construction of the UV plant called for close interaction between the operating personnel of the treatment plant, Fimpec’s personnel and Skanska Infra, which was the contractor,” Kunnassaari explains.

“Our co-operation with Fimpec’s experts was excellent! As a representative of the customer, I can be very pleased with the outcome,” says Jarno Arfman, Technical Manager, Turku Wastewater Treatment Plant Ltd.

“The outlet pipeline and UV plant project gives Fimpec a major foothold in public sector plant projects,” says Fimpec’s Business Unit Director Jorma Paananen.

The innovative investment of Turku Region Wastewater Treatment Plant Ltd received recognition already during the construction phase:

  • Honorary mention, Turku Good Construction Award 2023
  • Shortlisted, Ground Engineering Awards 2022, International Project of the Year category
  • Tied 2nd place in the RIL Award 2021 competition by the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers
  • Project of the Year 2021 award by the Finnish Society for Trenchless Technology

For more information, please contact:

Esa Kunnassaari, Head of Operations, Fimpec  PMO Oy
tel. +358 400 702 621, esa.kunnassaari(at)fimpec.com

Fimpec in charge of project manage­ment at the Kuhan­koski hydro power plant project

Photos: Tomi Immonen

The Kuhankoski hydro power plant is Koskienergia Oy’s largest investment to date, with a budget of more than EUR 20 million. The project involved the construction at Kuhankoski of a modern hydro power plant and an entirely new channel, partly flowing through a tunnel in the rock. Furthermore, a new natural fish pass was built for migratory fish alongside the old technical fish pass. Kuhankoski’s old power plant, built between 1919 and 1925, will remain operational alongside the new hydro power plant as a backup facility.

The new power plant will generate around 40 per cent more electricity than the old plant and increase annual production from under 25 GWh to 35 GWh.

The project was completed on schedule

Fimpec’s Tomi Rissanen, the project’s project manager, safety coordinator and construction supervisor, describes the project as unique. New hydro power plants like the one at Kuhankoski have not been built in Finland for decades. The project was challenging and long. Building worksite infrastructure, rock engineering (including excavation), the extremely demanding casting in-situ of the power plant and the coordination of the work between different parties demanded a lot from everyone involved.

“For example, approximately 130 in-situ castings were carried out over eighteen months on a hundred separate days, with the size of the cast parts ranging from a few cubic metres to several hundred cubic metres. They also included the attaching of huge turbine parts. As the turbine parts were cast in-situ in the concrete structure in three phases as the work progressed, the schedules of the main contractor SRV Infra and the plant’s turbine supplier Andritz had to be synchronised carefully,” he says.

Despite the challenges, the project achieved completion on schedule. Rock engineering and opencast mining began in November 2020, tunnel excavation in the beginning of 2021 and the casting in-situ of the power plant began in June 2021. The power plant building was erected using precast concrete elements in around a month in summer 2022, after which the in-situ casting continued until November.

The construction project was finished in January 2023, followed by the installation of equipment and automation-related work and finishing work on the construction project. The power plant’s test production began in March 2023, and regular production started in April. Since then, finishing work has been carried out at the power plant. The plant’s official inauguration was held on 2 June 2023.

“We got the project across the finish line on schedule through excellent co-operation between the various parties. The importance of staying on schedule was highlighted when we were able to benefit from the spring floods, and both power plants were running at full capacity for a few weeks before the river began to subside,” Rissanen sums up.

Budget and quality went hand in hand

They were able to stay within the project’s budget of just over EUR 20 million. Rissanen estimates that this was the result of, above all, Koskienergia’s quick and clear decision-making, flexible collaboration with the equipment supplier, predicting challenges, precise project management and supervision of the work. He points out that quality is extremely important in projects of this kind because the structures are difficult to fix after the fact.

According to Rissanen, one major success related to occupational safety: despite the extremely difficult circumstances, only two lost-time incidents occurred at the worksite, each leading to only a few days of sick leave.

A green transition project in safe hands

Over the years, Fimpec has participated as an engineering and project management partner in several key green transition projects, such as wind, solar and hydrogen plants.

“Hydro power is a key resource in Finland and at Kuhankoski, Koskienergia Oy has taken a modern approach to the challenges resulting from self-sufficient energy production in a changing world. In this project, together with Koskienergia, AFRY, SRV, Insta and Andritz, we have been able to carry out thorough work in engineering, technical solutions and project implementation,” stated Fimpec’s Business Unit Director Jorma Paananen at the power plant’s inauguration.

New Kuhankoski power plant

  • Maximum power 5.4 MW.
  •  Annual production approx. 35 GWh, and almost 40 GWh together with the old power plant.
  • Two turbines and generators.
  • Water is steered into the new power house along a new 100-metre tunnel.
  • The drop height is approx. 3.5 metres (based on the height of the lakes Saraavesi and Lappvesi).
  • A maximum of 160 m3 per second of water flows through the two new turbines.
  • A natural, winding fish pass was built between the new and old power houses.
  • The project included the building of a heat recovery system, which recovers the heat generated by the transformers and new power house and uses it to heat the old power plant.
  • The budget was just over EUR 20 million.
  • Construction took place from 2020 to 2023.

For more information, please contact:

Jorma Paananen, Business Unit Director, Fimpec PMO
tel. 040 347 373, jorma.paananen(at)fimpec.com

Tommi Rissanen, Project Manager, Fimpec PMO
tel. 040 556 7828, tommi.rissanen(at)fimpec.com

Hippos centre advances under a new con­struction model – Fimpec PMO Oy in charge of con­struction

(Image: PES-Architects)

Fimpec has long and solid experience of implementing large-scale and demanding projects under a project management model. Backed by its strong local know-how and organisation, Fimpec will be responsible for co-ordinating the construction of the Hippos centre, construction site supervision, scheduling, procurement, cost reporting and implementation engineering.

“Fimpec has strong roots in Jyväskylä, and we have built an experienced local project management organisation that is in charge of managing and implementing the Hippos project together with our client. As a local player, it is an honour to be part of a project that promotes the development of the Jyväskylä area and strengthens the local infrastructure. The new Hippos centre will be a significant regional hub with substantial value for society,” states Mikko Turunen, CEO of Fimpec PMO.

“We are pleased to announce the start of collaboration with Fimpec PMO. Fimpec PMO’s long-standing experience of managing major real estate projects, solid local know-how and local contact network will be crucial enablers as we take this project forward together with Hippos centre’s own strong organisation,” says Jouni Alho, Managing Director of Sepos Oy.

Number one sports and wellness hub in the Nordics

The construction plans for Hippos are currently being refined, and the goal is for construction to commence in autumn 2023. Hippos is set to be the number one sports and wellness hub in the Nordics, with the most innovative companies and cutting-edge research units in the field working together to create a new, internationally successful business.

Hippos centre will include spaces for some 20 different sports, such as track & field, gymnastics, martial arts, group fitness classes and ball sports. The sports complex will also house a day-care centre, restaurants and a shop. An ice arena centre will be created by renovating and expanding the existing ice rink, and three ice training rinks will also be built in the Hippos centre. Some 26,000 square metres of space has been earmarked for a science and business centre. An outdoor sports park for public use as well as 900 parking spaces will be built.

Hippos in numbers

  • Total area: approx. 100,000 m2
  • People employed directly by Hippos: 600
  • People employed indirectly by Hippos: 300+
  • Annual visits to Hippos: 4.7 million

» Read more about Hippos on the website

For more information, please contact:

Mikko Turunen, CEO, Fimpec PMO,
tel. +358 40 844 7566, mikko.turunen@fimpec.com

Kai Ruuhonen, Project Director, Hippos Ky,
tel. +358 40 358 5533, kai.ruuhonen@hipposkeskus.fi

Ville Niskakangas, Project Manager, City of Jyväskylä,
tel. +358 40 487 2577, ville.niskakangas@jyvaskyla.fi

Jouni Alho, Managing Director, Sepos Oy,
tel. +358 50 305 4104, jouni.alho@sepos.fi

Fimpec grew strongly in 2022, driven by industry and energy sectors

During the financial year, demand was exceptionally strong and thus the volume of operations and the Group’s headcount grew significantly, both organically and through M&As. The personnel grew by 45 per cent, from 268 people to 389.

Fimpec Group’s EBITDA rose to EUR 3.0 million (EUR 2.0 mill. in 2021). The relative EBITDA margin was 7.4 per cent, which was below the normal level for the sector. Reasons for this were the investments related to the business growth and the proactive recruitment process.

During 2022, we completed the purchase of Byggnadsekonomi Oy and Byggnadsekonomi Ab stocks and the acquisition of Chemitec Consulting Oy’s business. Fimpec also expanded its operations in Sweden.

In 2023, the turnover is expected to rise clearly to more than EUR 50 million, and profitability is expected to improve considerably. In March 2023, as many as 420 people worked in the Group.

For more information, please contact:

Jukka Nieminen, CEO, Fimpec Group Oy
tel. +358 40 557 4547 or jukka.nieminen(at)fimpec.com