Fimpec engineered and implemented Chemigate’s unique biopolymer production plant

At the start of 2023, the globally unique polysaccharide modification plant, a joint project of Chemigate and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., went online. Fimpec was in charge of engineering, managing and co-ordinating the project.

At the start of the year, the world’s first modification line that processes new types of polysaccharides was commissioned at Chemigate’s Lapua plant. The new line processes technical polysaccharides, i.e. biopolymers. In many applications, these products can replace, for example, oil-based, poorly biodegradable synthetic polymers, which have been the go-to solution in consumer and industrial products for nearly a century.

“The new plant expansion is Chemigate’s most important investment since the starch dry-modification plant, which was completed in 2012. Fimpec’s experts were also involved in that major plant project, and they have been part of many other projects of ours,” says Aki Laine, CTO of Chemigate.

“The plant expansion is an important new development for Chemigate and a fitting addition to our business based on the modification of starches. Fimpec’s role in implementing this challenging investment project was essential,” Laine adds.

Smooth co-operation, wide-ranging expertise and use of new methods are the keys to a successful project

Planning and implementing a pioneering plant was a challenging task that was advanced through close co-operation between Chemigate, its US partner IFF and Fimpec. Fimpec’s scope in the project included project management, procurement, process engineering, plant engineering, pipeline engineering, electrical instrumentation engineering, mechanical installation and pipeline installation supervision, supervision of electrical, instrumentation and automation system installations, testing and commissioning support.

“We were in charge of engineering and implementing the production process and the required extension adjacent to the production plant in use. Over a dozen people from Fimpec participated in the project,” says Fimpec’s Esa Helenius, the project’s Project Engineer.

“In addition to polysaccharide modification, which is Chemigate’s core competence, areas of expertise required in the project included project management and co-ordination, a high-hygiene process, efficient use of energy, appropriate process equipment, efficient MES and smart automation. This challenging plant project gave us an opportunity to extensively apply our competence,” Helenius adds.

Fimpec’s proprietary Computer Assisted Virtual Environment (CAVE), used for reviewing the plans, was vital in the planning process. It helped to optimise the use of space and place maintenance points in easily accessible locations.

Production launched in January 2023

Construction in Lapua started in August 2021, and the first production batch was completed in early 2023. The first customer deliveries have also been made. The Covid pandemic caused some challenges in the project, especially in terms of procurements.

“It was a truly interesting and challenging project. We carried out countless laboratory tests to make sure the product meets the requirements. The importance of good co-operation was highlighted in such a pioneering project. Our earlier co-operation with Chemigate provided a solid foundation for it,” Helenius says.

For more information, please contact:

Joni Heino, Head of Operations, Engineering services, Fimpec, Turku
tel. +358 40 728 3584 or joni.heino(at)

Esa Helenius, EIA Engineering, Fimpec, Turku
tel. +358 40 5840 881 or esa.helenius(at)

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF) is leading supplier of ingredients and solutions for the food and beverage, home and beauty, and health and wellness industries.

Chemigate Oy is a Finnish company manufacturing and selling modified starch-based binders and adhesives for technical use. Chemigate is part of the Berner Group.

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