Metsä Group’s new bio­product mill in Kemi has been in­augurated, with Fimpec overseeing construction and installation manage­ment

The launch of Metsä Fibre’s, part of Metsä Group, new bioproduct mill and expansion of the paperboard mill in Kemi took place on Wednesday, September 20, marking the largest investment in the history of Finland’s forest industry. Fimpec has been responsible for the construction management in construction phase, project management of mechanical installations and site management, and their work is now in the final stages.

The statistics concerning new bioproduct mill are impressive. The investment is valued at approximately 2.02 billion euros. The mill will produce 1.5 million tons of softwood and hardwood pulp annually, along with numerous other bioproducts and 2 terawatt-hours of renewable electricity. In terms of production, environmental impact, and energy efficiency, the mill ranks among the world’s best, completely avoiding the use of fossil fuels.

The construction project was equally substantial. At its peak in February 2023, up to 4,000 people worked daily at the construction site. In total, the estimated employment impact during the construction phase is nearly 10,000 person-years.

Timo-Pekka Aaltonen, the Operative Director at Fimpec and Site Manager of installations of the project, stated that participating in such a massive project was challenging but highly instructive. He emphasized that effective and transparent collaboration among various stakeholders played a pivotal role in the project’s success.

“In our operations, it was evident that everyone shared a common goal, and we moved towards it as one team. In a project of this magnitude, this is of paramount importance because numerous decisions are made during the project. Good collaboration and openness help focus on essential matters and lay the foundation for finding solutions and making necessary decisions quickly. It also aided us in dealing with the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and events in Ukraine.”

A New Milestone in the Long-standing Partnership with Metsä Fibre

Fimpec’s participation in the construction of the Kemi bioproduct mill continues its long-standing collaboration with Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group. Their previous major project with Metsä Fibre, in which Fimpec participated, was the Äänekoski bioproduct mill investment, which was nearly the size of the Kemi project.

“Our collaboration has been fruitful. Fimpec’s experts have worked closely as an integral part of Metsä Fibre’s execution organization, openly seeking new and efficient ways of operating. For example, here in Kemi, we leveraged many of the lessons learned from the Äänekoski investment, identifying what aspects to consider. Similarly, ideas have emerged on how to advance such a project even more efficiently,” said Aaltonen.

“Fimpec was already a familiar partner to us from the Äänekoski bioproduct mill project, so selecting them as the main partner for the Kemi project was a natural choice. Our cooperation has been good and smooth throughout the entire project. Fimpec’s skilled team has been instrumental in ensuring that the project stayed on schedule and that the mill started as planned,” stated Jari-Pekka Johansson, Project Director for the Kemi bioproduct mill project.

Valuable Experience and Capital for Fimpec

Fimpec was responsible for both the construction management in construction phase and project management of mechanical installations in the Kemi investment, operating within Metsä Fibre’s organization. At its peak, around 45 Fimpec employees worked simultaneously at the construction site, and there are still about ten Fimpec representatives on-site.

“We conduct inspections and punch lists for both construction and installations and ensure that post-installation work is done properly. Additionally, we provide support to the commissioning personnel when needed. So, we’re getting close to the finish line,” said Aaltonen.

Overall, he describes the project as a rewarding experience for both Fimpec as a company and for individual employees. Projects of this size don’t come along in many careers.

“I know that, for us at Fimpec and for other stakeholders, being a part of this project has been a great experience. It’s a unique reference and offers valuable lessons that both the company and employees can leverage in the future, from the perspectives of site management, construction, and installation.”

Read more on Metsä Group’s website

Metsä Group started up its Kemi bioproduct mill and paperboard mill


For more information:

Timo-Pekka Aaltonen

Operative Director,
Installation management


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