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Valmet and Metsä Fibre sign preliminary agreement for planned bioproduct mill

In Finland, forest industry and energy technology provider Valmet Oyj and Metsä Fibre, part of forest industry major Metsä Group, have signed a preliminary agreement according to which Valmet will deliver key technology covering all main process islands and automation systems to Metsä Fibre's planned Kemi Bioproduct Mill. The final agreement is subject to Metsä Fibre's investment decision for the Kemi Bioproduct Mill project later in 2020.

An artist’s rendering of Metsä Fibre’s planned bioproduct mill adjacent to its existing pulp mill in Kemi, northern Finland. Valmet and Metsä Fibre have signed a preliminary agreement according to which Valmet will deliver key technology covering all main process islands and automation systems to the planned Kemi Bioproduct Mill. The final agreement is subject to Metsä Fibre’s investment decision for the project expected during autumn 2020 (image courtesy Metsä Fibre).

Metsä Fibre has previously announced that the readiness for the decision is expected to be reached during autumn 2020. If materialized, the new bioproduct mill would have an annual pulp production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes and in addition, produce various other bioproducts. The production of the new mill is scheduled to begin in 2023.

We have set high environmental, material, and energy efficiency targets for the Kemi Bioproduct Mill. Valmet has been able to offer us the technology to reach these targets. Our good and long cooperation with Valmet creates a good foundation for the successful execution of this mill project and for the high performance of the bioproduct mill throughout its whole lifecycle, said Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre.

The estimated value of Valmet’s anticipated delivery for Metsä Fibre’s planned Kemi Bioproduct Mill, covering the core equipment supplied by Valmet, is about EUR 350-400 million. The anticipated delivery will have an important employment impact on Valmet and its subcontractors. The employment impact of Valmet’s project delivery is expected to be around 800 man-years, out of which about 500 man-years in Finland.

During our long cooperation with Metsä Group and thanks to our successful innovative technology delivery to the Äänekoski Bioproduct Mill, we have been able to build a strong relationship that has formed an excellent basis for our cooperation also in this new planned project. To be selected as the partner for the entire bioproduct mill technology delivery including also the needed automation is a good sign of Valmet’s competitiveness, reliability and technological innovativeness, remarked Pasi Laine, President and CEO of Valmet.

Complete Kemi Bioproduct Mill delivery

According to the preliminary agreement, Valmet will deliver the full production process from wood handling to ready pulp bales designed to produce either softwood or hardwood pulp, as well as an automation system for the whole mill including features from Valmet’s Industrial Internet offering. Additionally, the project would include a smaller rebuild of the existing pulp mill.

With a complete mill delivery, Valmet can offer to Metsä Fibre the full benefits of our innovative full-scope offering consisting of process technology, automation, and services. With Valmet’s Industrial Internet features, expert support can be provided to the Kemi bioproduct mill both onsite and remotely. The mill will feature leading process technology and the most advanced automation systems including the latest developments in our continuous cooking technology, to reach excellent energy efficiency, high end-product quality, and high environmental performance. In addition, with our wash press technology, we provide a solution to manage low effluent flows and COD (chemical oxygen demand) levels, said Bertel Karlstedt, Pulp and Energy Business Line President from Valmet.

Valmet’s delivery would include engineering, procurement, supply and construction management of the wood handling, cooking and fiber line, pulp drying and baling, non-condensable gases (NCG) handling solution, evaporation, recovery boiler, recausticizing, lime kiln, biomass dryer, and gasifier.

In addition, Valmet would deliver the sulfuric acid plant and a rebuild of the existing fibre line and power boiler with an extended scope of supply including construction. The integrated Sulfuric Acid Plant, which produces sulfuric acid from mill’s own odorous gases, was originally developed together with Metsä Fibre for the Äänekoski bioproduct mill.

The automation delivery would include industrial control system featuring Valmet DNA control system, plant information management system, advanced process controls (APC), analyzers and online measurements, and dedicated systems for pulp dryer. The Valmet Industrial Internet features include simulators and optimizers for selected process islands as well as Valmet Performance Center connectivity.

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