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Metsä Fibre and Doosan Škoda Power sign a preliminary turbine delivery deal

Metsä Fibre, part of Finland-headed forest industry major Metsä Group, and Czech-headed Doosan Škoda Power, a Doosan Group subsidiary, have signed a preliminary agreement on a turbine generator with an electric power of 270 MW for Metsä's planned bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland.

An artist’s rendering of Metsä Fibre’s planned bioproduct mill adjacent to its existing pulp mill in Kemi, northern Finland. Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts, biochemicals, and bioenergy. Metsä Fibre is the world’s leading producer of bleached softwood pulp and a major producer of sawn timber. Currently employing approximately 1 300 people, the company’s sales in 2019 totaled EUR 2.2 billion. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group (image courtesy Metsä Fibre).

The turbine is equipped with two steam bleed connections of different pressure levels and a condensing turbine section. The turbine generator, to be installed in connection with the recovery boiler, is a central part of the high energy efficiency of the new mill. It would generate electricity fully from renewable fuels.

The planned bioproduct mill in Kemi is certainly an important and ambitious project that Doosan Škoda Power is proud to participate in. The installation uses a 270 MW turbine, which makes it one of the world’s biggest turbines used in pulp production and I am happy that our turbine was chosen for this task, said Václav Lang, Area Sales Manager at Doosan Škoda Power.

The bioproduct mill would operate without using any fossil fuels. Its self-sufficiency in electrical energy would be 250 percent, and the surplus bioelectricity would be supplied to the national grid.

The bioproduct mill would increase the share of renewable energy in Finland by more than two percentage points. This would further strengthen Metsä Group’s position as a major electricity producer relying on renewable Finnish fuels.

We have established high material, energy and environmental targets for the Kemi bioproduct mill. We expect our partners to reach these targets. In selecting Doosan Škoda Power as a supplier, central factors additionally included their strong experience and highly skilled experts, said Jari-Pekka Johansson, Director of the bioproduct mill project at Metsä Fibre.

Investment decision in early 2021

According to Metsä, the Kemi bioproduct mill project is progressing according to plan. In addition to the turbine generator, several other important preliminary agreements have been signed-in the bioproduct mill project for process departments and equipment. If implemented, the mill will be built using the best available techniques (BAT).

Based on the preliminary agreements, the project’s degree of Finnish origin is estimated to be high, approximately 70 percent. Preconditions for making the decision on the EUR 1.5 billion investment are expected to be in place in early 2021 at the earliest, after the environmental permit process has been completed, among other things.

The employment impact of bioproduct mill’s construction phase is estimated to be nearly 10 000 person-years. More than half of this work would be carried out in Kemi. The total number of employees working during the construction phase is estimated to rise to around 15 000.

If implemented, the Kemi bioproduct mill will produce some 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts. The investment would secure the existing 250 jobs in the Kemi current mill.

Through its direct value chain, the bioproduct mill would employ a total of around 2 500 people in Finland, which would be 1 500 people more than the employment effect of the current pulp mill in Kemi.

The new bioproduct mill in Kemi would increase the value of Finnish export revenues by more than EUR 500 million annually, and the mill’s annual income effect would be also over EUR 500 million a year.

The bioproduct mill’s annual use of pulpwood, mainly procured from Finland, would be around 7.6 million m3, which is 4.5 million m3 more than that of the existing pulp mill.

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