Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has made the decision to build the ''world’s most modern sawmill'' in Rauma, Finland, according to a company's statement.
The value of the investment is approximately EUR 200 million. Construction will begin in the spring of 2020. Production at the sawmill is set to begin during the third quarter of 2022. The coronavirus outbreak may have an impact on the schedules.
The pre-engineering phase of the Kemi bioproduct mill continues, and Metsä Group expects to be ready to make a decision on this approximately EUR 1.5 billion mill in the autumn of 2020.
Metsä Group started the pre-engineering of investments totalling approximately EUR 2 billion in the spring of 2019. With the planned investments, Metsä Group meets the needs of forest owners and its customers even better than before across the entire forest industry value chain. As planned, the Rauma sawmill investment was the first of the programme’s projects to reach the decision-making stage.
“Metsä Group’s strategic goals include increasing the value of Finnish forests, profitable growth together with customers, completely fossil-free mills, replacing the fossil based economy with renewable materials and increasing carbon stored in long-life wood products. The sawmill to be constructed in Rauma will contribute to the realisation of all these goals. The role of the mechanical forest industry is very important and we need to find ways to significantly improve its performance,” says Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group. “The pre-engineering of Kemi bioproduct mill has progressed well and we expect to reach the decision-making stage in the autumn of 2020, as the environmental permit process is finalised. In this challenging situation faced by the society, what Finland needs now is investments and faith in the future. We estimate that the role of Finnish suppliers will be significant in implementing these investments.”
The value of the Rauma sawmill investment is approximately EUR 200 million, and the new unit will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of pine sawn timber a year. The new sawmill will use machine vision and artificial intelligence in different stages of the sawing process. Similar technology is not yet in use anywhere in the sawmill industry, the companys says.
“The next-generation sawmill to be constructed in Rauma is a significant leap forward for the whole industry. The new technology allows for the transition from workstations to control room monitoring and continuous operation. The key elements of the Rauma sawmill’s operating model include employees’ in-depth expertise and multiple skills as well as user maintenance,” says Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre. “The demand for high-quality sawn timber will increase globally, especially in the demanding component and woodworking industries.”
The new sawmill will employ around 100 people directly and around 500 people across its direct value chain in Finland. The sawmill’s employment impact during the construction phase is estimated to be roughly 1,500 person-years. The annual use of logs sourced in Finland is estimated to be around 1.5 million cubic metres. Sawn timber produced by the Rauma sawmill will be sold mainly to Europe and Asia.