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The largest forest industry investment ever in Finland, and perhaps in the whole Europe, has started its operation in Äänekoski, Central Finland. The first pulp deliveries will be sent to customers in the beginning of September.
The mill, constructed by Metsä Fibre company, is the first example of next generation pulp mills. This means that it is designed to enable a versatile range of products to be made of pulp or its byproducts.
In addition to pulp, also pine oil, turpentine, biogas, production gas, sulphuric acid, heat and power are already now produced at the Äänekoski mill site. Optional products in the years to come are textile fibres and lignin refining products.
The mill offers 2,500 jobs, of which 1,500 are new. Most of the jobs are in wood procurement. The jobs at the factory do not increase when compared to the previous mill on the site.
The mill, costing some 1.2 thousand million euros, uses some 4.5 million cubic metres coniferous trees and about two million cubic metres birch annually. Especially the increase in the use of coniferous trees is significant, 3.9 million cubic metres annually, when compared to the previous mill.
The pulp production capacity of the mill is 1.3 million tons annually. The income the mill brings into the national economy is some EUR 500 million annually.
Because of the needs of the mill, the state invests in the improvement of road and railway networks in Central Finland significantly, EUR 168 million in 2015–2018. This is clearly the largest project to improve the transport network in Finland in this year.