Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has made the decision to build the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma.
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 new unit will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of pine sawn timber a year. The new sawmill will be a worldwide forerunner in technology and efficiency. For example, using machine vision and artificial intelligence in different stages of the sawing process is a significant new development. Similar technology is not yet in use anywhere in the sawmill industry.
“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.
The location of the new sawmill is logistically excellent as it enables efficient integration into the pulp mill and smooth sawn timber logistics for customers through the Port of Rauma. The synergies between the integrated mill and the pulp mill will be used in power generation, side-stream utilisation, logistics and services. The environmental impact of the sawmill will be minimised, and noise management, for example, has been taken into consideration starting from the design phase, both in construction and in the selection of equipment and machinery.
Metsä Fibre has made an agreement with Veisto on the delivery of the new sawline. This delivery’s degree of Finnish origin is more than 80 per cent. Negotiations with other equipment suppliers are underway. The company has signed an agreement with AFRY on planning the sawmill’s construction phase and with A-Insinöörit on construction management services.
“The full utilisation of the wood raw material is central to our unique bioproduct concept. Log wood is used as raw material for the sawmill. The bark and sawdust generated during the production of sawn timber are used for bioenergy, and the chips are used as raw material for pulp. Pulp production generates bioenergy for the sawmill, and the remaining energy is sold outside the integrated mill. In the future, this investment will enable both the Rauma sawmill and pulp mill to operate without using any fossil fuels,” says Nousiainen.