Harvesting for Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill begins

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Harvesting wood for the needs of the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski started today, on 11 August 2017. Until now, wood has been delivered to the old pulp mill and for the test runs of the new mill. The bioproduct mill start-up will begin in mid-August 2017.

Buying woodfor the bioproduct mill began already in 2016. Direct harvesting begins today with thinning in the forest of Metsä Group’s owner-member Timo Akselin in Uurainen, Central Finland. The harvesting at the stand was carried out by the Saarijärvi-based Forest-Linna Oy, and the transportation was taken care of by Kuljetus H & H Heinonen Oy, based in Multia.

“The start-up of the bioproduct mill is drawing closer, and we can now start increasing the harvesting volumes,” says Juha Mäntylä, EVP, Wood Supply, Metsä Group. Harvesting volumes will increase gradually this and next year. The bioproduct mill will reach its nominal production of 1.3 million tonnes of pulp approximately a year after its start-up.

The bioproduct mill will increase Metsä Group’s wood supply in Finland by approximately a fourth. The bioproduct mill impacts wood supply across the country – the directions of wood flows and the mills’ supply areas will change. The increasing wood supply will bring more than a thousand new jobs to the entire chain in Finland. Forest owners’ annual sales incomes from wood are expected to grow by approximately EUR 70 million.

Ninety per cent of the wood will be certified

The bioproduct mill will increase the use of softwood in Finland by about four million cubic metres. All in all, annual harvesting volumes will increase by 6–7 million cubic metres, because the harvesting will also yield log wood and energy wood.

“Our wood use will grow, and we want to shoulder increasing responsibility for the sustainable use of forests. Ninety per cent of the wood used by the bioproduct mill will come from certified forests,” says Mäntylä.

“According to the feedback we’ve gathered from forest owners, they are very happy with the quality of our contractors’ harvesting work. It’s easy to start harvesting considerably larger quantities of wood when you can rely on the contractors doing their job well, under all conditions.”

Electronic wood trading set to expand

The wood used by the bioproduct mill is purchased in Finland, the majority of it coming from within a radius of 100–150 kilometres of the mill. “We aim to purchase the additional wood, first and foremost, from Metsä Group’s owner-members,” says Mäntylä.

Metsä Group’s owner-members have had the opportunity to engage in entirely electronic wood trading since June 2005. As of July this year, electronic wood trading and the purchase of forest services has also been possible for other forest owners. In the first half of the year, as much as nearly 30 per cent of the wood purchased by Metsä Group was purchased through electronic means. In terms of forest services, this proportion was even higher.

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