(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - The new logistics solution designed specifically for Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill at Äänekoski is ready to serve the mill's wood and pulp transport.
“We’ve built a carefully optimised logistics programme together with our partners, in which everything is based on delivery reliability and quality assurance,” says Jari Voutilainen, Metsä Group’s SVP, Logistics.
Once fully operational, the bioproduct mill – set to start up in mid-August 2017 – will use 6.5 million cubic metres of pulpwood and woodchip. It will produce 1.3 million tonnes of pulp a year.
Terminals to balance the supply of wood
Metsä Group will purchase the pulpwood needed by the bioproduct mill chiefly from within a radius of 100–150 kilometres of Äänekoski. The bioproduct mill will receive an average of 240 truckloads and 70 rail freight carriages of pulpwood a day. A smooth, year-round wood supply will require exceptional flexibility and responsiveness from the production chain.
“The timber trucks will transport the wood directly from the forest stocks to the mill or to a buffer stock in one of the fifteen terminals we’ve set up,” says Heikki Karhunen, Metsä Forest´s SVP, Customership.
The terminals west of Äänekoski will be operated by the Seinäjoki-based transportation firm Kuljetus Haavisto Oy and the terminals located on the eastern side of the bioproduct mill by the Joutseno-based Szepaniak Oy.
All in all, Metsä Group’s wood supply in Finland will increase by a third in the long run, compared to the current level.
After the new bioproduct mill is fully operational, its employment effect throughout the value chain in Finland will be to provide 2,500 jobs, of which 1,500 will be new ones. The employment effect will be most significant in wood harvesting and transportation.
New overall solution for export logistics
Pulp deliveries from the new mill to customers will begin in early September 2017. Some 70 per cent of the bioproduct mill’s production will be exported.
“Export logistics will be based on a comprehensive new solution, in which VR Transpoint will be responsible for the rail transport of goods to the Vuosaari port in Helsinki and for the port operations in cooperation with Oy M. Rauanheimo Ab,” says Tarja Nousiainen, Metsä Fibre’s VP, Pulp Supplies.
One of the key renewals in the production chain is the bioproduct mill’s automated pulp distribution centre, which increases the efficiency and accuracy of deliveries. According to Nousiainen, the new technology has required the large-scale development and integration of IT systems with service providers. Operations have also been developed to increase efficiency and to ensure the reliability of deliveries.
“The production will be buffered and sorted at Äänekoski automatically, according to product type and customer orders. The loading of a train carrying 1,400 tonnes of pulp, for example, will be carried out automatically in a period of six hours,” says Nousiainen.
Metsä Fibre has also built its own product warehouse at the Vuosaari port which can house 80,000 tonnes of pulp. The rail freight transports to Vuosaari will be handled in their entirety with environmentally efficient electric locomotives, once the project concerning the rail connection to the Äänekoski bioproduct mill produced by VR Track is completed in the summer of 2017.
Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts and bioenergy. The company’s pulp business operates under the Botnia brand name, and the sawmill operations under the brand name Metsä Nordic Timber. Metsä Fibre’s bleached softwood and birch pulps have been developed for manufacturing high-quality paperboard, tissue paper, printing paper, and speciality products. The main applications for spruce and pine sawn timber are construction and decoration products, as well as raw materials for the window, door and packaging industries. In 2016, Metsä Fibre’s sales totalled EUR 1.4 billion, and the company has approximately 1,250 employees. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.
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SOURCE: Metsä Fibre