ESPOO, Finland, July 17, 2019 (Press Release) -Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, started the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process in May 2019 for the bioproduct mill planned to build in Kemi, Finland. The company filed an EIA programme in accordance with the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure with the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre). The environmental impacts of the bioproduct mill in Kemi have been assessed based on the EIA programme. Through public notice, the programme was available for statements and comments from the public from 17 May to 17 June 2019.
The Lapland ELY Centre issued a statement on the EIA programme today 17 July 2019. The ELY Centre states that the EIA programme of the Kemi bioproduct mill has dealt with the accuracy of the programme in sufficient detail. The programme meets the requirements set out in the EIA Act and Regulation. The statement also includes that the evaluation programme provides a good basis for the EIA of the bioproduct mill and the preparation of the next phase of the EIA. In addition to the statement including aspects and requirements issued by the ELY Centre, Metsä Fibre will also take statements and comments from the public into account. A total of 20 statements were submitted to the ELY Centre.
The EIA process will continue as a statutory assessment, and the monitoring group will hold its next meeting in August 2019 to review the work that has been completed. The group consists of people who have an interest in the possible bioproduct mill and its environmental impacts because of their job or position of trust. The group was formed by inviting key operators in the area to join. The EIA process will be completed in September 2019, and a public event will be held after its completion. The Lapland ELY Centre will then issue a justified resolution, which the Regional State Administrative Agency takes into account when granting an environmental permit.
Information and documentation of the EIA process for the bioproduct mill in Kemi is available on the joint website of Finland’s environmental administration at https://www.ymparisto.fi/keminbiotuotetehdasYVA (in Finnish). Information about project, including the EIA process, is available on Metsä Fibre’s website at https://www.metsafibre.com/en/about-us/Kemi-bioproduct-mill. Sweco and its partners serve as Metsä Fibre’s environmental consultants.
If implemented, the bioproduct mill will be the largest investment in the history of the forest industry in Finland, at around EUR 1.5 billion. The largest wood-processing plant in the northern hemisphere is intended to produce bioproducts, with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of pulp per year. The environmentally efficient mill would operate entirely without fossil fuels, with a high level of energy efficiency and material efficiency. Its wood consumption would be 7.6 million cubic metres per year. It is intended to build the mill in the current mill area in Kemi to replace the existing pulp mill. The new mill would have a significant impact on the Finnish national economy: it would employ around 2,500 people throughout its direct value chain in Finland, including 1,500 new jobs. The final investment decision will be made in the summer of 2020 at the earliest, in which case the bioproduct mill could start up during the first half of the 2020s.
Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts, bioenergy and sawn timber. The company’s brand in the pulp business is Botnia, and in sawn timber, it is Nordic Timber. Metsä Fibre is the world’s leading producer of bleached softwood pulp and a major producer of sawn timber. Currently employing approximately 1,200 people, the company’s sales in 2018 totalled EUR 2.5 billion. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.
Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers.
In 2018, Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.7 billion, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 103,000 Finnish forest owners.