If realised, the Boreal Bioref biorefinery will launch the operations of an entire bioeconomy and circular economy system in Kemijärvi. The plant will generate effluents such as energy, sugars, ash and various extracts, all of which are planned to be utilised completely. The Forestin eco-industrial park will be realised to serve this purpose, and it will host new operators close to the Boreal Bioref plant.
The size of the investment planned by Boreal Bioref Oy in the Patokangas industrial area in Kemijärvi is €950 million. The bioplant would produce 500,000 tonnes of bioproducts a year: dissolving pulp, long-fibre market pulp and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). Additionally, the production process will generate products such as C5 and C6 sugars, pine oil, turpentine, lignin, biosludge and ash, as well as plenty of energy. For example, the dissolving pulp produced by the plant can be used to replace cotton, the microcrystalline cellulose MCC is suitable for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and the sugars produced as effluents can be used to manufacture biodegradable substitutes for plastics and transportation fuels. Furthermore, the plant will produce more electricity and heat than it consumes.
The planning of the project is currently in its final stages. The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland (PsAVI) has given its decision on Boreal Bioref Ltd’s environmental and water permit. Company also applied for an exceptional permit to start the construction work. PsAVI made an affirmative decision in accordance with the application. The final investment decision will be made as soon as possible.
Circular economy saves natural resources and creates business opportunities
If realised, the bioproduct plant investment will create considerable opportunities in terms of utilising the plant’s effluents. For this reason, the Forestin eco-industrial park will be planned in the immediate vicinity of the plant for other operators settling in the area. Circular economy is the main theme of the Forestin eco-industrial park. The idea is to have all of the upcoming plant’s effluents utilised as exhaustively as possible.
“The plant will produce plenty more bioenergy than it needs, which is the first thing to be utilised,” say Jari Polvi and Maria Kiviniemi from the Local Federation of East Lapland. The waste heat generated by the plant can be utilised in other operations requiring energy, such as plant propagation and fish farming. The sugars produced as effluents can be utilised in operations such as bioplastic production, while the ash can be refined into soil improvement substances. Utilising extracts from wood is also one business opportunity that will be surveyed in the future.
The eco-industrial park invites businesses to take part
The Forestin eco-industrial park will be located in the Patokangas industrial area, which has a long history in industrial operations. The area was previously home to a pulp mill, and it is currently occupied by Keitele Group’s sawmill, glued laminated timber mill and pellet plant. Additionally, the Patokangas electric rail has been renovated and the area features a new timber terminal, from which an annual total of approximately one million cubic metres of timber is currently delivered to be refined elsewhere.
The new Patokangas detailed plan, which facilitates the construction of the eco-industrial park, was approved in March 2018, and several properties of different sizes suitable for industrial operations are available. Polvi and Kiviniemi say that the master plan work, i.e. regional planning, for these areas will begin in the autumn of 2019. In addition to the regional planning, the Forest In project will bring together businesses’ service potential, help businesses interested in settling in the area and support the formation of bioeconomy and circular economy business groups.
Forest In -project, Local Federation of East Lapland
- Project Director Jari Polvi, +358 40 734 4152, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Secretary Maria Kiviniemi, +358 44 236 5768, email@example.com