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Dozens of municipalities interested in hosting Fazer's planned sweets factory

The new facility is expected to be built somewhere in southern Finland.

Exterior of Fazer's factory shop in Vantaa. Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

More than 50 municipalities have reached out to Finnish confectionery and food giant Fazer with the aim of providing a home for the company's planned factory.

Last week Fazer announced plans to build a new factory somewhere in southern Finland, with the aim of replacing two existing facilities in Lappeenranta and Vantaa.

The company said it was launching negotiations with employees about the possibility of relocating to the new factory.

Fazer's chief communications officer, Liisa Eerola, told Yle by email that a decision about a potential location for the new facility has not yet been reached.

She said that before last week's announcement, the company had discussed initial plans of building a facility with the municipalities of Lappeenranta, Lahti and Vantaa — where Fazer already has production plants.

"Since the plans were announced, more than 50 municipalities and cities have contacted us," Eerola said, adding that while the company expected some interest, the number of communities who reached out was surprising.

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Fazer's Blue-branded milk chocolate is a longtime favourite in Finland. Image: Fazer

The company has not limited its decision to those three municipalities, according to Eerola.

"We were in contact with Lappeenranta, Lahti and Vantaa in advance of the announcement because we are based there and our cooperation has been long-term and trusted. Now that we have announced our plans, it will also be easier for us to have discussions with others," Eerola said.

Any potential new site would need to be viable not only geographically but also take into consideration the available labour force in the area as well as workable means of transportation available to employees, she explained.

Other factors, including the new site's industrial infrastructure and power availability, are under scrutiny. The future site's potential for expansion will also be considered.

"Zoning [laws], in turn, will affect how quickly construction progresses," she said in the email.

A final decision on the matter is expected to be made this spring, with construction possibly starting next year. The opening of the facility could happen as soon as 2025, according to Eerola.