Chinese paper and packaging products maker Shanying will take a major stake in a planned bio refinery plant in Kemijärvi, northern Finland.
Boreal Bioref, which heads the project in Finland, said it has signed an agreement with Shanying to make the paper company a majority owner in the plant.
The total value of the investment is 950 million euros and the construction of the refinery will start this year. Operations are expected to begin in early 2020, Boreal Bioref said, and employ about 1,000 people directly and indirectly.
The plant will produce 500,000 tons of bio-materials and bio-chemicals per year, including dissolving pulp, log fibre market pulp, pine oil and turpentine.
Heikki Nivala, chief executive of Boreal Bioref, hopes that the project would also attract investors from Finland and Europe.
"The minority stake will be a bit more challenging, but we have agreed with Shanying that we will ensure the rights of minority share holders as well as the value of the investment," Nivala said.
According to Boreal, the construction license for the plant needs an environmental impact assessment and an approval of financing by the Chinese authorities. “Whenever capital is taken out of China, the local authorities must approve that.” Nivala said.
The environmental permit is currently under consideration at the Regional State Administrative Agency of northern Finland, he added.