Finnish timber, pulp and bioenergy firm Metsä Fibre has announced plans to invest around 200 million euros toward constructing what it dubbed "the world’s most modern sawmill" in Rauma, south-western Finland, according to a company release issued on Monday.
The firm said that construction will begin this spring, adding that the sawmill will be up and running during Q3 of 2022, but noted that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak could have an impact on schedules.
When it is completed, the new sawmill will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of sawn pine timber per year. The company’s CEO, Ismo Nousiainen, said the sawing process will use technologies like machine vision and artificial intelligence, adding that such tech is not in use in the sawmill sector elsewhere in the world.
"The next-generation sawmill to be constructed in Rauma is a significant leap forward for the whole industry. The new technology allows for the transition from workstations to control room monitoring and continuous operation. The key elements of the Rauma sawmill's operating model include employees' in-depth expertise and multiple skills as well as user maintenance," Nousiainen said in the release.
The firm said that the new sawmill will employ about 100 people directly and around 500 others in Finland indirectly. The construction phase of the facility will employ about 1,500, according to the company.