Governor Paul R. LePage presents Irving Woodlands, LLC with the prestigious 2015 Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award. This prestigious award recognizes people or organizations that stand above their peers to further forestry, forests, or forestland conservation in the state of Maine. Started by the Maine TREE Foundation in 2004, it is the only award in Maine that recognizes stewardship of the working forest. “Maine’s working forests are a vital part of our past, present, and future economy. Named after one of Maine’s longest contributing professional foresters, the Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award is an opportunity to publicly recognize exemplary management of working forests.” – Governor Paul R. LePage.
First intelligent bioproduct plant in the world
The Regional State Administrative Agency has granted the environmental permit for Finnpulp’s bioproduct plant, which is to be built in Sorsasalo, Kuopio, and the wastewater treatment facility connected to the plant. The environmental permit defines the terms for the pulp plant’s operation in the production phase, as well as for pipeline installation work and changes made to the shore line during the construction phase.
Production is planned to start in 2020, and the plant’s annual production capacity will be 1.2 million tons of softwood pulp. Additionally, the plant will produce other bioproducts, including 60,000 tons of tall oil and 1.5 TWh of bioelectricity per year. 1 TWh of the electricity will be fed into the national grid.
Finnpulp considers the terms of the permit to be strict. The authorities have further tightened the low levels presented in the company’s permit application, which already met the EU’s best practice requirements for the industry. Finnpulp will carefully contemplate how to achieve the permit terms.
Besides analysing the permit terms, Finnpulp develops the concept of Intelligent Bioproduct Plant. This plant will be the world’s first of its kind designed and realized from the very beginning with new digital systems and artificial intelligence. The digital ecosystem will be built together with leading operators in the field.
Finnpulp’s Intelligent Bioproduct Plant concept will give competitive advantages e.g. in managing raw material and production, plant utilities, efficiency as well as in production and quality optimization. In addition, it improves personnel safety and maintaining stringent environmental control.
Granting environmental permit is an important milestone for the project. Finnpulp continues investor negotiations and proceeds with basic plant design. Investment decision is allocated to the second half of the year 2018.
Once Finnpulp’s project is completed, it will be the world’s largest softwood pulp plant. In the project phase, the employment effect of the 1.4 billion euro facility investment is 5,700 full-time work years. The bioproduction plant, once completed, will create 1,500 new permanent jobs in Northern Savonia and 3,400 in the national value chain. Once production starts, 200 people will work in the plant area. The plant will use 6.7 million cubic metres of raw wood material per year.