A year of installations

Installation work is being carried out at an increasing pace before the holidays at Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill construction site in Äänekoski.

“2015 was a year of construction, and 2016 was one of installation work,” says Timo Merikallio, Project Director.

2015 was a year of construction, and 2016 was one of installation work.

Towards the end of the year, the number of employees on the construction site is at its highest. This is the most hectic part of the project, but everything is under control, and the employees have also had time to prepare for Christmas and enjoy the holiday season.

“Overall, the work has progressed as planned,” says Merikallio. “During the autumn, we have naturally had to work hard to keep on schedule, but our highly competent project organisation has enabled us to resolve any issues through cooperation. We can see no factors that would prevent the mill from starting up as planned. I’m proud of our team.”

"Overall, the work has progressed as planned,” says Timo Merikallio, Project Director. Photos: Metsä Group.

Like a game of dominoes

The bioproduct mill is currently 82 per cent complete. With regard to construction and installation work, the levels of completion are 87 and 51 per cent, respectively.

Overall, the work has progressed as planned.

“As well as carrying out equipment installation work, we are currently installing pipes, air conditioning and electricity systems. Before the winter, the focus of the installation work will shift to indoor facilities.”

Construction work related to the sulphuric acid plant, for example, is still being carried out, which requires a high level of project coordination.

“The project can be compared to dominoes: a delayed contract may trigger a long chain of events,” says Merikallio.

“The importance of communication can never be stressed enough when dealing with a large group of operators.”

In 2017, the focus of the work at Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill will shift from installation to the test runs and start-up.

6,000 hours of Safety Stop

Safety at work is always a priority at the bioproduct mill construction site. The risk of an accident is significant because of the large number of employees and the nature of the installation work, which involves working at height, for example.

“Unfortunately, we have had minor incidents on the construction site, but no serious accidents. Every incident is one too many, of course,” says Merikallio.

Safety at work is always a priority at the bioproduct mill construction site.

To remind the employees of the importance of safety at work, a three-hour Safety Stop for all employees took place at the beginning of November. Each employee spent the three hours revising safety issues, preparing a personal risk assessment and cleaning their work site.

“In other words, we put in 6,000 hours of work in one go to promote safety at work.”

Safety at work is always a priority at the bioproduct mill construction site. The risk of an accident is significant because of the large number of employees and the nature of the installation work, which involves working at height, for example. To remind the employees of the importance of safety at work, a three-hour Safety Stop for all employees took place at the beginning of November.

Towards the test run phase

Merikallio is looking forward confidently to 2017.

“The new year will bring new challenges. The intensive commissioning phase, which consists of the test runs and start-up, will begin in February. This means testing various process entities under mill conditions. All installation inspections, as well as pressure and leak tests, must be carried out before that.”

The intensive commissioning phase, which consists of the test runs and start-up, will begin in February.

The entire project organisation is focusing on the third quarter of 2017, when the mill will start up.

“Our goal is to make the bioproduct mill run smoothly as soon as possible. With this highly committed organisation, I’m sure we will succeed,” says Merikallio.

His confidence is contagious.

 

Bioproduct mill in 2016

January:
The mechanical installation work begins.

February:
The development of the bioproduct concept reaches the stage of first implementation decisions. The agreements made with biogas manufacturer EcoEnergy SF Oy and biocomposite producer Aqvacomp Oy complement the concept.

March:
The new Piilolanniemi bridge is completed well ahead of schedule and is opened for construction site traffic.

April:
The installation work progresses on schedule.

May:
The topping out ceremony is held in traditional style on 18 May 2016. Metsä Group announces it will build a sulphuric acid plant in conjunction with the bioproduct mill. According to a study carried out by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla), the bioproduct mill will have a significant effect on the Finnish economy.

June:
Around 30 shipments from the pre-assembly area arrive at the site every week. The heaviest lifting operation is 160 tonnes and requires a crane weighing 1,250 tonnes.

July:
The bioproduct mill is 50 per cent complete. The work progresses on schedule despite the summer holiday season.

August:
The recovery boiler reaches its full height at the beginning of August. The demanding pipe installation work begins.

September:
The largest road transport operation in the history of Finland arrives at the bioproduct mill construction site from Pietarsaari, with six lorries transporting the elements of the bleaching tower. As many as 4,000 truckloads of installation goods have already been hauled to the site.

October:
On the initiative of the bioproduct mill, around 2,500 troutlets are planted in the Kapeenkoski rapids downstream of the bioproduct mill.

November:
The significance of safety at work is stressed by holding a three-hour Safety Stop for all employees. The turbine generator is installed in late November.

December:
The number of workers on-site is at its peak. Around 2,600–2,700 people are working at the construction site each day, with the number rising to more than 3,000 on the busiest days. The construction of the sulphuric acid mill is underway. The bioproduct mill is more than 82 per cent complete at the end of 2016.

 

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