Installation work at the bioproduct mill in full swing

A glance at the office wall of Timo-Pekka Aaltonen, head of installation at the Metsä Group's bioproduct mill, reveals the pace at which installation projects are being kicked off on the site: the weekly calendar with its sticky notes indicates the precise time at which each installation begins. The section where May turns into June in 2016 is covered by a particularly dense clusters of notes.

“The installation phase began in the first week of January. By June, we'll have about 30 contractors and more than 500 workers working on installations only, when the workforce of the entire site at the time will be roughly 1,100 people,” says Aaltonen.

In addition to the monitoring of installation contracts and schedules, the work of head of installation Timo-Pekka Aaltonen includes a lot of problem-solving related to technical issues. According to Aaltonen, safety is always the number one priority at the bioproduct mill site. Demanding lifting, for example, involves risks which are minimised through careful planning. Image: Metsä Group

The insides of the mill's buildings will come to include a huge amount of equipment essential to its operations. The amount of goods needed for the work is an indication of its extent.

“The goods to be installed and now arriving at the mill amount to approximately 5,000 truckloads, up to 800 of which are wide and heavy loads hauling equipment. The biggest loads weigh 175 tonnes and have a width of 12 metres.”

All in all, the site of the bioproduct mill will receive about 1,500 wide and heavy loads, the first of which consisted of elements and beams needed for construction.

A 70-tonne evaporator unit being hoisted in place at the bioproduct mill's construction site. The steel frame of the recovery boiler, which will reach a height of 80 metres, is under construction at the right. Image: Metsä Group

Logistics planned to the minute

One of the most challenging projects is the installation of the massive recovery boiler.

“The boiler rises up to a height of more than 80 metres, so demanding welding work is being performed at a great height,” says Aaltonen.

The installation phase includes a lot of demanding welding work, the quality of which is of critical importance. Installation work related to the boiler. Image: Metsä Group

Also underway are the pulp towers which will be 67 metres tall and have a capacity of 15,000 cubic metres. The installation of massive equipment in an area with five active mills poses special challenges for logistics.

“The transportation needs to be precisely scheduled so that everyone has room to manoeuvre. The biggest equipment arrives in the evenings, when the site is more peaceful.”

The pulp towers currently being installed at the bioproduct mill will rise to a height of 67 metres. Image: Metsä Group

The space for installation is limited.

“This is why we have set aside 14 hectares of area outside the mill's grounds for installation work. We've also built nearly 4,000 square metres of storage facilities.”

Smooth cooperation

According to Aaltonen, every installation project has begun on time. Having been involved in forest industry construction projects around the world for the past three decades, he gives special credit to the project organisation and contractors of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill.

“The cooperation between the builders and installers has been seamless. The organisation is flexible and the issues transparent, which allows us to react swiftly to challenges and changes.”

Although the schedules are tight and the workers expected to be flexible at times, the top priority remains clear in everyone's mind.

“Safety and quality are something we never compromise on. Each work phase is carefully planned, and we learn from any incidents,” says Aaltonen.

Safety and quality are something we never compromise on.

The bioproduct mill's installation figures:

  • The installation goods arriving at the mill amount to approximately 5,000 truckloads.
  • The biggest loads weigh 175 tonnes.
  • The pulp towers will have a capacity of 15,000 cubic metres.
  • An area of 14 hectares outside the mill's grounds has been set aside for installation preparations.
  • The temporary storage facility built for installation equipment covers nearly 4,000 square metres.
Several installation projects at the site of the bioproduct mill are set to begin every week in late May and early June. Image: Metsä Group


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