The builders of the bioproduct mill: The bioproduct mill is being built cost-effectively

The soundscape of a construction site carries faintly but persistently into the project office of the bioproduct mill. Technical Director Pertti Lehmonen isn't bothered by the noise – quite the contrary.

“The clatter isn't supposed to stop, purchasing sees to that. It's a good thing that our offices are located literally right by the site, so that we can see for ourselves how the work is progressing.”

Lehmonen (49), who has worked for Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, since 2005, has been involved in the bioproduct mill project since the very beginning.

“In the initial phase, I worked on the concept design together with Timo Merikallio and Jouko Kotilainen. During the preliminary design phase, I was responsible for the fibre line,” says Lehmonen, who repatriated to Jyväskylä due to the project.

The bioproduct mill project's Technical Director Pertti Lehmonen is responsible for a part of the project's purchases. The scale of all purchases related to this gigantic project is vast. More than a thousand gas bottles, for example, are used at the site every week. Photos: Metsä Group

Precisely timed purchases

Lehmonen's job includes steering the design and purchases of the bioproduct mill in a way that allows the technical implementation of the work to flow smoothly. He also heads the project's technical team.

“The team is made up of a whole host of project managers. If we encounter challenges related to technical operating methods or the schedule, we try to find a solution together.”

Steering the design on which all other activities are based is an integral part of Lehmonen's work.

“In terms of actual drawings, more than 80 per cent of the design work is ready. In August, the percentage will already be closer to a hundred. After that, our focus will shift to the final documentation.”

Every purchase of the bioproduct mill – whether it concerns walls, staircases or smaller items – is designed carefully, starting from the preparation of the query materials. “Our purchasing aims to give rise to competitive set-ups,” says Technical Director Pertti Lehmonen.

Contracts broken up into suitable pieces

Given that the space reserved for the construction work is restricted, purchase steering plays a particularly important role.

“The purchases need to be made precisely on schedule with regard to the site's progress. In addition, we need to monitor deliveries and make sure that they are carried out as agreed,” says Lehmonen.

In the biggest forest industry investment in Finnish history, the scale of all purchases is huge.

“We are purchasing a total of 4,500 sprinkler nozzles, for example,” says Lehmonen, citing an example of an individual item.

The aim is to break purchases and contracts down in a way that allows for genuine price competition. Decisions on purchases are made in close cooperation with the main equipment suppliers.

“The query materials must be carefully prepared. We've found a delightfully wide supplier base for the various purchases.”

We've found a delightfully wide supplier base for the various purchases.

Decisions are made fast

Meetings inevitably form a part of Lehmonen's work, and he has sat in hundreds of them during the course of the project.

“Meetings are a means by which to pass on information. This is something we need to pay special attention to due to the large number of operators involved in the project. The dialogue must be conducted on a variety of levels.”

Lehmonen is positively surprised about the agility with which the enormous bioproduct mill project has progressed. He believes this to be based on Metsä Fibre's good corporate culture, which maintains employees' motivation. When a decision is made, it holds.

“Decisions are made fast, and Metsä Fibre's management is close to the project. Thanks to this agility, we have been able to stick to the schedule.”

Thanks to this agility, we have been able to stick to the schedule.

Information in the project organisation is exchanged not only in the official meetings, but in daily encounters that occur in the context of work. Pertti Lehmonen (left) exchanges news with Project Coordinator Juha Pesonen.

Pertti Lehmonen (49)
Place of residence: Jyväskylä.
Job: Technical Director
Career: Before the bioproduct mill project, Lehmonen worked in the posts of a production and project manager at Metsä Fibre, which he joined in 2005. His previous employers include Pöyry and UPM.
Education: M.Sc. (Eng.)
Hobbies: Lure fishing at such places as Lake Keitele, Lake Päijänne and Lake Puula.

The builders of the bioproduct mill is a series of articles that introduces readers to the people bringing the next-generation bioproduct mill to life and describing their work in the biggest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry. The builders of the bioproduct mill will be published on our website at during 2016.

Project Director Timo Merikallio was intervieweed in the first article and after that Construction Manager Pekka Salomaa, Project Coordinator Juha Pesonen and Project Services Director Ossi Puromäki have described their work.

Return to frontpage