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Pekka Koponen, the chief executive of the newly-founded Kaidi Finland, was pictured at a press conference in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, on 10 February, 2016.One of the leading renewable energy companies in China, Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group, is poised to invest up to one billion euros in the construction of a cutting-edge bio-refinery in Kemi, Northern Finland.

The refinery would be the first not only in Finland but the entire world to use so-called energy wood as its main raw material.

Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group is currently looking for suitable partners for the construction project and expects to make its final investment decision by the end of the year. If the project moves forward, the construction is scheduled to begin next year.

“The total value of the project is as much as one billion euros,” Pekka Koponen, the chief executive of the newly-founded Kaidi Finland, said while unveiling the first details of the project at a press conference in Helsinki on Wednesday.

The refinery is projected to produce up to 200,000 tonnes of second-generation biofuel a year.

“The plant would create 150 permanent industrial jobs,” added Koponen.

Jari Gustafsson, a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, reminded that new investments are desperately needed in Finland. “The economic outlook for Finland remains weak. Investments are a prerequisite even to modest growth,” he said.

He also estimated that a turn for the better is already under-way especially in the forest industry. “Forest industry companies used to primarily make investments abroad,” he pointed out, adding that more forests are growing than are being cut down in Finland.

“The project would be a significant boost to the economy of Kemi and [all of] Northern Finland. Its construction phase alone would provide employment to thousands of people,” Gustafsson, a former Finnish Ambassador to China, said.

Tero Nissinen, the municipal manager of Kemi, characterised the announcement as great news for Kemi in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat.

The municipality could according to him do with a major investment to improve its difficult employment situation. “The rate of employment in Kemi is already around 15–20 per cent. There's no shortage of good and skilled workforce,” he told the newspaper.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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