Antti Lindtman, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, says the Social Democrats is not prepared to make any decisions that could de-rail the planned construction of a bioproduct mill in Kemi, Western Finland. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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ANTTI LINDTMAN, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, has delivered a clear message to the Green League.

Lindtman on Wednesday declared that the Social Democratic Party is not prepared to make a decision in the upcoming coalition formation negotiations that would prevent the construction of a massive bioproduct mill in Kemi, Western Lapland.

Metsä Group announced last week it is proceeding to the pre-engineering phase of the 1.5 billion-euro project and will make a final investment decision in mid-2020.

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The bioproduct mill would have a significant economic and employment impact in not only Northern Finland, but all of Finland, according to Lindtman.

“The new facility would employ around 2,500 people across its direct value chain. The market for new bioproducts is global and growing constantly. The demand for pulp will also be strong in the future due to population growth, urbanisation and digitalisation. The new facility would the most environmentally friendly and resource-smart facility in the whole world,” he argued.

“This project, if anything, is a brilliant example of how employment and the environment can go hand-in-hand. The Social Democrats lends its support for this important project and possible over billion-euro investment.”

Lindtman estimated that the government will have to invest in creating the transport infrastructure necessitated by the bioproduct mill – in developing the road and railway infrastructure, building a wood terminal and improving the network of low-volume roads to ensure wood can be harvested on a wide-enough scale.

“It’s perfectly clear that any decisions that would prevent this major investment won't be made in the upcoming coalition formation negotiations. It’d be irresponsible for growth and employment. It’s equally clear that a responsible solution must be reached on carbon sinks and their growth in the negotiations, because we no longer have either the time or resources to postpone fighting climate change,” he said.

“I’m fully convinced that ecologically, economically and socially sustainable decisions can be found in the upcoming negotiations.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi