Metsä Board celebrates 50 years at Kemi
Fifty years ago, on 16 October 1971, the Kemi mill launched its liner production. The mill, which originally produced brown kraftliner, has developed its products to serve as an increasingly high-quality material for packaging and showcases. Today, Metsä Board’s Kemi mill is a leading producer of coated white top kraftliners.
The Kemi mill has been a forerunner in the product development of coated white liners. In 1975, the mill’s bleaching plant was completed, and the production of mottled liner began soon after. Following investments, the production of white top kraftliner began in 1986. In 1990, the degree of upgrading was further raised with the launch of coating, followed by investments made in double-coating in 2011. Over the years, investments have been made in new technology, with production capacity more than doubling from 180,000 to 425,000 tonnes. This has made the Kemi mill the world’s largest producer of coated white top liners and the word ‘Kem’ is synonymous with quality. “Customers all around the world want to buy ’Kemi’ when they mean top-quality white kraftliner,” says product manager, Kemi Mill, Panu Räsänen.
Kraftliners produced at Metsä Board’s Kemi mill are used as surface material for corrugated board and are known around the world for their consistency and first-class printing surface. The upgrading of coated liner into corrugated board has introduced major changes to production methods: the machines now run at lower temperatures and save up to a third of energy compared to earlier production. Coated liner has played an important role in reducing the carbon footprint of corrugated board. As packaging material, corrugated board is a prime example of a circular economy, thanks to its high rate of recycling.
Today, Metsä Board’s Kemi paperboard mill employs around 120 professional employees, who – with their uncompromising attitude to quality – have been crucial to the success of Kemi’s kraftliners. The current investment will increase the production of white top kraftliner and further improve the mill’s material and energy efficiency. Metsä Fibre’s investment in the Kemi bioproduct mill will create a sustainable foundation for a fossil free future and ensure the next 50 years of success of Kemi liners.