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VR Transpoint and Metsä Group reach agreement on logistics solution for Äänekoski bioproduct mill

VR Transpoint and Metsä Group have reached agreement on a logistics solution for the new bioproduct mill to be built in Äänekoski. The contract covers the annual transportation of 800,000 tonnes of pulp from Äänekoski to Vuosaari harbour as well as investment in rail carriages designed for pulp transportation. 

–  The contract is especially significant for us both in terms of logistical scale and also as a new concept in which logistical efficiency is increased by smoothly combining factory activities, transportation, and harbour operations, explained Senior Vice President Rolf Jansson, head of VR Group's logistics division VR Transpoint.

Metsä Group is constructing in Äänekoski the world's first next-generation bioproduct mill, which when finished will produce 1.3 million tonnes of pulp per year, as well as other bioprod-ucts and bioenergy. A total of around 800,000 tonnes of pulp produced in the bioproduct mill will be exported every year to destinations located primarily in Europe and Asia.

Vuosaari to become a significant rail port

Metsä Group, VR Transpoint and Oy M. Rauanheimo Ab, which deals with port operations, have created a new kind of efficient logistics solution for the needs of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill.

The pulp will be transported by rail to Vuosaari Harbour, from which it will then be exported abroad. Pulp transportation will be carried out using very efficient whole-train transports composed of around 20 carriages. The whole-train model means that the whole transportation capacity of the train moving between the two locations is available for the client's use.

– This new logistics solution is an important new initiative towards increasing rail traffic to Vuosaari Harbour.  The harbour will now constitute a significant destination for rail trans-ports, Mr Jansson stressed. 

VR Transpoint will acquire new rolling stock for the Äänekoski transports. The locomotives used will be VR's new Vectron electric locomotives purchased from Siemens, with which it is also possible to carry out switching work on unelectrified lines. The transportation model will make maximum use of the new locomotives' extensively developed features and functionality.

The Äänekoski bioproduct mill is forecast to reach completion during the third quarter of 2017, at which point the pulp transports will be gradually introduced. According to estimates, the bioproduct mill will be working at full capacity around one year after its completion.