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Jussi Joensuu, chief forester at Junnikkala sawmill and Lauri Heilala, director of fuel procurement at Oulun Energia standing at Junnikkala sawmill area in Laanila, Oulu.

The Junnikkala sawmill cooperation has begun—the first wood by-products have arrived at the biopower plant

25.01.2024 / Last updated 00:00

The new sawmill at Junnikkala sawmill started its operation on 4 December 2023 at the Laanila industrial park in Oulu. This also launched the cooperation between Oulun Energia and Junnikkala sawmill, in which we provide the sawmill with the heating energy it needs and in return, we utilise the surplus bioenergy sources from the sawmill at Oulun Energia’s power plants in the production of electricity and heat.

The commissioning of the new sawmill has gone as planned

According to Junnikkala sawmill, the commissioning of the new sawmill has gone as planned, and the first loads containing sawdust and bark have arrived from the sawmill to be utilised at our biopower plant. 

“Turning on a new saw is always a process of its own and takes about a half a year. Everything has gone according to plan so far and we expect to reach full production capacity in autumn 2024,” shares Jussi Joensuu, chief forester at Junnikkala sawmill. 

New timber by-products play a significant role in achieving Oulun Energia’s carbon neutrality targets

When Junnikkala sawmill reaches full capacity, it is expected to use approximately 700,000 solid cubic metres of timber annually. Meanwhile, the amount of timber by-products and waste that will be generated as surplus from the sawmill for energy use corresponds to approximately 15% of Oulun Energia’s annual fuel needs.

“It’s great that the first loads have now been successfully delivered and everything seems promising in terms of the future. The amount of renewable bioenergy fuel we receive from the sawmill will be significant, and it will advance Oulun Energia towards our goal of carbon-neutral energy production in 2030,” says Lauri Heilala, director of fuel procurement at Oulun Energia.  

Image: Sawdust created as a by-product is loaded into the car to be delivered to the biopower plant.

Synergies gained through the cooperation 

The circulation of the material flow in the same centralised area brings significant synergies for both operators from both environmental and business perspectives.

“The logs go through the barking chamber to sawing, after which the bark and sawdust fall into silos, from which they are delivered to Oulun Energia’s power plants. Felling the logs for Junnikkala sawmill also creates a lot of logging waste, a significant part of which is delivered to Oulun Energia to utilise after roadside chipping,” Joensuu adds.

“Working in the same area is a real benefit. Load delivery runs smoothly, the environmental impacts of transportation are minimised and, at the same time, Oulun Energia’s security of supply improves,” Heilala continues.  

Image: Jussi Joensuu demonstrates the bark produced as a by-product of the sawmill, which is utilised as fuel in Oulun Energia’s energy production. 


Also see the previously published news about the cooperation between Junnikkala sawmill and Oulun Energia here.