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Saw residues into bioenergy

Timber and woodworking
Annual saving:
1500000 - 2000000€
Read more
Resource savings: Raw material:
No oil heating needed; no wood waste
Resource savings: Waste:
Waste is reused for energy production, reducing waste management costs
Associated cost savings: Energy:
Total cost savings:
Cost savings here refers to energy savings. Other savings come from waste reuse.
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Sawmill with a sustainable vision

  • Clever growth strategy and partnerships deliver complementary benefits to forward-thinking sawmill and biofuel producer
  • Sawmill and its municipal partner in Pihtipudas save € 1.5-2 million annually on heating costs
  • Sawmill is energy self-sufficient and sells surplus wood off-cuts at a profit

FM Timber is a family-owned sawmill based in Pihtipudas, Finland. A subsidiary company, Timber Heat, was established in 2000 to produce heat from wood residues for kiln chambers and the local municipality, as well as for companies in the nearby industrial area, Rupo.

In 2006, the company expanded to Russia by buying the ZAO Karlis-Prom sawmill in Värtsilä. This raised the group's overall production by 100 % and broadened its product portfolio. Värtsilä also produces biomass for bioenergy producers 127 GWh. Then in 2010, FM Timber bought Kiihtelysvaara mill which focuses on kiln-drying, quality grading and packing sawn timber coming from ZAO Karlis Prom. Today, the group's annual sawn timber production is 150 000 m³ (60/40 Spruce and Pine), 85 % of which is exported, and its turnover is € 31 million. Heat production from saw residues is 60 GWh. 

About 50 % of the total volume of used raw wood ends up as a byproduct, which means they play a major role in the company, in economic terms and for energy efficiency. Pure wood chip residue is delivered to pulp mills and sawdust is sold either to briquette producers or heating plants. Other byproducts like ashes are used in the sawmill area as ground dressing. Scrap metal is even sold to Kuusakoski Oy, which specialises in recycled metals.

Key benefits

  • When all byproducts are either recycled or used in heat production it minimises waste
  • Energy efficiency and recycling of materials generate savings
  • Sawmills are energy self-sufficient since they use their own residues to drive processes, which saves huge sums of money
  • Surplus residues are sold to other companies which is a good revenue stream
  • The municipality of Pihtipudas and the sawmill save € 1.5-2 million annually compared to using oil heating
  • The municipality's heating costs are much reduced; the savings can be passed on to people living in Pihtipudas
  • Wood is a renewable resource in building and heat/energy production, and puts less stress on the environment than other materials

Finnish Industrial Symbiosis System (FISS), http://www.industrialsymbiosis.fi/home-en-gb/

What is industrial symbiosis?, http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/what-industrial-symbiosis

FM Timber, www.fmtimberteam.fi


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