Bilfinger Industrial Services Finland Oy

Case: SSAB

Case: SSAB

SSAB, a global and highly specialised steel company SSAB and Bilfinger Industrial Services Finland Oy have a long history of collaboration at SSAB’s Raahe production site. The partnership is based on cost-efficiency, reliance on the supplier’s flexibility during load peaks and knowledge of local and regional factors.

Pekka Virsiheimo, Maintenance Manager at SSAB’s Raahe steel foundry, says that the site has gained many advantages through its Bilfinger partnership. SSAB and Bilfinger have a multi-annual service contract according to which Bilfinger is the main electrical installation partner for the Raahe plant throughout the entire life cycle.

The current service contract covers all areas of the steel foundry except for the rolling mill and the power mill. Bilfilnger is carrying out projects and trace heating work throughout the entire plant area.

“Bilfinger offers SSAB electrical installation services during load peaks and this way has a positive impact on the delivery reliability of the steel foundry,” says Virsiheimo. 

He goes on to say that Bilfinger is a reliable and secure partner with knowledge of local requirements and an ability to handle sudden load peaks in a flexible manner. Knowledge of local requirements is an advantage, since it allows time to be spent on the most important things – namely completing the manufacturing – instead of teaching the partner how to operate on the industrial site.

The Raahe site is a significant one, also in terms of personnel: it employs 2,800 professionals that are involved in the manufacture of steel, plate and strip products. The site also houses the second largest blast furnace in the Nordic countries.

Focus on own core competence

The roots of the collaboration lead back all the way to the 1960s, which was when the Raahe plant was established. Now the goal of the cooperation is to ensure that SSAB’s own maintenance unit can focus on preventive and other maintenance tasks in the various units of the plant.

Bilfinger is responsible for, among other things, electrical installations made during modernisations: production-enhancing process electrifications and building electrification installations in the plant’s coke battery furnace, blast furnaces and steel foundry. The work can also include the building of heat tracing production lines.

Virsiheimo singles out three key features that characterise Bilfinger, the first of which is safety. SSAB appreciates its partner’s way of taking responsibility for workplace safety and its commitment to strict safety regulations.

SSAB’s goal is to be one of the world’s safest steel companies. To this end, SSAB applies safety management systems and occupational safety trainings. Moreover, the OHSAS 18011 standard governs the work of both employees and contractors.

Quick problem-solving

The other important feature is the ability to solve problems, which means that Bilfinger is able to bring forth various solutions and good practices that are needed if problems arise.

The third key feature is flexibility. This is crucial since the Raahe plant operates 24/7. For SSAB, it is important that Bilfinger is able to react quickly, solve problems in real time and find the solution best suited for any given situation.

Bilfinger’s highly skilled project personnel and mobile equipment are ready to move to any customer site regardless of place and time. When necessary, Bilfinger can extract personnel to Raahe from other Finnish and global sites. In total an average of 30 Bilgfinger employees work at the Raahe plant.


  • Highly specialised global steel company
  • Leading provider of AHSS and Q&T steels
  • Manufactures steel grades that enable stronger, lighter and more durable end products
  • Total global annual steel production capacity of the Finnish, Swedish and the US-based production plants 8,8 million tonnes
  • In Finland and Sweden, production is integrated with the blast furnace process
  • Amount of personnel: 17,000
  • Turnover: SEK 60 billion in 2014

Picture left to right: Pekka Virsiheimo, the Maintenance Manager at SSAB’s Raahe steel foundry and Jussi Ramstedt, the Unit Manager at Bilfinger´s Raahe office.