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Case: Kotkamills

Case: Kotkamills


Kotkamills, the developer of a renewable food service board for plates and cups, has upgraded its magazine paper machine into a carton board machine in record time in 2015–2016. Bilfinger Industrial Services Finland Oy was responsible for dismantling industrial automation, project electrification and general cabling.

Project partners, picture above left to right: Ahti Komppa, Sales Manager at Bilfinger, Tommi Kenttälä, Installation Manager at Bilfinger, Jan Lousa, Project Manager in charge of Kotkamills electrification and automation processes, and Petri Lehtinen, Operations Manager, South Instrumentation at Bilfinger.

Sales Director Ahti Komppa at Bilfinger says that the large-scale modernization project required a great deal of resources and thanks to Bilfinger’s comprehensive network, was quickly and professionally delivered.

“Our partnership with Kotkamills shows that we can handle even the most demanding project implementations. To support this goal, we have a flexible yet robust attitude to work and a certified HSEQ management system,” Komppa says.

“Bilfinger’s massive resources stood for a lot in this project: as needed, we transferred personnel from other local Finnish sites to work on the project. As the work progressed we also took care of any maintenance needs”, he continues.

For the Kotkamills employees the renewal project was a huge one and a total of 1,400 professionals of the field were working at the site and the mill. The number of permanent employees is about 500. Throughout the building phase, the Kotkamills laminated paper machine was kept running and will continue to do so even after the carton board machine project is completed.


The work was completed in July 2016 when the unique 200-metre-long giant of a machine went on stream. Counting starting from the investment decision, it took only 16 months for the new board machine to go on-line and replace the old paper machine on the shop floor.


Bilfinger was able to assume responsibility for both dismantling the existing electrical automation and installing new electrification on a quick schedule.


There were three key factors contributing to the successful project: the partner’s ability to work flexibly, fluent interactional skills and the ability to solve problems.


At the Kotkamills project site Installation Manager Tommi Kenttälä was responsible for Bilfinger’s project management.

Modernisation in 16 months

Jan Lousa, Project Manager in charge of Kotkamills electrification and automation processes, believes that during the fast-paced project, the company gained a lot from the partnership.

The work was completed in July 2016 when the unique 200-metre-long giant of a machine went on stream. Counting starting from the investment decision, it took only 16 months for the new board machine to go on-line and replace the old paper machine on the shop floor.

The new machine produces completely recyclable board. This model of production with barrier coatings being integrated with the virgin fibre-based board directly from the machine is not in use anywhere else in the world.

Thanks to the coating innovation the board becomes liquid and grease-proof and can be used in for instance cups and plates. The modernization project cost about 170 million euros, of which the share of the main equipment was about 50 per cent. The machine’s capability is now approximately 400,000 tonnes of barrier board and folding board a year.

Reliability and comprehensive resources

“With Bilfinger, project management in this demanding and fast-paced installation was smooth. The partnership fulfilled our expectations. Thanks to it, we had the opportunity to focus and build on our own core competence,” comments Lousa.

Kotkamills selected Bilfinger as its partner based on intense negotiations. Among the selection criteria were reliability and the resources available via a large conglomerate. Bilfinger was able to assume responsibility for both dismantling the existing electrical automation and installing new electrification on a quick schedule.

Bifinger was responsible for, in addition to dismantling the old machine, installing process and construction electrification.

Flexibility speeded up the project

There were three key factors contributing to the successful project, says Lousa. First, since the schedule was tight, the partner’s ability to work flexibly was important. Smoothness of project management was crucial.

“During the work a number of surprising situations emerged and Bilfinger was able to react timely and solve problems by for instance procuring cables and additional resources. When needed, Bilfinger rose up to the challenge,” says Lousa.

Bilfinger was able to transfer personnel to the Kotka site from its other Finnish locations, which stood for added flexibility. At best in January-September 2016, a total of 70 Bilfinger employees were working on the site. During the dismantling stage the work progressed quickly, thanks to double shifts and hours put in over the weekends.

Fluent interactional skills

As a second success factor Lousa brings up fluent interactional skills.

“Bilfinger is in a positive sense fast, which we greatly approve. To find out exactly what was going on in the project, all I had to do was visit the site or pick up the phone”, says Lousa.

The third factor was the ability to solve problems: Bilfinger was open to looking for innovative ways of tackling issues together with Kotkamills.

At the Kotkamills project site Bilfinger’s project management comprised Installation Manager Tommi Kenttälä, and Petri Lehtinen, Operations Manager, South Instrumentation.

In addition to broad know-how in industrial project contracting, the quick implementation was also due to Bilfinger’s maintenance and heat tracing installation experience and crude steel and cable delivery competence. Bilfinger’s branch-specific competence in particular in heavy industry and energy production is strong.

Kotkamills

  • Manufactures laminating paper and associated downstream products as well as sawn goods and consumer goods packaging board
  • Production facilities in Kotka and Imatra, subsidiary located in Malaysia
  • Founded in 2010, previously part of Stora Enso Group
  • Share of export over 95 %
  • 500 employees
  • Turnover 266 MEUR in 2015
  • Principle owner MB Funds

For more information:
Sales Director Ahti Komppa
Tel. 358 44 9 81 7200