NIB Nordic Investment Bank


Finland. Kemira Oyj

Date of loan: 19 Feb 2018
Country: Finland
Customer: Kemira Oyj
Amount in EUR: EUR 90 million
Maturity: 7 years
NACE sector / loan type: Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products


Industries and services


The loan has been provided to finance the expansion of the sodium chlorate production capacity at Kemira’s facility in Joutseno, Finland, and to fund the company’s R&D costs during 2016–2019.

Kemira’s R&D programme for 2016–2019 is focusing on key market trends in pulp and paper, oil, municipal and industrial applications. The programme aims to provide more sustainable solutions to improve customers’ water, energy and raw material efficiency.

Kemira operates three global R&D centres: one in Finland, one in the USA and one in China. The company’s main collaboration partners include the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and a number of universities, such as Aalto University, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Turku.

Further, Kemira has increased the production of sodium chlorate at its site in Joutseno to respond to the growing demand for chlorate in the Nordic pulp and paper sector. The investment concerned the construction of a new cell room that nearly doubled the sodium chlorate capacity at the site.

Kemira Oyj is a leading chemicals company serving customers in water-intensive industries such as water treatment, pulp and paper, and oil and gas. Kemira is headquartered in Helsinki and employs around 4,700 people globally.

Fulfilment of NIB's mandate

R&D investments 2016–2019


Kemira’s research spending in Finland accounts for roughly 60% of its total R&D budget. The company’s main R&D lines are focused on process efficiency in paper and pulp. Further, Kemira is part of the forest and heavy industry cluster in the Nordic–Baltic countries and has significant collaboration programmes with other companies, as well as universities and research institutes.


Kemira aims to develop solutions that leave a smaller environmental footprint and focuses on energy and resource efficiency, as well as the biodegradability of products. Kemira’s solutions are designed to contribute to a bio-based economy.


Sodium chlorate production


The investments in a new cell room will nearly double Kemira’s chlorate production capacity in Joutseno, Finland. The new room will utilise Kemira’s own titanium cell technology and replace an old cell room located in Äetsä. The demand for chlorate has increased in recent years due to the growing investments in pulp mills in the Nordics. The capacity increase is expected to contribute to Kemira’s operational efficiency, and to strengthening the Nordic forest products cluster.


The new sodium chlorate facilities in Joutseno are designed in line with the best available techniques (BAT). The hydrogen generated as a by-product at the facility will be used to generate the steam needed for the extended chlorate production. Additional electricity will be purchased from the grid.

Sustainability summary

This is a project with a potentially extensive environmental and/or social impact (category A, read more)

R&D investments 2016–2019

Kemira’s R&D investments during 2016–2019 are not assessed to have any significant negative environmental or social impact.

Sodium chlorate production

The industrial site in Joutseno is located within a groundwater area relevant for water supply. However, neither the soil nor the groundwater at the site are contaminated. The project is not assessed to increase the water use during production, nor the thermal load discharged into Lake Saimaa.

The amount of hazardous industrial waste at the site is expected to double. The heavy traffic to the facility is assessed to increase by around 12%.

Further, emissions of hydrogen gas that is not used for steam generation will increase by 150%. The total CO2 increase due to the project is expected to be approximately 161,300 tonnes per year.

Kemira has a certified integrated environmental and energy management system in place. All the required permits have been obtained.

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