Valutec seals major kiln deal with Keitele Timber in Finland
Aug. 23, 2017 - Valutec has secured one of its largest deals of all time in the Finnish sawmill market. The Keitele Group chose to invest in six continuous kilns for their sawmill in Alajärvi. The higher drying capacity is a part of a major investment program comprising a total of EUR 32 million. With these investments, the Keitele Group’s total production capacity will increase to one million cubic meters per year (423 776 MBF).
“We’re looking forward to helping Keitele Timber take the next step in its development,” says Robert Larsson, CEO at Valutec, and continues:
“In a deal of this size, it’s about quality and capacity, as well as delivery reliability. We have a strong offering and extensive experience there, both in deliveries in Finland and elsewhere in Europe and Asia.”
The total annual capacity of the timber kilns delivered to Keitele Timber amounts to 300,000 cubic meters (127 000 MBF), the equivalent of nearly 19,000 soccer fields with boards placed side by side. In terms of capacity, the deal is comparable to last year’s delivery to the Siberian Sawmill 25, which comprised five continuous kilns and 12 batch kilns.
“It involves sawmills with completely different needs and conditions. Prior to investments, we always conduct a close dialog with the sawmills to get to the bottom of their product needs and inflow of raw materials to find the best possible solution,” explains Robert Larsson.
The continuous kilns delivered to Keitele’s sawmill in Alajärvi are of the FB type where the drying takes place in two separate zones to enable a high and even quality. They also come equipped with Valutec’s Valmatics control system. In addition to this, extensive noise reduction and optical safety alarms will also be installed to ensure a good working environment.
“Safety is an important part of our development work. It’s a part of the quality we deliver, just like the possibility of optimizing the drying process using the control system,” says Robert.
Installation of the systems will begin early next year and they are scheduled to be in operation in autumn 2018.
The Keitele Group is a family-owned company that owns three sawmills and employs around 450 people. The largest markets for the company’s products are in Europe, Asia and North Africa.