Länsi-Suomi, Vesa Veikkola
The Rauma company has already filed eight patent applications
The Finnish tall oil refiner Forchem Oy made a profitable result in its first full year of operation. The company’s turnover rose to EUR 33.6 million. Although only two years have passed since the start of the plant in Rauma, the company already needed to make a large-scale expansion investment of EUR 2.3 million last year.
– Forchem’s first year of operation in 2003 was known in advance as a rigorous test for a new company. After all, the full commissioning of a new, newly completed modern plant, and the optimization of many unprecedented sub-processes was ahead.
– In addition, the sector is very capital intensive. These types of companies usually take years before they reach financial balance.
– We wanted to exceed market expectations for both products and services, says Martti Fredrikson, President and CEO of Forchem Oy.
According to Fredrikson, the company has become a major player in its field in Europe within a year. The outlook for the current year 2004 indicates further growth for the company.
– We will increase production and invest in both basic production and production equipment for new products, says Fredrikson.
The increase in capacity has already been thirty percent.
One tenth remains in Finland
Forchem Oy is a new company founded in 2000 and specializing in the distillation and refining of tall oil. It started its production operations in 2002, in the most modern factory in the industry, built in Rauma.
Tall fatty acid accounts for about 40 percent of the products. The main users are e.g. paint industry and soap industry. The share of resin in production rises to a quarter. It is used e.g. adhesives and inks. The rest of the production is tall pitch and similar, low-value substances.
The entire group employs 40 people. For marketing its products and services, Forchem has three subsidiaries in the EU. Exports of Forchem’s products account for less than 90 percent of sales.
Forchem buys about half of the crude tall oil produced by the Finnish pulp industry every year. In addition, tall oil is imported from other northern European countries. In total, less than 100,000 tons of raw material are consumed.
The management system was fully certified
Forchem Oy is currently finalizing an integrated management system, the entity of which meets the requirements of both quality and environmental as well as occupational health and safety systems. The management system in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards will be certified at the end of 2004.
When it was decided to establish Forchem Oy’s business and build a new tall oil distillery in 2001, the main goal of the project was to utilize the best available technology in the industry, which operates in its environment in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
– The results achieved after almost a couple of years of production clearly show that the goals are being achieved, says Juhani Saviainen, Production Director of Forchem Oy.
– Simultaneous certification of key management systems by the end of this year is a joint effort and thus are involved in training, 34 at homeland and six abroad.
Since the startup of the plant, Forchem Oy has operated consistently as if the management systems had already been in use.
The operations manual related to the management system was published for the personnel in the beginning of March.
Activities have also been defined by strong innovation and development work. The company has filed a total of eight patent applications.
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