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News archive 2005

Forchem completes additional investment


In-house innovations yield capacity beyond expectations

The world’s largest single-line tall oil refinery, Forchem Oy in Rauma, has been able to extend its production capacity beyond what was originally planned. In-house innovations, ambitious and systematic quality work by the entire staff and spirited investments in new technology all contributed to making what was originally planned to be a 150,000-tonne project yield an annual throughput capacity of 175,000 tonnes.

The demand for all Forchem’s end products in the markets is currently high even though the repercussions of energy prices have dramatically increased the price of Forchem’s raw material, crude tall oil. The year 2006 is therefore expected to be very challenging in terms of profit-making.

Forchem Oy specialises in the distillation of crude tall oil, a by-product of chemical pulping, and has rapidly become a leading producer in the field worldwide. With its latest investment of over EUR 4 million and related development projects, Forchem has quickly gained a more than 30 per cent foothold of the tall oil refinery business in Europe. In its three years of operations, Forchem has also managed to build its capacity up to the original 100,000 tonnes and now to 175,000 tonnes of tall oil distillates a year.

Succeeding through innovations

The FOR150 expansion investment was carried out in the summer and autumn of 2005 alongside normal production operations. The project exceeded expectations, not least due to in-house innovations implemented by Forchem staff. The many creative insights by process engineer Esko Kiviranta for improving the process utility rate and ensuring product quality were particularly conducive to the original plans being exceeded. Esko Kiviranta was awarded the Forchem 2005 Innovation Award at Rauma on Monday, December 19.

“Top of the World” in work safety

The investment received magnificent support from the systematic quality and work safety efforts conducted at Forchem. As a token of this, the Zero Accident Forum of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health granted Forchem its highest work safety rating, “Top of the World”, as one of four Finnish companies.

The Zero Accident Forum is a network of Finnish workplaces founded in 2003. The Forum brings together workplaces that have made a commitment to promoting work safety and the zero accident philosophy. More than 120 companies are already involved. The forum assesses companies in three work safety development categories: “Aiming for the Top”, “Close to the Top” and “Top of the World”.

Forchem did not hesitate to join the forum right after it had started full production in 2003. It was a consistent step, as the company had already determined to implement the key quality, environmental, occupational health and work safety systems in one go. This aim was followed through, and the company received certification in accordance with the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards in December 2004.

Forchem Oy

Forchem Oy specialises in the distillation and processing of tall oil. The company started manufacturing in Rauma in 2002 and it now employs 40 people. Forchem has three subsidiaries in the EU area which are responsible for sales and customer service. Some 90 percent of company sales are accounted for by exports. Forchem has a turnover of some 55 million euros.

Forchem’s main products are tall oil rosins used in various adhesive and printing ink products, tall oil fatty acids used as binders in paints and coatings, and tall oil pitch, an excellent low-sulphur biofuel. Plant sterols and diesel fuel additives are among the newest and most interesting of the tall oil derivatives.

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