Pine fatty acid is a success product

Uusi Rauma, Janne Rantanen

The financial statements of the first full year of the tall oil distillery Forchem, operating in Rauma, already show little profit. CEO Martti Fredriksson does not say how much.

– The full commissioning of the new plant is a rigorous test. It often takes years. We got to the planned production in a year. The result fell short of the budget. However, a positive financial statement is very important psychologically, says Fredriksson.

Forchem buys almost 100,000 tons of crude tall oil a year. That is about half of the capacity of Finnish pulp mills. Forchem prefers Finnish tall oil, but also imports raw materials abroad.

Forchem distills suitable commodities from the tall oil left over from pulp production.

Fredriksson shows a small bottle with a black, tar-shaped quad.

– This is how we make uniform, odorless and colorless raw materials for the industry, he introduces.

– Our absolute success product is tall fat acid. It is used in oil paints, but also in soaps and diesel fuel, for example.

– The other main product is resin. It is solid at room temperature but resinous when melted. It is mainly used in adhesives and inks, explains Fredriksson.

Net sales for the first year were EUR 33.6 million. EUR 2.3 million was already invested in the new plant, which was reflected in a significant increase in production capacity.

– We are planning new investments to increase production. Decisions can be made as early as this spring, says the CEO.

Plenty of space has been reserved for the Rauma plant to expand. Further processing into own products has been glanced.

– For many years to come, we will focus on basic production and making it more efficient, says Fredriksson.

The tall oil business has not been invested in for years, so Rauma’s new and efficient plant immediately grabbed a significant market position in Europe. Imports go almost entirely to exports.

However, future success has not been heralded in the church. As a distiller of tall oil, Forchem is likely to do well. But the industry may use completely other raw materials.

Forchem awarded Pete Raittinen and Toni Rosvall for production innovations with bonus and paintings.