Although the global market situation has been challenging in recent years, major investments have been made in Kokkola Industrial Park (KIP).
“During the past five years, EUR 400 million has been invested in the process industry,” says Ville Honkala, Executive Manager of the Kokkola Industrial Park Association.
Honkala highlights Woikoski’s investment in an air separation plant, which produces oxygen, nitrogen and argon for industrial and health care needs, and in a hydrogen plant, with which the company is targeting the future hydrogen market.
A large investment has also been made by the Boliden zinc plant, which has introduced silver extraction. The new process enables the extraction of silver, which occurs naturally in the zinc raw material, into a sales product.
“In addition to traditional industry, the number of employees in the service sector has grown by 10 per cent.”
KIP is the largest chemistry cluster in Northern Europe. The park employs 1,600 people in production and 600 in the service sector.
Honkala believes the KIP success story will also continue in the future. The area has a long tradition in the chemical industry, and Finland’s third largest port provides a high quality, efficient infrastructure for exports.
Quality is the number one priority of every company operating in the area. Founded ten years ago, the Kokkola Industrial Park Association is the area’s unifying platform, which promotes cooperation within the park and is a significant link with the Kokkola region’s educational institutions.
“Safety is an important part of our work. We carry out environmental monitoring on land, at sea and in the air. They say you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk, but in Kokkola Industrial Park we can’t spill a drop. It isn’t an option. We have also taken our safety expertise to schools in the region, so that young people acquire a safety perspective while they are still studying.”
Cooperation with schools is part of the association’s annual activities.
“We arrange four school visits per year. The natural sciences are not popular with young people today. We want to stimulate interest, so that we can also obtain skilled players in the future.”
KIP (KOKKOLA INDUSTRIAL PARK)
Tetra Chemicals Europe
Business sector: chemical industry, industrial services
Companies’ total turnover: €1.3 billion
Total value of exports: €1.1 billion
Exports’ share of turnover: 85%
Employees, total: 2,200
Major markets: Europe, global