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Lahti xylitol plant: Fazer selects building contractor

Helsinki / FI. (fg) Finland’s Fazer Group and construction company NCC have signed a contract regarding the construction of a new production facility producing xylitol from oat hulls. The new facility will be constructed next to Fazer Mills in Kasakkamäki, in Lahti, Finland. The value of the contract, signed March 29, 2019, is approximately EUR 10.7 million. The construction of the xylitol plant is the most significant investment in a new line of business in the history of Fazer.

The construction project includes the xylitol plant, the structures of the related auxiliary equipment, the area works and the extension of the mill area’s car park. The project will be carried out as a project management contract, which also includes the HVAC works of the new plant. The total area of the property is 4,000 square metres.

Producing xylitol from oat hulls is a genuine innovation

The new production facility located next to Fazer’s oat mill in Lahti, is the world’s first xylitol plant which uses raw material originating from the company’s own production. The oat mill produces several million kilos of oat hulls as a side stream every year. Previously, the oat hulls have been used as animal feed or biofuel.

«It is fantastic to be able to strengthen the Finnish knowhow in oats and to bring the production of domestic xylitol back to Finland. Our Mill in Lahti is a world-class forerunner in oat products. With this investment, we will become the first industrial actor utilising oat hulls to produce value-added oat products. We feel very confident about starting the building project in cooperation with NCC. We have previously built successfully together in Vantaa, and we share common values regarding the importance of safety of all employees», says Anna Nicol, the Vice President in charge of the xylitol venture at Fazer.

The company aims to sell this plant-based raw material globally.

Safety taken extensively into account at the Lahti site

The xylitol plant’s construction work began in February 2019 with the logging of timber and the removal of topsoil. The site office and staff facilities as well as the site’s temporary fencing and parking spaces are ready. The actual construction work began this week. The installations of the production equipment will begin in late 2019, and the production facility will be taken into use in late 2020.

«Safe movement on site and in its surroundings has been ensured. The site constitutes a separate area and it has been fenced off from the rest of the plant area in Lahti with temporary fencing. Access to the site takes place through a separate junction. The site also has its own access control and monitoring system. A sign concerning the site and guidance will be added very soon,» says Janne Toivanen, director in charge of the construction project at Fazer.

Fazer’s first media release on the EUR 40 million investment in Lahti was published in January 2019. Further details on the investment were published in March, once the new technology to be used in the production had been patented.