First CLT element factory to open in Finland

Finland’s wood construction boom increases demand for cross-laminated timber elements.

The first factory producing cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements in the Nordic countries will start operations this spring in Kuhmo, eastern Finland. According to Juha Virta, founder of a new company called Cross Lam Kuhmo, the initial capacity of the factory will be 10,000 cubic metres per year. The aim is to triple the production capacity next year.

The CLT elements will be produced according to individual customer requirements. “The customer specifies the board’s thickness, load-bearing capacity and, for example, the position of doors and windows,” explains Virta.

Elements for apartment buildings and schools

The construction of wood apartment buildings is currently booming in Finland but there is a supply shortage of CLT elements. Schools also offer a possible market for CLT elements. “Schools around Finland have problems with mould and CLT elements offer a fast method for building,” says Virta.

Cross Lam Kuhmo will buy its timber from its local Kuhmo sawmill just a few hundred metres away from the factory. The CLT elements currently used in Finland are produced by Stora Enso in two factories in Austria, which have a total annual capacity of 120,000 cubic metres.

Source: Maaseudun Tulevaisuus