The Nextjet airline company will significantly increase their flights from Kruunupyy Kokkola-Pietarsaari Airport to Sweden.
As of March 12, the company will fly 26 times a week from Kruunupyy to Stockholm, instead of the current 14 flights. In addition, Nextjet will also start, as a new service, flights from Kruunupyy, via Umeå, to Gothenburg at the same time on March 12.
The number of passengers between Kruunupyy and Arlanda increased by more than 10% last year. According to Nextjet’s announcement, thanks to the company’s cooperation networks, the Stockholm route also provides business representatives with smooth connections from Arlanda to various parts of the world.
The Kruunupyy-Umeå-Gothenburg route, on the other hand, particularly serves weekend trips from Friday to Monday.
The mining company Keliber has decided to locate its lithium chemical plant in Kokkola Industrial Park.
– On the basis of a comprehensive and careful review, we made a decision to locate the lithium chemical plant in the Kokkola KIP area. The decision was particularly influenced by the ready-made infrastructure existing in the KIP area, the availability of numerous supplies and services, and the environmental aspects of existing water treatment and waste management solutions in the area, says Pertti Lamberg, Managing Director of Keliber.
In addition, the locating of the chemical plant in Kokkola will offer Keliber increased flexibility in different market situations in the future.
– We also consider that this decision will have a positive impact on the financing negotiations concerning our lithium production, as well as the implementation of the financing solution, Lamberg continues.
A model of two locations
Keliber will continue to prepare lithium production as a solution concerning two production sites. The company’s lithium deposits and future mines are located in Kaustinen, Kokkola and Kruunupyy.
The ore obtained from the mines will be enriched in a concentration plant built at Kalavesi, Kaustinen. The lithium chemical plant, where the ore concentrate is further processed into lithium carbonate, will be located in the Kokkola KIP area.
There is a complete and well-established industrial infrastructure in the KIP area. Similarly, many of the materials and services needed by Keliber are also available in the area, as well as water purification and waste treatment solutions.
There are several major chemical industry operators in the area, providing co-operation in access control, security and other safety services, fire and rescue tasks, and statutory environmental monitoring.
The shooting of a family film will start in Kokkola in early August, as a German-Finnish coproduction. The film is based on the popular German book series Matti und Sami. Kokkola was chosen as the location because the film’s main characters are convinced that a Finnish town is the world’s best location for a summer cottage.
Mr Jonne Sandberg, Kokkola development manager, says that it is fantastic – in many respects – that Kokkola was selected as the film location from amongst other cities in Finland.
– The film-makers will purchase various services from local companies, spending a significant amount of euros, we are talking about six-digit sums. Further, this is a unique marketing opportunity for Kokkola in the German market, Mr Sandberg adds. Lieblingsfilm GmbH produces the film together with the Finnish co-producer Aamu, the company behind the film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki.
– Kokkola region has served as a good location for film-making even before. In addition to a wide range of services, Kokkola provides fine locations for shooting, and the city’s active involvement was significant when taking the decision. In addition, we can engage a local sound designer, H5 Film Sound Oy, run by Mr Heikki Kossi, explains Mr. Matti Sipiläinen, production coordinator at Aamu Film Company.
Managing Director of Kokkola Tourism, Mr Jaska Pensaari is pleased that film-making continues in Kokkola also after The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki. The film will be released in Germany and Finland in February 2018, and it will keep Kokkola Tourism quite busy. Visit Finland has expressed an interest to market Finland using the film and Kokkola.
– The Nordic project Arctic Image and Central Ostrobothnia Federation for Education have actively contributed in marketing this region for movie makers. Now when Kokkola is being presented for a German audience as the world’s best place of a summer cottage, we must rise to the challenge, Mr Pensaari points out.
If the marketing aspect related to the film is put into practice, it will mean that tourists from Germany will come to see the film locations.
– We will immediately start planning different accommodation packages, for instance. Some visitors will stay at hotels but we must also make sure that there is a sufficient amount of cottages available for those who specifically wish to stay in a summer cottage.
In addition to a sound designer and composer, there will be a Finnish sound recorder, stage manager, costume designer and boom operator at the Kokkola location.Among Finnish actors, Mr Tommi Korpela and Mr Eero Milonoff will play the leading roles.
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The annual Helsinki International Boat Show, which will take place between 10 and 19 February this year, is the main boating industry event in Finland and northern Europe, and will give the boat building industry in Kokkola, Finland, known for its top international brands, the chance to show off its newest creations.
Among the show’s stars will be the biggest-ever fibreglass boat mass produced in Finland, the Nord Star 47 SCY built by Linex-Boat Oy.
“Our brand sells the best in countries such as Norway, Russia, France and the US – in other words on markets where the popularity of more expensive and individual boats is on the rise. Our Nord Star 47 Semi Custom Yacht, for example, is a boat that customers can tailor to their own preferences,” Olli Lindkvist, the CEO of Linex-Boat Oy, explains.
His company’s 49-foot yacht features a walkaround deck and luxurious interior. The first yacht of this type was sold to a customer in Norway for about EUR 1.2 million.
“We’ve made several preliminary deals and customers are coming to Helsinki from all over the world to see the new yacht. If all of these preliminary deals go through, it is likely we will experience our busiest period to date. One 47 SCY yacht takes about 3000–4000 hours to build, which means we also keep numerous boat building industry subcontractors busy,” Lindkvist says.
The company’s newest creation is the 42-foot taxi boat version of the Nord Star 40 yacht. The first of these taxi boats has been sold to a customer in northern Norway.
Finn-Marin bringing four new boats to Helsinki
Finn-Marin, another Kokkola-based boat builder, has developed four new boats for 2017, all of which will be showcased in Helsinki. The boats are Grandezza 25 S, the newcomer and the smallest boat in the Grandezza range, Finnmaster S6, a fibreglass boat, and aluminium boats Husky R5 and R8, which represent the smaller and bigger end of the Husky line, respectively. With its 350-horsepower engine, the Husky R8 is the flagship of the sport line.
In Finland, the sales figures for Finnmaster boats went against industry trends in the previous season. According to Raimo Kielinen, the CEO of Finn-Marin Oy, the market share of Finnmarin increased sharply after Finnmaster boats joined the Yamaha retail network via Finnish retailing conglomerate Kesko.
“In addition to the Finnmaster line, the market outlook is also very promising for the Husky and Grandezza 25 S boats in Finland,” Kielinen says.
The 2016 season saw Finn-Marin’s turnover increase by nearly 40%, and there are no signs of the growth slowing down. Shortly before the Helsinki International Boat Show, the company’s turnover was 15% higher than the previous season.
“Our strongest markets in the Nordic region are Sweden and Norway, while we have also gained traction in the UK and Switzerland. Going forward, we want to expand our sales network and cover new parts of Europe,” the CEO says.
“Trade winds are blowing in the leisure maritime industry”
While attending the Seattle Boat Show in the US, Thomas Sarin, CEO of Sarins Båtar Oy Ab, told us that the future is looking bright for the boating industry:
“The industry is growing stronger, or at least it is in Europe. We closed some deals at the Düsseldorf boat show in January, and this year was our most successful in Düsseldorf since 2008. Even the sailing boat industry seems to be picking up. Boat builders in Kokkola have their hands full with current projects, with orders to keep them busy for a long time into the future,” Sarin says.
In Helsinki, the company will showcase a total of four Sargo boats, including the SARGO 33, at what will be its first winter season show. The CEO believes that the company will have stronger sales than at any point during the past five years.
Exports account for about 90% of the company’s sales, with most boats being sold to Norway and Sweden. However, Sargo boats are also exported in large numbers to other European countries, as well as to the US and Japan.
To keep up with the increased demand, Sarins Båtar opened its new final assembly and testing hall in January 2017 – one of the few of its kind in Finland.
“Thanks to the hall, we can perform all the tests we need, even in the winter. We sell boats to different parts of the world, so it is of utmost importance to us to test them thoroughly before shipping. We are also building a marina next to the hall, which will give our customers the chance to look around the boats at their own pace when they come to pick up their boat from our factory,” Sarin continues.
The new assembly and testing hall will increase the company’s production capacity by 30%.
The Kokkola Industrial Park Association, which operates at the Kokkola Industrial Park site, celebrates its tenth anniversary. The association was founded to promote the appeal of the Kokkola Industrial Park as a location for companies and organisations, and to improve the overall opportunities for business operations at the site.
“Kokkola Industrial Park has been a success in many ways but, in order to ensure its future success, we must continue to grow by working towards improved productivity and finding new ways to progress”, says Tuomo A. Rytkölä from Triangle Partners Oy who acted as a consultant when the association was founded.
According to Rytkölä, the KIP Association was founded at a time of major transition; the local plant managers’ came up with some visionary plans in response. These plans were implemented by OnePoint, Boliden, Fortum and then OMG Kokkola Chemicals.
“The Kokkola Industrial Park is the result of an evolution which was shaped by various ownership structures over the previous decades. This coincided with global changes in the industrial sectors forcing plant closures, even in traditional forestry towns. The plant managers in Kokkola understood that they needed to act quickly to find ways to unite the industrial park operators, in order to avoid the situation causing division”, Rytkölä explains the reasons that led to the foundation of the association.
Inspiration was taken, for example, from Industriepark Höchst and BASF’s Ludwigshafen industrial sites in Germany.
High level of expertise, improved safety
One of the main factors in the success of the Kokkola Industrial Park, in Rytkölä’s view, is the high level of expertise at the site. He points out that the current production processes in the basic industrial sectors incorporate many smart and high-tech elements.
“The level of education and training among the KIP companies’ staff is astonishing. The companies make use of some very successful continuing and further education programmes, and the educational institutions in the Kokkola region have considered the needs of the local industries with regard to the courses they offer. In Finland, the increasing significance of the knowledge and skills held by basic industry staff has largely gone unnoticed by the general public.
The high level of expertise on offer here is the only possible explanation as to why it is profitable to ship raw materials from overseas and then sell the manufactured products at competitive prices to, for example, the Asian markets,” says Rytkölä highlighting that the strength of the Kokkola Industrial Park is specifically based on the operations of the KIP companies.
The Managing Director of KIP Service, which provides services at the industrial park, and a Member of the KIP Association Board Olli-Matti Airiola says that, thanks to the association, many companies have discovered the benefits of a common operating culture.
“For example, shared operating policies can significantly improve the safety of the site. Through the work of the KIP Association, we have been able to share good practices not only in terms of safety solutions but also on environmental matters”, Airiola explains.
Three Golden Test Tubes awarded by the KIP Association
The first three Golden Test Tubes for contributions to the Kokkola Industrial Park were awarded by the KIP Association at its tenth anniversary celebration. The award winners were Harri Natunen, Vesa Pihlajanmaa and Ulf Borg.
When Natunen served as the President of Outokumpu Kokkola Zinc Oy and later as the Director of Boliden Kokkola Oy, he was the driving force for deeper cooperation between the Kemira and Outokumpu sites in 2004. As a result of this development, the Kokkola Industrial Park Association was founded in 2006.
Vesa Pihlajanmaa was involved in generating new service business for the Kemira site during a time when the ownership of the Kemira Kokkola plants was being restructured around a decade ago. He also played an active role in the founding and the initial stages of the Kokkola Industrial Park Association.
Ulf Borg had the perfect lookout post at the Kokkola Industrial Park when he worked as the head of Fortum’s Kokkola power plant. At that time, Borg was key in bringing the spirit of cooperation to the KIP site and served as the first Chair of the KIP Association between 2006 and 2008.
Kokkola campus will gain a new actor, as Natural Resources Institute Luke will establish its strategic office on the campus.
The executive vice president of Natural Resources Institute Finland, Johanna Buchert, says that Luke offices will participate heavily in campus co-operation. That is why the Kokkola campus with its University Consortium is extremely important for Luke in the establishment of co-operation, and it will complement the activities of Natural Resources Institute Finland within bioeconomy.
– Chemistry and bioeconomy are especially strong in Central Bothnia, and so is the food sector. All of these will be linked as Luke targets infrastructure co-operation to utilize each other’s equipment, and will network with different actors, such as students and researchers, says Buchert.
According to her, locating Luke in Kokkola opens many possibilities for the region.
– Our resources are not just locally in the province, but Luke will roll in to help the business life and enterprises of the region with the strength and know-how of an organization of 1300 people. We firmly believe that Finland will be a global winner in bioeconomy with the help of research. When research networks tightly with business, winning formulas will be born. The strategic office of Luke will start operation in Kokkola in April 2017.
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LähiTapiola Palvelut Oy will increase the number of employees in its Kokkola unit. In early May, a whole new customer services team will start work in Kokkola, for which the company is recruiting personnel right now; team leader and 17 members will be hired for the team. This personnel increase will raise the total number of employees at Kokkola to 58.
– LähiTapiola Palvelut produces compensation and customer services for regional LähiTapiola companies. The new team will focus on contacting existing customers. In practice, that will be sales work and general customer relations work, says Jenni Mäkitalo, Customer Services Manager of LähiTapiola Palvelut.
– The new support team will be established at Kokkola, because we want to enhance our services in Swedish. Kokkola has the additional advantage of traditionally high employee retention rates, says Mäkitalo.