A Hub of Bio- and Circular Economy in the Works at Naantali

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Linda Fröberg-Niemi, CEO of Green Industry Park, envisions a world-class industry cluster to take over the Naantali refinery area. The cluster would turn industrial by-flows, from both agricultural and industrial processes, into textile fibers and materials solutions. Solutions based on hydrogen and power-to-X will also be part of the new operations. The region’s special characteristics, infrastructure, and nature of existing activities support the process industry.

Neste’s ex-refinery in Naantali is being transformed into a hub of bio- and circular economy

The idea is that the Green Industry Park could, in the future, house a conglomerate of many industrial companies and SME’s in various stages of their growth, with these actors forming an industrial symbiosis together. The symbiosis would include synergy between companies in material flows, expertise, and energy. Close cooperation between innovation actors is also crucial. According to Fröberg-Niemi, Green Industry Park brings environmental benefits from the point of view of the companies locating there and the operational model of the industry park, which aims to offer actors a platform to operate according to the principles of circular economy.

– There aren’t many options like this available. The region’s attractive qualities also include a stable operational environment, peace and quiet, working culture and great international relations to other countries.

Expertise in process chemistry is also visible in the region’s industry and businesses. Fröberg-Niemi is quick to mention the Smart Chemistry Park in Raisio, which is an innovation incubator for startups and growth companies. 

The population of the Turku subregion is around 300 000, 40 000 of which are students. Due to academic education and research, the Turku region has a lot of expertise in chemistry and process chemistry. Yearly intake of technology students in Turku is around 2000 individuals.

– We want to be an attractive ecosystem for both young and more experienced talents, including people with international backgrounds. Many are interested in doing their part for a more sustainable future. We can be the one offering these jobs. One industrial job position creates up to four ancillary positions.

Linda Fröberg-Niemi, CEO of Green Industry Park Ltd., hopes that the government might help in creating the prerequisites for developing new industrial operations in Finland. Photo by Tuukka Salo, Presser Oy.

As CEO of Green Industry Park Ltd., Linda Fröberg-Niemi’s task is to create the prerequisites for new operations. She is the person who finds the right negotiation partners and potential investment opportunities, clear ups issues related to land-use with Neste and the cities, works with universities and other partners and develops the Green Industry Park brand and marketing operations internationally.

Fröberg-Niemi emphasizes that Finland has excellent companies in their starting stages; companies, who also have a lot of potential for founding an industrial plant in Finland. Fröberg-Niemi says that Finland holds many of the keys it needs when striving toward reducing emissions and achieving carbon neutrality.

Original Finnish article: Jasmine Jussila, Presser Oy