With its strategic project Bio2X, Fortum aims to be a forerunner in resource efficiency – the straw refiner with superior material efficiency and the leading supplier of responsible textile fibers. In addition to its own development, Fortum utilizes external partners' new technologies.
"Fortum's goal is not to develop core technologies itself, but to find partners with the technological know-how. We are then the glue and implementer, the industrial player in the value chain", says Heli Antila, VP, Biobased Solutions at Fortum and chairman of the board at Chempolis.
Fortum invested in Chempolis in 2016. According to Antila, especially in the case of this kind of asset heavy business, ownership has been the right solution.
"In such a business, the customer has to invest hundreds of millions. Developing new technology and taking flight is possible when we are the owner and also carry some of the risk."
Fractionation technologies are in the core of Bio2X, and Chempolis plays a key role in Fortum's Bio2X project as a fractionation technology expert.
The collaboration between Fortum and Chempolis has been research and development work including piloting at Chempolis biorefinery park in Oulu. Tomi Honkala, Chempolis CEO, appreciates Fortum's Bio2X team, an agile partner to build new business models together.
"With good cooperation and will, we can achieve a true win-win business model for both companies", Honkala says.
Also Antila sees mutual benefit.
"A huge factory project in India is extremely rewarding for both of us. We both see that we are building a pyramid, not just laying a stone on a stone", Antila sums up.
A joint venture between Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Fortum and Chempolis is now building the world's first bioethanol biorefinery, that uses bamboo as raw material – so now the EUR 160 million biorefinery investment becomes concrete. Target date for starting full commercial operations is set for year 2022.
Chempolis has clarified its strategic goals twice using the Trailmaker process.
"We created a strategy for Chempolis with Trailmaker in late summer 2018. A year later, we updated the strategy", says Honkala.
Following this strategy, Chempolis is now investing in selected customers and specific industries and continents. All strategic projects are in full swing. Trailmaker has guided the management team and the board to form a common view.
"With Trailmaker, we have systematically determined the company's strategic priorities. We use the Management View for keeping track of the key milestones", Honkala says.
"Trailmaker brings the various aspects of the strategy efficiently into a structured format. The best thing is that the concrete steps are taken in an ambitious manner and the progress can be easily followed up", says Antila.
TRAILMAKER is a concept for faster strategy execution:
• Concrete common view and commitment
• Identified capability needs