Pippo-Kujala business area to expand – Viking Malt praises the logis­tically advan­tageous location

Located at the junction of main roads 4 and 12 in Lahti, the Pippo-Kujala business area offers excellent transport connections to everywhere in Finland. An area of 100 hectares has been zoned for new operators near the major operators already based in the area, namely Hartwall, Posti and DB Schenker. The newest addition to the group is Viking Malt, which is currently well into the process of building a malthouse.

Pippo-Kujala’s strengths include its excellent location in terms of logistics, a diverse network of operators, oppor­tunities for ecological energy solutions, and the range of plots available.

“The City of Lahti aims to develop Pippo-Kujala into a business area that is as diverse and has as much inter­national appeal as possible,” City Geodesist of Lahti Juha Helminen reckons.

The location of Lahti and Pippo-Kujala in terms of logistics is of the utmost importance to Viking Malt.

Currently, Pippo-Kujala is one of the most significant contiguous business areas in Southern Finland. It covers a total area of almost 700 hectares and is currently home to approximately 170 businesses. The largest of these businesses are Hartwall and Salpakierto, as well as Posti and Alfaroc, which offer logistics services. Operators such as Originator and Rekkapesu provide the local businesses with maintenance and repair services for their heavy vehicles. The Kujala Service Centre also has its own lunch café.

“Our future goal is for the area to provide all of the support services needed by companies for their equipment and staff,” Helminen continues.

On the road or rails

The infra­structure of Pippo-Kujala is excellent for very heavy vehicles in particular. Thanks to the Lahti Southern Ring Road and Kujalankatu, the area provides easy access to anywhere in Finland.

“The Pippo-Kujala interchange is definitely the busiest junction in Lahti. The logistical advantage offered by the area and the entire Lahti region is that more than half of the population of Finland live within two hours of Lahti. A planned railway connection will connect Pippo-Kujala to the Lahti–Kouvola railway. In addition to Viking Malt, it will also serve the other businesses in the area,” Juha Helminen says.

The businesses operating in the Pippo-Kujala area provide a total of approximately 2,000 jobs. Helminen says that this number could even be doubled in the future.

“In the future, we hope to see a great many businesses from different industries relocate to the area, regardless of their size. The competition for businesses is tough, but Lahti has many advantages on its side. Other factors that are particularly appealing to companies besides Lahti’s top location include its more affordable plot prices, smaller construction costs and more competitive labour costs compared to the Helsinki metro­politan area, as well as the good availability of labour,” Juha Helminen lists.

In Pippo-Kujala, businesses can also connect their premises to an affordable district heat network and refuel their transport vehicles at the area’s own biogas station. Additionally, LUT University offers support for the development efforts of businesses in several industries.

Viking Malt makes a massive investment in Lahti

Viking Malt, the largest malt producer in the Nordic countries, is currently building a new malthouse in the Pippo-Kujala business area. The EUR 90 million invested in the malthouse is one of the largest investments in the Finnish food industry in the 21st century.

“We surveyed several countries and areas to find a location for our new malthouse. We ultimately picked Lahti as the investment target because the availability of raw materials, the competence accumulated in the area, the customers nearby and the location with regard to logistics proved to be the best option for the company,” says Chairman of the Board of Viking Malt Group Pär-Gustaf Relander.

“The City of Lahti has been involved in the project from the start. Together, we reviewed the business areas in the city and took a closer look at three of them. We ended up choosing Pippo-Kujala because the municipal infra­structure had already been built, and the plot next to Posti also offers space for a possible expansion,” Relander continues.

Smooth deliveries to the inter­national market

Construction is currently underway on the foundations of Viking Malt’s malthouse. The new malthouse will be just over 10 per cent larger than the current one, but it will have a greater production capacity once the degree of automation increases.

“The amount of work will not increase in production, but the work method will change. Our entire operational staff will be trained for the needs of the new production facility. According to the official schedule, the new malthouse should open for production during the first quarter of 2023,” Relander says.

The excellent location of Lahti and Pippo-Kujala in terms of logistics is of the utmost importance to Viking Malt. The approximately one hundred contract farmers in the surrounding area can easily supply the malthouse with barley, which Viking Malt uses to manufacture malt, primarily for the beverage industry.

“Of our customers, Hartwall is located almost next door, while Sinebrychoff is situated a little over 40 kilometres away in Kerava. Olvi is an easy drive away if you head north through Jyväskylä, and Lahti also has great transport connections to the breweries in Western Finland. There is also a smooth transport connection to the harbour, as our malts are shipped in sea containers to Japan, England and other places,” Relander explains.



New logistics zone in Southern Finland

• Less than an hour from Helsinki Airport and Vuosaari Harbour
• Smoother and safer transport; improves transverse traffic in Finland
• The business areas located nearby cover a total area of 1,100 hectares
• Completed in December 2020
• Costs EUR 275 million
Viking Malt is part of Polttimo Group,

a family business established in Lahti in 1883. The Group includes the malt company Viking Malt and Senson Oy. Viking Malt is one of the five and ten largest malt companies in Europe and the world, respectively. The main products of Viking Malt are malts delivered to breweries and distilleries.

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