NIHAK is paving the way for investments into the green transition

The Nivala-Haapajärvi sub-region in Northern Ostrobothnia has claimed to be the greenest sub-region in Finland. It is verdant and well known for its agriculture, and it is also a region with a bright future for the green transition.

The Nivala-Haapajärvi sub-region is a region of green industry that is profitable for companies to enter. A network of industrial operators works together in the region, with access to green energy that is produced locally and sustainably. NIHAK, which provides business and regional development services in the region, has for almost 30 years connected its member municipalities and acted as a developer of the region. The organization supports the companies in the region in their various stages, from establishment to growth and international expansion.

“The municipalities of the region, Nivala, Haapajärvi, Pyhäjärvi, Kärsämäki, Reisjärvi, and Sievi, are all in the same employment area – cooperation is vital. We genuinely want everyone to succeed, and we want to maximize the regional economic benefits that are gained from investments into the green transition,” says Toni Krankkala, NIHAK CEO.

The area attracts projects with its strong power grid and locations that are suitable for projects. Wind power projects have already been implemented in the region, with a significant number of new construction underway. Many industrial-scale solar power projects take place in the region, and in order to accelerate this development, NIHAK has carried out Finland’s first regional solar park survey. In addition to weather-dependent forms of energy production, energy storage and bioenergy projects are being developed in the area, such as a pumped storage power plant in an old mine, as well as biogas, biochar and bio-oil production facilities. NIHAK works proactively to pave the way for investments.

“Planned investments in the region between 2021 and 2025 already sum up to EUR 1.2 billion and by 2030, the sum of investments into the green transition will have risen to EUR 5 billion. This will have a positive impact on the region and Finland as a whole.”

From the companies’ point of view, the region’s competitive advantages are a competent and committed workforce, cooperation with educational institutions and a strong industrial partnership network. The attitude towards development projects and new actors is positive.

“As the region sees more international expansion, we will also aim to attract high-quality labor immigration,” Krankkala explains. He highlights the human competition factor from the perspective of a family moving abroad: “It is safe to live and raise a family in our region.”

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