Press release
2017-01-19

Wide support from all around Finland for the Vaasa Gigafactory project

More than 120 leaders and experts are participating in a meeting to prepare the application
Ministers Mika Lintilä and Kai Mykkänen: Vaasa has all the resources needed to carry out the project 

ay, at the University of Vaasa campus. More than 120 executives, experts, officials and researchers from all around Finland will be participating in the event.

The content of the event will be focusing on central themes for the factory project, like the revolution of electric cars, technologically advanced energy solutions as well as the practical carrying out of huge investments.

Speakers in the event are among others Jaakko Eskola (CEO Wärtsilä Group), Anne Jalkala (Vice President of Fortum startup and fund investments), Heikki Uusitalo (Chief technology officer ABB), Emilia Kullas (Editor-in-chief Talouselämä) and Gavin Thompson (partner for the worldwide engineering office BuroHappold Engineering). Furthermore the event will host presentations for instance about Valmet Automotives development work with electric cars and the changing of Summa paper mill to a Google server centre. 

"The interest has been big, the event participant list was filled within a few days. Apart from wanting to hear the project news, the participants are also united by a phenomenal will to participate in the preparing of the factory project in practical workshops. We are very flattered, that we’ve got support from an extensive and high quality community this big”, says Tomas Häyry, Mayor of Vaasa.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Mika Lintilä and Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen have also sent their video greetings for the event. 

Lintilä said, that getting the Tesla Gigafactory to Finland would be a part of a bigger story, in other words a part of the energy and climate strategy of the government. One of the goals set in the strategy is that there will be at least 250 000 electric cars in Finland by the year 2030. "Vaasa has the technologic competence and industrial knowledge to carry out big investments", Lintilä said.

Mykkänen pointed out that this project needs wide co-operation and that there always is courage and aiming high enough behind every success story. “The Vaasa region has everything needed to get Gigafactory: the best circumstances, the success story of the energy cluster, the raw materials needed and the proper attitude”, Mykkänen said. 

The Vaasa Gigafactory project is just like a swift startup

Vaasa Entrepreneurship Society (VES), the entrepreneur collective of the university and higher education students in Vaasa, also has a visible role at the event.  According to Häyry, this suits the whole project spirit well.

“During the kick-off event we will utilize the competences and ideologies of a very extensive group of experts as well as the courage and creative thinking of the students. This suits well in the extremely efficient operations model, with which we have worked on the project since it was launched.”

“We have acted like a startup in the Gigafactory project: swiftly, with a low organisation and inspired by a common ambitious target. That’s why we have had the possibility to proceed this fast”, Häyry reveals.

In December the City of Vaasa informed that they will be applying for Gigafactory, Tesla's gigantic lithium ion battery production factory. The first document aimed at international distribution about the strengths of Vaasa has already been prepared. Based on this and the views collected from the participants in the kick-off event we will prepare a more specific process description to be used in the marketing of the project.

Further information:
Tomas Häyry, Mayor of Vaasa, phone +358 (0)40 540 5412. Call back requests to assistant Ulla Huhmarsalo, phone +358 (0)6 325 1022.