A forerunner in the bioeconomy

South Karelia promotes sustainability and is active in green transition.

South Karelia is known for its forest industry, which today can already be described as a modern bioeconomy. As a proud pioneer, the region has integrated the promotion of sustainability and strong investments in the green transition into its regional programme.

In the Lappeenranta-Imatra region, the modern bioeconomy is being studied, promoted and implemented, taking into account the circular economy, forest industry by-streams and for example, the hydrogen economy.

Modern industry and sustainable business

South Karelia's bioeconomy cluster includes private companies, research institutes, universities and public actors. The cluster ' s actors cooperate both at national and international level .

The leading companies in the region are investing in a sustainable future, and under their leadership the region has become a modern circular economy and bioeconomy business region. In addition, traditional industry has helped South Karelia to build a strong subcontracting network that serves a wide range of industrial needs.


Did you know that one of the world's largest forest industry clusters is located in South Karelia? Stora Enso Oyj, UPM-Kymmene Oyj and Metsä Board Oyj, among others, are adding to the vitality of the region, complemented by Ovako Metals Oy Ab and Metso Outotec Oyj.

We are a comfortably-sized region with vast international network that ensures impact and influence.

In South Karelia you can find e.g.
  • Greenreality Network, a business-oriented energy and environment network
  • The Finnish Hydrogen Valley Association (Vetylaakso ry), a hydrogen economy promoter established in 2023
  • Facilities and pre-zoned industrial plots for rapid progress
  • Mustola Business and Logistics Park with direct access to the Saimaa deep-water channel and easy access to the highway and railway network
Skilled workforce in South Karelia Finland

A skilled workforce now and in the future

The international award-winning LUT University and LAB University of Applied Sciences provide strong, versatile skills for the bioeconomy sector.

LUT University is an expert and focused in the green transition and also new hydrogen-based power-to-x processes. LUT's core competence in chemical engineering is in separation technology, which is used to recover the most interesting raw materials from process streams for further processing, for example.

At the core of LUT's expertise is applied science, where circular economy solutions for business are sought in the circular economy laboratory, which is dedicated to testing, process development and piloting.


Would you like to develop your sustainable bio-business in Finland?

Accessibility and mobility

The region and its accessibility are constantly being developed to support the bioeconomy sector: superior transport links and infrastructure facilitate the transport of raw materials and the distribution of finished products.

Highway 6, the double track and faster eastern railway, the busy port traffic, the connection to the Saimaa deep waterway and the international airport enable transportation in its many forms.

There are numerous industrial sites along the highway connecting the region, including the Mustola Business and Logistics Park, Mioni and the Kukkuroinmäki Circular Economy Park. Significant investments are constantly being made to ensure transport to the Kotka-Hamina export port and to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area only a couple of hours away.

South Karelia enables sustainable business, experimentation and piloting

We are committed to helping companies develop their business and build various pilots across different sectors, especially from the perspective of sustainable development and the green transition. We have just the right expertise to test and develop the technologies of the future.  Working together we can create more impact.

Here, traditional know-how and innovation are combined with the region's strong forest bioeconomy, which offers numerous opportunities for the circular economy and the use of side streams. South Karelia is home to Fiber-X Finland, a biotech piloting and product development centre, and research centres for leading companies.

South Karelia KPI's

Turnover of manufacturing companies
in the region
4.5 bn
per year

Industrial companies
employ approximately more than
in the region.

Ministry of Employment and the Economy have granted
million euros to the St1 Power-to-Methanol Lappeenranta project

Investment in Lappeenranta
30 million
in a bio-plant for the production of textile fibres

South Karelia region
attracted over
million in industrial investment since 2017

The LUT and LAB campuses are home to more than
16 500
students and more than 1800 experts.

Are you interested?Ask more and come and see the opportunities in South Karelia

We will bring together the relevant stakeholders for your business, gather the information you need about the region and the opportunities it offers, and help you identify financing opportunities for your investment.