20.5.2021 | Company Announcement / Press release
Keliber Will Engage More than Twenty New Experts This Year, Hundreds More in Years to Come
Keliber, which is preparing for lithium hydroxide production in Central Ostrobothnia, is currently actively recruiting. The company is looking for especially technical experts to manage projects and in preparation for production scheduled to commence in 2024.
“We have engaged thirteen new persons this year, three as permanent employees, five as direct consultants and the remaining through a contractor”, says Asko Saastamoinen, who is responsible for human resources – and himself one of the company’s new direct consultants.
Further to recent appointments, Keliber is in the process of recruiting an Electrical and Automation Manager, Design Assistant, Project Engineer for Concentrator, and a Controller. The positions of Communications Director and Steering Manager will be opening soon. In addition, four geology students have been hired as summer interns to help with mineral prospecting activities.
Recruitment has accelerated since February, when Keliber announced financing of EUR 40 million which secures the continuation of the lithium project, including mining activities in the Kaustinen, Kokkola and Kruunupyy areas, and the production of lithium hydroxide in Kokkola. Keliber's objective is to be the first company in Europe to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide from its own ore.
Currently, Keliber has eighteen own employees. Considering the consultants and contractors’ employees, the company provides employment to almost 40 people and intends to increase this number to near-50 by year end. During construction, which is planned to begin in the second half of the year 2022 and last until 2024, employment is set to accelerate further to as much as 500 employees. After the construction phase, a steady state employment of between 150-200 people will be maintained.
“The production organisation will be built up through 2022 and 2023. Employees will go through extensive training to ensure adequate competency prior to permanent employment at the end of the construction phase. Keliber expects to have a fully capacitated organisation in place prior to production ramp up. During the production phase, our organisation will require personnel in processing, installation, laboratory operations, engineering, geology and geotechnical operations as well as management and supervisory roles”, says Asko Saastamoinen.
Who should apply to Keliber? According to CEO Hannu Hautala, a suitable candidate is an active and competent person who is inspired by the unique project and the opportunity to participate in concrete climate actions. Hautala also suggests that the applicant should feel comfortable with Keliber's values, since they guide the company's way of working: "We maintain openness, make ambitious choices, strive for efficiency and respect each other and the environment."
Challenging tasks and skilled colleagues
Kari Laakkonen is the most recent Keliber employee and started as a Senior Project Engineer on 17 May 2021. His main task is to design the process for the lithium chemical plant that will be built in Kokkola. Laakkonen joins Keliber from the Swedish company Northvolt, where he was in charge of designing a cathode material plant.
Laakkonen enjoys working in a challenging environment, with interesting tasks, and a spirit of achieving results: “At Keliber, I can get involved in developing an early-stage project and put my 20+-year-long professional experience to use. Naturally, the opportunity to work in my hometown, Kokkola, is also attractive.”
Aki Manninen, a Geotechnician and long-term Keliber employee, also highlights the high level of skill within the Keliber team. Keliber employees share an enthusiasm that comes from the unique opportunity of being involved in moving Finland and the rest of the world towards a cleaner future. Manninen is convinced that roles within Keliber will be easily filled, which also has to do with the company's reputation as an employer.
“Keliber develops occupational safety and well-being at work through collaborative dialogue. It flows in every direction, and everyone has an opportunity to participate in the development, which I believe is key to achieving a safe operating environment and employee wellbeing. It is important to develop policies and processes at this stage of the project in preparation for the future”, says Aki Manninen, who has been the company's occupational health and safety representative for the past 2.5 years.
New models for recruitment
Keliber is now experimenting with a new type of shared recruitment model where the company is hiring a Controller together with Wiseo Taloushallinto Oy, Keliber's partner in business administration. The open position is for a financial professional who will be on Wiseo’s payroll with evenly shared responsibilities between both companies.
Wiseo's CEO Marko Lehtonen considers the joint recruitment a win-win situation that benefits both parties. For example, the flow of information and sharing of know-how between companies will be further improved. Keliber's CFO Riku Sauso says that the operating model is well suited for Keliber, where a relatively small core group of employees is assisted by consultants and experts.
Hannu Hautala, CEO, +358 40 712 2432
20.5.2021 / Keliber Oy