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At the Hanhikivi 1 construction site, Raahen Muuraus is currently working on the brickwork of the partition walls of the anticorrosion shop. Photo by Kuulu

Raahe-based family business known for its master masons

The Raahen Muuraus company is participating in the Hanhikivi 1 project. The company is currently working on the brickwork of the partition walls of the anticorrosion shop of the reinforcement workshop.

Eija Sipilä, managing director of Raahen Muuraus, what is the significance of the Hanhikivi 1 project to your company?

I find it important that local companies get to participate in such a major construction project. The Hanhikivi 1 project is important for the development of our whole region, and participating in it is a great opportunity for us.

What do you do at the Hanhikivi 1 construction site?

We have been laying bricks for the anticorrosion shop of the reinforcement workshop since May. Our first contract at the construction site was the brickwork project for the reinforcement workshop building in March.

What is the core competence of your company?

Refractory brickwork is our special area of expertise. For construction brickwork, we primarily implement large structures, such as facades.

Where do you operate geographically?

Our main area of operations is the environment of Oulu and Raahe, at a radius of 200 kilometers. At the moment, our most distant project is located in Pori, but we have worked on contracts as far as in Romania and Portugal. 

Eija Sipilä ja Henri Linnala
Eija Sipilä, the managing director of Raahen Muuraus (on the right) says that the industry has an urgent need for additional skilled masons. Henri Linnala (on the left) switched his profession from carpenter to mason five years ago, and has no regrets about the change. Photo by Tiina Lämsä

A change of generation took place at your company recently – please tell us more about this!

My father, Antti Kolehmainen, founded the company in 1993. I was already helping back then by stamping company logos on father’s overalls by hand. You can say that my father started the business from scratch. I started properly working at the company in 2008. When I became the managing director in December 2019, everything was more or less ready for me. We now have 35 highly skilled professionals working for us, and our level of expertise is very high.

What does running a family business feel like?

When running a company, you often need to think what really is being done and why. It is clear that entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You learn something new every day, which is really great and inspiring. And my father is still involved in the company’s operations, even though more in the role of an advisor.

How do you see the future?

I believe and hope that we will be able to manage the consequences of the coronavirus crisis together. At the same time, we need to build confidence in the future, as well as growth.

What kind of challenges does the future hold for Raahen Muuraus?

There is a recruitment problem in the industry that is also affecting us. It is difficult to find good masons, but we will need more workforce if we want to grow. The professional skills of our masons is everything to us.

Raudoittamo ja pintakäsittelyhalli kuuluvat Hanhikivi 1 -työmaan apu- ja tukirakennuksiin.
The reinforcement workshop and anticorrosion shop are auxiliary buildings at the Hanhikivi 1 construction site. Photo by Kuulu