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A series of portraits of VINCI Energies employees. They hail from a whole range of backgrounds and personal career paths, and work around the world in one of the multiple business activities that allow VINCI Energies to prosper.

Arto Ellilä, the head of Omexom Finland Substation Projects BU, works on major electrical infrastructure projects in a booming market that is setting the standard for energy transition. Orchestrating different skill sets is key to success in projects of this type.

In Oulu, a city on the Gulf of Bothnia some 600 kilometres north of Helsinki, the Finnish industrial electricity distribution company Aurora Infrastructure Oy has launched a vast infrastructure project. Two VINCI Energies business units, Eitech Special Projects and Omexom Finland Substation Projects, are responsible for supplying and installing the entire electrical distribution system for the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Arto Ellilä is in the forefront of this project and particularly proud of this assignment. “It’s an enormous project, which includes a large number of working hours and various electrical components” he explains. “Around a hundred people are working on this project,” says Arto Ellilä. “It’s a fantastic experience – definitely a challenge to get everyone working together, but so absorbing for a manager like me.”

Enormous potential in the Finnish market

Working together with companies that have different organisational structures and business cultures is nothing new for Arto Ellilä. As an electrical engineer, he spent the first 14 years of his career at Helen, one of Finland’s largest energy companies, and also worked at Infratek, a specialist in power grids, public lighting and railway systems operating in Norway, Sweden and Finland.

“Customer awareness of environmental issues has really increased”

VINCI Energies acquired this company less than one year after Arto Ellilä arrived there. “At Infratek, I was already part of a group where my job was central to the company’s business, which had not been the case with Helen. With VINCI Energies, I was able to take things to the next level, with teams given a high degree of autonomy, and as the business unit manager, I had the opportunity to interact with my peers locally and internationally.”

Arto Ellilä was able to build on the experience he gained at Helen and Infratek (now under the Omexom banner) and is now confident in areas as diverse as finance, HR, sales and environmental issues. At the head of a team of 45 people, he intends to capitalise on the enormous potential of the Finnish market.

The huge investments planned in wind and solar energy will require an essential strengthening of the national electricity grid. “This country will be building a lot of production sites,” says Arto Ellilä, who is a stakeholder in a major new project: construction of the Aurora Line.

Reconciling work and ecological convictions

This new 380-kilometre electricity transmission link between Finland and Sweden required several contracts, including the one secured by Omexom to build the Viitajärvi substation in Keminmaa, some 20 kilometres from the Swedish border.

Upon completion in late 2024, the Aurora Line will significantly increase electricity transmission capacity between the two countries and allow connection of around 800 megawatts of new production infrastructure to the grid in northern Finland.

Working on this type of major project allows Arto Ellilä to reconcile his work with his ecological convictions. For the 44-year-old manager, who is constantly in awe of nature’s beauty when he goes fishing every summer on the lakes of central Finland, environmental issues are more than a discussion topic. He consistently encourages his customers to question the environmental impact of their business: “It was hard going in the beginning, but awareness has really increased over the last two or three years”.


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