History

We are building the future with over 200 years of experience

We have built and maintained Finland’s infrastructure for over 200 years. Our roots go back to the Royal Finnish Committee for the Clearing of Water Rapids, which was founded by King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden and operated in Finland between 1799 and 1809. Over the years, the operations were expanded to include the construction and maintenance of road networks, bridges, railways and ports.

​Following Finland’s independence in 1917, the Finnish state established the Road and Waterway Construction Administration (RWCA) in 1925, which carried on with building and developing the road network. RWCA was succeeded by the National Board of Public Roads and Waterways and National Board of Public Roads (NBPR). In 1998, the administrative tasks of National Board of Public Roads and the actual road maintenance were separated into administration and production operations. However, production, design, construction and maintenance were still part of government activities. In 1998–2000, the National Board of Public Roads prepared to face open competition.

Towards open competition

In 2001, the production and administration operations of the National Board of Public Roads were finally divided into two separate organisations. The National Board of Public Roads was replaced by the Finnish Road Administration as the organisation responsible for road maintenance and ordering road maintenance services. The production operations of the National Board of Public Roads started competing with other earthworks businesses for road maintenance and construction contracts under the name Finnish Road Enterprise. The operations were gradually opened up to competition until the Finnish Road Enterprise was fully exposed to open competition at the start of 2005.

The name Destia was created on Valentine’s Day in 2007 and the Finnish Road Enterprise adopted it as its name for marketing purposes. The name comes from the Latin word “destinatus”, which can be translated as “determination”, and from the English word “destination”.

At the start of 2008, Destia became a fully state-owned limited liability company that was established to carry on the work of the Finnish Road Enterprise.

From a state-owned company to a private company

Destia became a private company in 2014 when the Finnish government sold Destia to the Finnish investment company Ahlström Capital. Under Ahlström Capital’s ownership, we developed our operations and became a value-led, leading infrastructure company in Finland.

Becoming part of the international Colas Group

At the end of 2021, the international Colas Group acquired Destia from Ahlström Capital. Colas is a world leader in the construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure and employs 55,000 people in more than 50 countries.

We will continue to make smooth everyday life possible for Finns by designing, building and maintaining tomorrow’s infrastructure. We do this with a big Finnish heart, as before, but while standing on even broader international shoulders.