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More business in Varkaus mill site

04 February 2015
News



​​​​​​For 33 years, the hall was equipped with Paper Machine 4 (PM4) producing newsprint. Today, it is a quiet and dusty place. The echo fades away before reaching the other end of the 300 metre long building. But that will change. The premises will soon be brought back to life when Stora Enso invests in a new LVL production line creating new job opportunities for the region.


Varkaus is a location where transformation is clearly visible for Stora Enso and the forestry industry. In the former PM4 building, Stora Enso Wood Product’s will start a production line for wooden building elements during the second quarter 2016. The line will produce LVL panels based on peeling technology.


”LVL is a mature and well-known technique, but Stora Enso’s innovation enables cost-efficient wooden building elements as a complement to CLT in non-visual applications. LVL will expand our product portfolio and strengthen our market position in building elements,” explains Jari Suominen, Head of Stora Enso Wood Products.


 

Beneficial location

Varkaus has been at the heart of the Finnish forest industry for decades, and was chosen for the new production line for numerous reasons.
 
“Varkaus is an ideal location for this kind of production. Besides utilising the available premises and the industrial infrastructure and efficient logistics, we see a clear benefit in terms of raw material availability and wood sourcing optimisation. The panel production will be using spruce and birch, partly also in sizes that we have not been able to utilise to the fullest before,” describes Mill Director Jarkko Tehomaa from Varkaus.
 
In terms of logistics, on top of good road and rail connections the in-site harbour at Varkaus will enable efficient exports.


The estimated total employment impact for the region is 150 full-time jobs, out of which approximately 80 will be directly employed by Stora Enso. “I’m very pleased to announce this investment which opens up new opportunities to Varkaus region and our employees,” says Tehomaa.​

 


Building the future

In about a year from now, the empty premises of the old PM4 as well as the nearby storage and thermo-mechanical pulp plant premises will be filled with new equipment. It will not be quiet anymore. After a three-year ramp-up phase, the production line will have a yearly capacity of 100 000 m3.


“The panel production line, together with the newly invested container board machine will bring Varkaus production close to the high peak years back in the ‘old days’. We will use mainly the same raw material, but the big difference is that we are producing something else. The end product is different,” Jarkko Tehomaa says.


The total investment to the new wooden building element production line will be EUR 43 million. With this, Stora Enso strengthens its position as a global provider of high quality engineered wooden elements.


“We believe in wood as the building material of the future. Wood is energy efficient, renewable and carbon-neutral. Engineered wood products are key in tomorrow’s wood products offering. As the population continues to grow and non-renewable raw material resources decrease, wood offers a sustainable solution to fulfil the needs of construction industry,” concludes Suominen.


 

New Varkaus integrate in figures:​

 

​Saw Mill​white wood timber​260 000m3
​Pulp Mill​unbleached kraft pulp​310 000 t/a *)
​Paper Mill​containerboards​390 000 t/a *)
​LVL Mill​LVL​100 000 m3/a (start-up 2016)
​Personnel​current

LVL
​350 (including Efora maintenance operations)
80
​Wood Usage​spruce, pine, birch​approx. 2,1 million m3 (after investments)


 

*) after mill conversion to containerboards Q4/2015