Metsä Group and Stora Enso announce major investments in Finland

Metsä Group plans next-generation bio-product mill and Stora Enso invests in paper machine conversion.

Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is planning to build a bio-product mill in its existing mill area in Äänekoski, Finland. When materialized, the approximately EUR 1.1 billion investment would be the largest ever investment in the forest industry in Finland. The new mill will have an annual pulp production capacity of 1.3 million tonnes and is planned to be operational in 2017.

According to Metsä Fibre, the new mill will be the world’s first next-generation bio-product mill that can convert wood raw material into a diverse range of products. In addition to high-quality pulp, the mill will produce bio-energy and various bio-materials in a resource-efficient way. A unique bio-economy ecosystem of companies will be built around pulp production.

Stora Enso adapts to market forces

Stora Enso will invest about EUR 110 million in converting its Varkaus Mill fine paper machine in eastern Finland to produce virgin-fibre-based containerboard. According to Stora Enso, it is taking advantage of the combination of two market forces: the decreasing global market for paper and an increasing global market for renewable packaging board.

“Varkaus is an ideal mill for this kind of conversion. It has an integrated pulp mill, a power plant and a suitable paper machine. In addition, the mill is well located from a raw material supply point of view and it has the necessary infrastructure and competence to run the project successfully,” says Stora Enso CEO Jouko Karvinen.

The conversion work is expected to be undertaken mainly during autumn 2015 and the containerboard machine is scheduled to start operating during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Sources: Metsä Group, Stora Enso