Stora Enso Considers Conversion of Fine Paper Machine at Varkaus Mill to Containerboard

Stora Enso would like to convert PM 3 (uncoated fine paper) at its Varkuas mill in Finland to the production of containerboard.

June 14, 2013 - Stora Enso said that it will begin a feasibility study that will focus on converting a fine paper machine (PM 3) at its Varkaus Mill in Finland to produce virgin fiber-based containerboard.

A recent pre-feasibility study supported the machine conversion plan, the company said.

"This is an opportunity to take advantage of two market forces, where one can see a decreasing global market for paper but an increasing global market for board," said Hannu Alalauri, SVP Packaging Solutions at Stora Enso Renewable Packaging. "It is an opportunity to grow in the containerboard market at competitive investment cost.”

Stora Enso said if the investment is approved following the feasibility study, the capital expenditure for the conversion is estimated to be in the range of EUR 80–100 million, which is in line with the company's investment criteria.

“Containerboard is a key growth market for Stora Enso," Alalauri said. "We have already invested EUR 280 million in our recovered-paper-based containerboard mill site at Ostroleka, Poland, and now we are actively evaluating a next step in virgin-fibre-based packaging grades.”

The Varkaus mill, which employs 260 people, has one paper machine, PM 3, with an annual capacity of 285,000 tonnes of uncoated fine paper for business forms, envelopes, scholastics and offset as well as specialities for thin printing and ink jet.

The potential capacity of the containerboard machine would be about 350,000 tonnes per year, Stora Enso added.

Stora Enso expects to complete the feasibility study in the first quarter of 2014.

For additional information about Stora Enso, visit the company's website: www.storaenso.com

SOURCE: Stora Enso