Sodra Cell to Exit CTMP Market, Plans to Divest Follafoss Mill in Norway

Sodra Cell is exiting the CTMP market and will sell or close its 100,000 tpy CTMP mill in Follafoss, Norway.

Aug. 28, 2012 - Sodra Cell said that it has decided to exit the CTMP (chemi-thermomechanical pulp) market by November 1 and as a result, the company is putting together a plan to divest its CTMP mill in Follafoss, Norway, which operates as Sodra Cell Folla.

"We've been struggling to create profitability in CTMP for several years. In spite of all the measures we've taken, we've found it increasingly difficult to find a profitable market for what we produce," explained Gunilla Saltin, President of Sodra Cell.

According to Sodra, the company has used considerable resources to reverse the negative trend, including energy efficiency improvements, product development and cutting the workforce.

"We've been trying for a long time to find a solution to make operating the mill profitable but we now have to accept that previous conditions for profitable CTMP production at Follafoss no longer exist. We deeply regret that this is the case," Saltin said.

The Folla mill produced 83,500 tonnes of pulp in 2011. Average annual production has been 107,000 tonnes.

"The flexibility and creativity of Folla's employees have kept quality and productivity at a high level and they've fought valiantly to keep production costs low," Saltin added.

There are currently 51 employees at the mill. If it closes, a career transition process will be initiated that will include all employees, Sodra Cell said.

Sodra Cell Folla
Pulp production started at Follafoss in 1909. Sodra purchased the mill in 2000. The mill produces CTMP and has an annual production capacity of about 100,000 tonnes. Timber consumption is 300,000 cubic meters.

SOURCE: Sodra Cell