Jan. 29, 2021 - Stora Enso today said that it has completed the conversion of its Oulu paper mill in Finland for production of packaging board. The pulp mill has been in production since mid-January and the newly converted machine, BM 7, is in a start-up phase.
In May of 2019, Stora Enso announced its decision to invest EUR 350 million to convert the Oulu paper mill from the production of woodfree coated papers to packaging grades. The investment included converting paper machine 7 (now BM 7) into high-quality, virgin fibre-based kraftliner production. The plan included the closure of paper machine 6 and the mill's sheeting plant.
Stora Enso said the project was completed within the budget frame and that BM 7's production will be ramped up during the first quarter and is expected to reach its designed production capacity of 450,000 tonnes per year by the end of 2021.
The new line will produce AvantForte™ — a product with three fiber layers, making it the strongest kraftliner in Stora Enso's portfolio. Packaging applications include fresh, fatty or moist food, as well as high-end e-commerce packaging.
"Completing the Oulu Mill conversion is an important step in our transformation and responds to increasing global market demand for circular and eco-friendly packaging materials," said Annica Bresky, President and CEO of Stora Enso.
In the conversion project, the pulp mill and drying machine were modified to produce unbleached brown pulp (530,000 tonnes per year), out of which about 150,000 tonnes are sold externally.
When fully ramped up, Oulu Mill will generate a EUR 300 million annual sales increase for the Packaging Materials division, Stora Enso noted.
The conversion of Oulu Mill also enables the strengthening of Stora Enso's Packaging Materials division's sheet service. Lumipaper sheeting plant in Antwerp, which is being converted from paper to primarily board sheeting, will utilise cutters from Oulu and provide a fast sheet service in Continental Europe.
Stora Enso pointed out that after the ramp-up of the first converted production line, Oulu Mill will have an additional growth option in the possible future conversion of the second paper machine for packaging materials. This would further improve Oulu Mill's competitiveness, with integrated pulp availability and additional fixed and variable cost savings, including higher utilisation of the in-house deep sea harbour.
Approximately 400 people are employed on the mill site, including facilities personnel and logistics staff. The mill's wood consumption, mainly purchased from private forest owners in Northern Finland, will increase by 0.5 million m3 to 2.4 million m3 annually.
Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. To learn more, please visit: www.storaenso.com.
SOURCE: Stora Enso
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