April 12, 2023 - Stora Enso announced plans to consolidate its book paper production and permanently close one of the two paper machines at the Anjala Mill in southern Finland.
The Anjalankoski site in Finland includes the Ingerois packaging board mill and the Anjala paper mill. Currently, the Anjala mill produces coated and uncoated book papers, coated magazine paper and improved newsprint on two machines.
Due to prevailing weak paper demand and high input costs, Stora Enso has initiated a plan to concentrate all book paper production to one line. With the remaining paper machine, the Group would be able to continue producing its selection of book paper grades. The planned closure of the line producing uncoated mechanical grades would reduce the site's annual capacity by 250,000 tonnes and sales with approximately EUR 100 million.
To proceed with this plan, Stora Enso will start change negotiations concerning all employees at the integrated Anjalankoski site, including the Anjala paper unit and the Ingerois board unit. The closure would take place during the fourth quarter of 2023 and affect an estimated 110 people.
Stora Enso said no decisions regarding the planned closure and employee reduction will be taken until the change negotiations have been concluded, and that the company is committed to working closely together with other Stora Enso locations, the local community and other stakeholders to support in re-employment and training of the possibly affected employees.
The planned closure of the production line would not have a material impact on Stora Enso's operational EBIT. Due to the further deterioration of the long-term market demand, Stora Enso has recorded EUR 19 million of non-cash asset write-downs related to the Anjala site in its Q1/2023 results as an item affecting comparability (IAC). Additionally, during 2023, Stora Enso expects to record a cost of approximately EUR 16 million as an IAC, of which about EUR 13 million would have a cash impact, relating to the potential lay-offs and restructuring expenses at the site.
"The decline in newsprint and publication paper demand has further accelerated, and has also reached the previously more stable book paper market," explained Hannu Kasurinen, EVP Packaging Materials division. "Hence, to ensure the vitality of our book paper offering, we plan to focus all our efforts on the remaining Anjala production line and continue to serve our book paper customers with high quality products."
The integrated Anjalankoski site is reported under the Packaging Materials division since the beginning of 2023. The site includes the Ingerois packaging board production unit and the Anjala paper production unit, the latter which was previously reported under the now dissolved Paper division.
Stora Enso said that it will continue to harness the site's synergies between board and paper production.
Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials and wooden construction, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world.
SOURCE: Stora Enso
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