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Stora Enso to convert paper mill to packaging production

The Oulu paper mill.

Stora Enso will invest approximately EUR 350 million to convert its Oulu paper mill in Finland into packaging production. The investment, made due to a decline in paper use, includes converting paper machine 7 into high-quality virgin-fibre-based kraftliner production, and the closure of paper machine 6 and the sheeting plant. Source: Timberbiz

“The conversion of Oulu Mill will enable Stora Enso to further improve its position in the growing packaging business and take a major step forward in its transformation. We have proven competence in running large conversion projects successfully, as we have already converted one paper machine at Varkaus Mill to produce kraftliner,” Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström said.

The typical end uses for kraftliner are in packaging segments that require high strength, quality and purity, such as food, fruit and vegetables as well as heavy duty packaging. Production will target global export markets.

“Economic growth, sustainability and food safety are key market drivers in the packaging business. This conversion will allow us to provide customers with an innovative kraftliner product with high-performance qualities in terms of strength, printability and food safety,” Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen, EVP, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division said.

The investment will include a new world-class line for virgin-fibre based kraftliner (both brown and white-top) with an annual capacity of 450 000 tonnes, the modification of the pulp mill and drying machine for unbleached brown pulp, as well as investments to enhance the mill’s environmental performance.

The project will start with ground work in mid 2019 and the converted Oulu Mill will employ approximately 180 people. Wood consumption at the mill will increase by 0.5 million m3 to 2.4 million m3 annually and will be purchased mainly from private forest owners in Northern Finland.