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Stora Enso to convert Varkaus Mill fine paper machine to light-weight containerboard

April 25, 2014

Stora Enso will invest approximately EUR 110 million in converting the Varkaus Mill fine paper machine in Finland to produce virgin-fibre-based containerboard. Most of the cost is due to the conversion work required on the paper machine and in the pulp mill.

“Utilising existing assets within Stora Enso and modifying them to a new product line is part of Stora Enso’s transformation to a value-creating renewable materials company focusing on growth markets,” says Stora Enso CEO Jouko Karvinen.

“Varkaus is an ideal mill for this kind of conversion. It has an integrated pulp mill, a power plant and a suitable paper machine. In addition, the mill is well located from a raw material supply point of view and it has the necessary infrastructure and competence to run the project successfully,” Jouko Karvinen notes.

Renewable-fibre-based packaging has good growth potential in Europe and globally, and Stora Enso sees an opportunity to benefit from that growth by investing in competitive kraftliner capacity at Varkaus. Through the machine conversion, Stora Enso is taking advantage of the combination of two market forces: the decreasing global market for paper but increasing global market for renewable packaging board.

The conversion work is expected to be undertaken mainly during autumn 2015 and the containerboard machine is scheduled to start up during the fourth quarter of 2015. The current 280,000 tons per year uncoated fine paper machine is planned to cease production by the end of August 2015. Following the conversion into a linerboard machine, Varkaus Mill’s capacity will be about 390,000 tons per year of kraftliner and 310,000 tons of brown unbleached kraft pulp. Most of the board production is planned to be sold externally.

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