Helsinki, Finland, 26 March 2010 -- Stora Enso Wood Products is continuing to develop its business operations and is investing more than EUR 5 million in further developing the value-added product range in its mills at Uimaharju in Finland, Bad St. Leonhard in Austria, and Ala in Sweden.
“These investments are the concrete next steps in our continuing efforts to improve the value of our offering to our key customers and will help in considerably strengthening these sites and their long-term competitiveness,” said Hannu Kasurinen, executive vice president, Stora Enso Wood Products.
With the ThermoWood investment, the Uimaharju sawmill will add a new product to its portfolio. The ongoing investment at Uimaharju includes moving two existing ThermoWood kiln chambers and a boiler from Stora Enso's Kotka sawmill to Uimaharju. The kilns and the boiler were dismantled at Kotka in late January 2010 and taken to Uimaharju in mid-February. The kilns are being installed and are expected to be ready for test runs by mid-May.
“Uimaharju has already taken over the ThermoWood sales, and is serving our customer base from the existing buffer stocks at Kotka and contracted supplies from other producers until the new unit is operational,” said Jukka Kilpeläinen, product line manager, ThermoWood.
The relocation of the ThermoWood business will open up interesting potential for development involving the joinery component mill at Uimaharju, and will facilitate Stora Enso's entry into the pine ThermoWood business. The manufacturing process also has been upgraded to improve the overall ThermoWood process at Uimaharju. Significant changes have been made to the grading plant, packaging and sticking units, and the renovated and modernized units are now in operation.
The second computer numerical control (CNC) unit at Bad St. Leonhard sawmill in Austria is already under construction, with installation of the machinery scheduled in April. The new unit will be commissioned in early summer 2010. The walls and ceilings of the building for the new unit are made out of Stora Enso's own cross-laminated timber constructions.
“The demand for customized cross-laminated elements has been growing rapidly. This investment is intended to meet the more demanding customer requirements and improve the flexibility and efficiency of our manufacturing process,” said Gernot Weiss, product line manager, Cross-Laminated Timber.
A new high frequency press at Ala sawmill in Sweden will ensure consistent quality in gluing and clearly improve use of the capacity of the new vertical finger-jointing line, thereby increasing the overall output of the lines and enabling a wider product range to be offered to customers.
“This investment will also improve our product and service quality, and further enhance our reliability as a supplier to our customer base,” said Janek Antipin, product line manager, Components.
The new press will be installed in July with start-up scheduled for August 2010.
Stora Enso Wood Products provides customer-focused solutions to the construction and joinery industries and the wood products trade. Stora Enso Wood Products generated sales of EUR 1.2 billion in 2009 and employs 4500 people in 24 manufacturing units in Europe and its global sales and distribution operations.
Stora Enso is a world leader in forest industry sustainability. The company offers its customers solutions based on renewable raw materials. Stora Enso products provide a climate-friendly alternative to many nonrenewable materials, and have a smaller carbon footprint. Stora Enso is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Index. Stora Enso employs some 27 000 people worldwide, and had sales in 2009 of EUR 8.9 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY) in the International OTCQX over-the-counter market.