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Pulp and Paper Mills in Austria Threatened

Vienna, Austria 24 June 2013 -- In the political discussion on promoting wood-generated energy in Austria, representatives of the pulp and paper industry pointed out that if the current policy continues, the survival of pulp and paper production facilities in Austria might be at stake due to an inadequate and too costly supply of wood.

According to an Austropapier press report, Berry Wiersum, CEO of Sappi Fine Paper Europe SA, said at a press event held by the Austrian paper industry association in Vienna on 11 June 2013 that the plant of Sappi Austria in Gratkorn might be at stake. From what Wiersum says, a forthcoming replacement investment to the tune of €100m at the pulp mill in Gratkorn would be unjustifiable if the domestic supply of wood continued to fall. Wiersum warned that this could mean the end of pulp production in Gratkorn, which could also have consequences for the adjoining paper mill. Following the press release by Austropapier, however, Wiersum put his statement into perspective on 12 June, drawing attention to the fact that Gratkorn is one of the most competitive mills in Europe and that Sappi is planning to invest in it.

At the press event, not only Wiersum but also Alfred Heinzel, CEO of Heinzel Holding Vienna as operator of Zellstoff Pöls, Peter J. Oswald, CEO Mondi Europe & International as operator of the pulp mill in St. Gertraud-Frantschach, and Peter Untersperger, CEO of Lenzing, pointed out the negative effects of the use of biomass for generating energy.


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