Stora Enso’s large-scale mill construction project of a consumer board mill in Beihai, Guangxi region, China, is getting closer to completion. The board machine is expected to be operational in the second quarter, and the project is proceeding according to plan.
Stora Enso has two paper mills in China, as well as core factories, production and distributing units through the packaging company Inpac. The Beihai consumer board mill project is the first time the company has started building a mill on an empty field in China.
The idea of establishing a complete production chain in Guangxi, from raw material to end product, came in 2006. Already, Stora Enso had been establishing sustainable eucalyptus plantations in Guangxi since 2002. Then in 2012, we announced the plan to build a world-class integrated consumer board mill in China, to provide excellent service with cost-competitive, locally produced high quality liquid packaging boards on a regional basis for global key customers.
Today, the Beihai Mill is well underway.
More than a machine
A project like this is not only about building a mill, although that in itself is a massive operation with thousands of employees and contractors on-site. It is also about recruiting the most capable work force in China, ensuring training and knowledge-sharing between Beihai Mill and Stora Enso’s Nordic mills, mapping the markets in-depth, planning sales, strengthening customer relations, and preparing for the best logistics routes and partners for deliveries. Naturally, it is important that all the sales and support functions are set when the consumer board machine goes operational.
Jari Latvanen, Executive Vice President, Division Consumer Board stresses the significance of the project: “The Beihai operations will add considerable value to our business in Asia. We see great opportunities for growth and building on our relationships with key customers in high quality end-uses.”An important part in the project has also been to make Stora Enso better known in the surrounding communities and to cooperate with local authorities, universities, organisations and villagers to find long-term sustainable solutions for development.During 2015, the progress in the mill construction was tremendous. It is even more impressive considering the high level of work safety that Stora Enso has been able to instill. In October 2015, the project could celebrate 10 million working hours without Lost Time Accidents, contractors included.
When ready, this state-of-the-art mill will have the capacity of 450 000 tonnes consumer board per year.