Stora Enso will be investing around 1 billion euros in converting an idle paper mill into a high-volume cardboard production line. The conversion is expected to create some 300 jobs.
“This investment represents a step change in the European market and will develop our Oulu unit into a mega site,” the firm’s packaging materials division head Hannu Kasurinen. Stora Enso explained that the reason for the sizeable investment is due to the fast growing market for renewable packing as an alternative to plastic.
“Renewable packaging continues to be our largest strategic growth area. It’s also a market that is now, for the first time, growing faster than plastics-based alternatives. Through this conversion we can build on existing assets for quick and cost-effective time-to-market,” said the company’s President and CEO Annica Bresky.
Based on the company’s estimates, the total annual capacity of the new production line will be some 750,000 tonnes. The cardboard produced will be used for food and beverage packaging, especially frozen and chilled, as well as dry and fast food, mainly in Europe and North America, according to the firm.
Following the conversion, the company expects for annual sales to reach some 800 million euros. Stora Enso reported an operating profit of more than 500 million euros in its July-September financial report, an improvement of almost 30 percent, year-on-year.