Recent surge in electricty prices puts industries in southern Sweden under severe cost pressure.
Swedish fine and specialty paper producer Lessebo halted paper production on 31 August because of surging electricity costs. The company said that on that day the spot price for electricity in southern Sweden has risen to an unprecedented level of €518.73 per MWh, resulting in daily electricity costs of more than €58,000 for the company. At that level, total annual electricity costs of the company amount to €19m compared to €3m formerly.
The company said that it would take daily decisions whether to continue production depending on the electricity price for the next day.
Like other electricity-intensive industries in the south of Sweden, Lessebo has been suffering from a constant rise in electricity costs. "Since autumn 2021, the electricity price has gradually increased, and we cannot see that the increases have slowed down, rather to the contrary. Historically, the winter period usually entails high electricity prices and the fact that we already have record high electricity prices in August is a concern.” Says Jens Olson, CEO at Lessebo Paper.
Lessebo has a total capacity of about 48,000 tpy and produces uncoated fine paper and board in basis weights of 70-600 g/m² for office, graphic and speciality applications.