Stora Enso has partly completed its restructuring programme aimed at improving the company's long-term competitiveness and profitability. Consultations with employees on the closure of De Hoop recycled containerboard mill are still ongoing.
Stora Enso's Biomaterials division has completed the negotiations on the permanent closure of pulp and lignin extraction operations at the company's Sunila pulp mill in Finland. The Sunila site has an annual capacity of 375,000 t of softwood pulp and 50,000 t of lignin. The closure will reportedly impact 240 employees. "Production at the site has been at a standstill since May and will not be ramped up," the company announced. The pilot plant for bio-based battery material would continue its operations at the Sunila site, Stora Enso explained.
The company is also progressing with restructuring actions in the company's Packaging Material division. According to Stora Enso, the Packaging Materials division had completed the negotiations on the reduction of approximately 250 positions in its management and support functions in June. Another 50 positions were reduced in the third quarter by the closure of a 120,000 tpy recycled containerboard machine at the company's Ostrołęka site in Poland.
Consultation with employee representation relating to the planned closure of De Hoop recycled containerboard site in the Netherlands, however, is still going on.The De Hoop site has an annual capacity of 380,000 t and employs 185 people. Stora Enso expects the negotiations to be concluded during the fourth quarter of 2023.
Stora Enso will also close its Näpi sawmill in Estonia in the fourth quarter 2023. The sawmill has an annual capacity of 50,000 m³ of sawn timber, 180,000 m³ of further processed wood products and 25,000 t of pellets. The closure will directly impact approximately 90 employees in Estonia, the company announced.
In Finland, Stora Enso has already completed the statutory negotiations regarding lay offs of approximately 80 office employees. The negotiations in other countries are still ongoing and are expected to be concluded by the end of 2023.
The restructuring programme as announced on 15 June 2023 is planned to reduce production capacity in oversupplied market segments and axe the number of Stora Enso staff by approximately 1,150. The measures would decrease Stora Enso’s annual sales by approximately €380m, based on the 2022 numbers, while operational EBIT is expected to improve by approximately €110m annually, the company explained.