SCA in talks on closure of publication paper operations at Ortviken mill


Ortviken publication paper mill runs three paper machines with a total capacity of 775,000 tpy of LWC, MWC, and uncoated magazine and catalogue paper.

SCA has announced plans to discontinue publication paper production at the Ortviken paper mill in Sundsvall, and exit printing paper markets in 2021. Co-determination negotiations with trade unions are set to begin soon.

The closure of publication paper operations is said to affect a total of 800 employees at the Ortviken paper mill and other SCA operations. The company blames its decision on the weak market demand and unprofitable prices for magazine and catalogue paper.

"Demand for publication paper in Western Europe has declined by approximately 5% per year since 2008. During the coronavirus pandemic, demand for publication paper decreased by a further 30-40% and production at Ortviken paper mill has been adapted to the weak order level. This low demand, combined with a weak price development, results in a negative profitability for the operation," SCA said in a press release.

SEK1.45bn investment in CTMP production

In parallel, SCA plans to install a new 300,000 tpy production line for chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) at the Ortviken mill by 2023. SCA currently produces some 100,000 tpy of CTMP at the Östrand pulp mill. This production would be phased out once the new CTMP line in Ortviken is up and running, the company said.

Investment at Ortviken will cater to increased CTMP demand by customers from packaging board and hygiene product segments, according to SCA.

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