Stora Enso to produce kraftliner at Oulu mill; shelves plan for cartonboard production

Stora Enso can produce some 1.1 million t of woodfree coated paper
on two machines at the Oulu mill; Photo courtesy of Stora Enso
18 Mar 2019 − 

Stora Enso plans to axe up to 400 jobs at Oulu site in Finland as the conversion plan for the woodfree paper mill advances. Woodfree paper operations to be terminated by the end of 2020 at the latest.

Stora Enso plans to convert the Oulu fine paper mill to packaging paper production. The company announced the results of the feasibility study according to which paper machine PM 7 is to be converted to kraftliner production. The mill's PM 6 and the sheeting would be shut down under the proposed plan by the end of 2020 at the latest, the company said.

The planned change could result in a reduction of a maximum of 400 out of 600 jobs at the Oulu pulp and paper mill. The co-determination process with Oulu mil employees is said to start on 25 March and take at least six weeks.

"The decision on the potential conversion will be made by the Stora Enso Board of Directors during the first half of 2019 after the co-determination process has been completed," the company announced.

In June 2018, Stora Enso had announced that it would evaluate development opportunities for the Oulu mill due to the structural changes and declining demand in the woodfree coated paper market. These alternatives included a new chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) plant, a board machine line with a capacity of 450 000 t/a and a kraftliner line with a capacity of 400 000 t/a.

The conversion of one paper machine to cartonboard production seems to be shelved for the time being, but not completely off the cards. "The permit application will also include a potential conversion for paper machine 6, in case this option would be considered at a later date," Stora Enso explained.

Find the entire article and any associated background information in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 12.2019.

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