- We buy wood from private forest owners at full capacity. Our harvesting service is operating normally, and it is a good time to think about forest thinnings. In terms of forest growth and future timber trade revenues, timely thinning has an important role: to keep the forest healthy and growing, to make the remaining trees thicken to log size. This will also increase trees’ ability to sequestrate carbon, says Esa Ojala, Stora Enso's Regional Director for Forest division.
In the future, Stora Enso will produce packaging board in Oulu, for which there is a growing global demand as a renewable packaging material. The Oulu Mill uses thin trees, pulpwood and wood chips from sawmills to produce kraftliner board.
The tree logs are delivered to Veitsiluoto Mill in Kemi, or other sawmills in the area, where they are used to produce wood products for renewable living. The wood branches and treetops from harvesting sites can be used for energy at Stora Enso's power plants in Oulu and Veitsiluoto Mills.
- Our goal is to utilize the wood we buy from forest owners in the most valuable way as possible, says Esa Ojala.
When the packaging production at Oulu Mill starts up, the annual demand for wood will increase by a quarter – about 0.5 million m3 – to a total of 2.4 million m3. According to the calculations of LUKE, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, there are many thinning needs and opportunities in the forests of northern Finland, so the increased use of wood is sustainable and responsible considering the environmental, economic and social aspects.
The total amount of wood of 2.4 million m3 means an annual cash flow of more than EUR 100 million to the regional economy, both as wood trade revenues for forest owners and as harvesting and transportation revenues for Stora Enso's local partner companies. The increase is approximately EUR 20 million.
- In addition to wood trade revenues, wood sourcing has an employment effect. Roughly speaking, the change in the production line will create 100 new jobs in the Oulu Mill wood sourcing area in wood purchase, harvesting, transportation and forestry work. The wood sourcing for the Oulu Mill will employ several hundred people in northern Finland in the future, Esa Ojala says.
In addition to the provinces of Ostrobothnia, Stora Enso sources wood for its Oulu Mill from the forests of Kainuu and Lapland. The area's wood sourcing organization has been strengthened in recent years as Stora Enso opened new offices and hired more forest experts. The new service offices for forest owners are located in Liminka, Sotkamo, Kuusamo and Ristijärvi.