The converted Stora Enso Oulu Mill will create more work and wood trade revenue in local communities

Published 18 September 2020
The new future of Stora Enso's Oulu Mill in packaging production will begin in late 2020. The Oulu Mill needs 0.5 million m3 more wood than before. This will increase the amount of money flowing into local economy to more than EUR 100 million per year. The increased wood sourcing creates more work for the area through the supply chain.

- 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.

The wood use at Oulu Mill increases the supply chain: 100 new jobs

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.

For further information, please contact:
Satu Härkönen
Head of Communications,
Finnish Media relations and Wood Supply,
Tel: +358 40 832 7458
The new Forest division, which started operations in the beginning of 2020, includes Stora Enso’s Swedish forest assets and the 41% share of Tornator with the majority of its forest assets located in Finland. The division also includes wood supply operations in Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Baltic countries. We create value to our customers and private forest owners with competitive wood supply, sustainable forest management and innovation. As a major player in the bioeconomy, access to wood is critical for Stora Enso. Today, Stora Enso is one of the biggest private forest owners and wood supply organizations in the world.