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Metsä Tissue plans to invest EUR 230m in new Swedish fresh fibre tissue capacity

Metsä Tissue, part of Finland-headed forest industry major Metsä Group, has applied for a new environmental permit for its Katrinefors mill in Mariestad, Sweden, as part of its Future Mill programme. In the first phase, the plan includes a new tissue paper machine, an automated warehouse and an office building at the mill. The possible investments in the first phase are estimated to amount to approximately EUR 230 million.

Established already in 1765, Katrinefors Mill is located on Lake Vänern in Mariestad, Sweden. The mill has two paper machines, six converting lines and a deinking plant for recycled paper used to produce toilet tissue, household towels, and industrial rolls. Metsä Tissue plans to invest EUR 230 million to expand capacity (image courtesy Metsä).

In April 2019, Metsä Tissue published its new strategy, which includes the Future Mill programme. The programme aims to increase the long-term industrial efficiency and environmental performance of the tissue paper business.

In line with its parent company’s goals, Metsä Tissue is also aiming for totally fossil-free mills by 2030. Improving product quality and ensuring the availability of premium tissue paper is also part of the programme.

Metsä Tissue is the only tissue paper producer on the market with strong roots in sustainably managed northern forests. Premium tissue papers made from pure fresh fibre, grown close to our customers and consumers and the leading tissue paper brands in Scandinavia – Katrin, Lambi, and Serla – have always played an important role in our company, said Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue.

Environmental permit process initiated

Metsä Tissue has initiated an environmental permit process and a pre-feasibility study to create preconditions to double the company’s tissue paper production in two phases and to construct an automated warehouse and an office building in the Mariestad mill site.

Now we’re planning to continue to increase premium tissue paper production by investing, in the first phase, approximately EUR 230 million at the Mariestad mill. Our increasingly strong focus on fresh fibre in the future is also a result of the continuous decline of the availability and quality of recycled fibre. An investment in the production of premium fresh fibre tissue paper products with modern technology is the most sustainable solution for the future, said Esa Kaikkonen.

The study is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, in which case the final investment decision concerning the first phase could be made during the second half of 2021 subject to granting of the environmental permit.

In the first phase, the planned investments would increase Mariestad’s annual tissue paper production capacity by 50 000 tonnes fully as of 2024. The plans and scope of the project may change as a result of the pre-feasibility study.

Scandinavia is our most important market area, and we’re committed to the development of our operations here. Tissue paper production is local, so we want to be close to our customers to be better able to meet growing demand. For us, Sweden and Mariestad represent a good operating environment and a possibility of developing the company with our professional and committed personnel, added Esa Kaikkonen.

If realised, the project will have a positive employment impact at Katrinefors mill, which currently has around 360 employees.

In February 2018, Metsä Tissue completed a EUR 30 million investment into biomass-fired process heat at its Katrinefors, Pauliström, and Nyboholm facilities in Sweden.

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