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Segezha Group selects Ponsse for new forest machinery

The logging division of Russia-headed forest industry major Segezha Group, part of the joint-stock financial corporation Sistema JSFC, has announced that it plans to invest some RUB 365 million (≈ EUR 5.1 million) into a silvicultural intensification project. This includes the acquisition of two new harvesters and a forwarder from Finnish forest machinery manufacturers Ponsse Oyj.

In Russia, Segezha Group, part of the joint-stock financial corporation Sistema JSFC, has announced that it plans to invest some RUB 365 million (≈ EUR 5.1 million) into a silvicultural intensification project. This includes the acquisition of two new harvesters and a forwarder from Finnish forest machinery manufacturers Ponsse Oyj (photo courtesy Segezha Group).

Segezha Group is the largest forest user in European Russia, with a total area of woodland in leasehold amounting to 6.8 million ha. The company’s own forest resources are able to meet just over 60 percent of the company’s demand for raw wood.

Overall, the company plans to invest some RUB 365 million (≈ EUR 5.1 million) into the project which also includes the costs of everything that is “necessary for the shift work mode of the workers” such as special trailer homes, a mobile workshop with a sauna and containers for fuel.

The first new complex, which consists of two Beaver harvesters and an Elk forwarder, has been involved in logging operations at Valdaisky logging section is Segezhsky District; the second complex, analogous to the first one, started operating on April 11 on our rented territory in Urosozerskoe forestry section, said Sergey Detkov, Executive Director of Branch of JSC Segezhsky PPM for Forest Resources.

Intensive thinning regime to boost forest growth

According to Segezha Group, the adoption of an intensive forest management model will make it possible to provide significant raw material volume gain in leased forest plots, contributing to better health of the forests. Research and practical results have shown that the raw volume gain can exceed 30 percent by a large margin.

The Elk forwarders are of medium class, and they allow logging and hauling of timber with minimal damage to the soil surface and the trees left for further growth. The Beaver model is the smallest in the line of Ponsse harvesters. This multipurpose harvester is intended for clearcut and selective harvesting, and boasts excellent maneuverability, which is necessary for selective harvesting in the intensive use mode, said Sergey Detkov.

The silvicultural effect is also evident: after the thinning, valuable pines and spruce trees grow and “put on weight” much quicker as there is more space to grow after thinning. The intensive forest management model has played an important role in the investment project to increase output capacities of Segezhsky PPM, the Group’s unbleached kraft pulp and paper mill in Segezha city, Republic of Karelia.

Ministerial priority project

The project has been entered by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Russian Federation in the list of priority forest management programs, On April 5, 2019, Mikhail Shamolin, President of Segezha Group, introduced the program during the session of the State Committee for Celebration of the Centennial of the Republic of Karelia.

Our strategic goal is to reach the figure of 1 million tonnes of finished products per year, including bleached softwood and hardwood pulp, and bleached and unbleached sack paper. We also expect to transition to a fully autonomous energy supply model, said Mikhail Shamolin, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Segehza Group.

According to Shamolin the total investments into the overall “1 million tonnes per annum” project will amount to RUB 55 billion (≈ EUR 766.1 million), while export revenues are expected to reach RUB 187 billion (≈ EUR 2.6 billion) by 2024.

New revised Forest Plan for the Republic of Karelia

To achieve the goals of the business and of forest management for the region, the Group would need 3 million m3 of allowable cut, and have the normative database amended in the part pertaining to intensive use of forest resources.

In 2018 the St. Petersburg R&D Institute of Forest Industry completed all the necessary fieldwork, and in early 2019 developed new norms for forest care and restoration, and forest logging rules. Now they are being discussed. Before the end of the year, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Karelia intends to introduce changes in the Forest Plan of the region.

Representatives of the Ministry said that as soon as in the third quarter of 2019 specialists will begin work on changing logging rules, first and foremost for the Segezhsky forestry section, which will allow Segezha Group to prepare changes to the draft programs of forest management to include forest care operations.

On its part, Segezha Group has already been investing considerable money into the process of introducing the intensive forest management model. The company has financed the first stage of preparatory work to develop the new norms: two-thirds of the costs at the level of the Republic, with the total coming to RUB 65 million (≈ EUR 905 495) will be paid for by Segezha Group.

By the time the new norms of forest management enter into effect, the company will have acquired the necessary experience of using the new equipment and will finally fully launch the intensive forest management model.

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