Foreword: A world of opportunity
A year ago, we never imagined that we would be approaching a second midsummer still working from home, still swapping a handshake for a smile on Zoom. Dare we believe there is light at the end of the tunnel at last? We so look forward to seeing our paper pulp customers face-to-face in Barcelona in September (with all the necessary precautions to keep us all safe, of course).
Technology has helped facilitate communication during the pandemic, but this is a people business where long-term relationships and trust are built over time, creating social as well as professional memories together. These relationships withstand the ups and downs of the pulp cycle and are fundamental to what we can achieve together.
Out of sight has not meant out of mind. We are always looking to improve our products and services to ensure we deliver what you need and even exceed expectations. In the current tight pulp market, it’s a delight to announce that the expansion at Värö, which will increase the mill’s softwood pulp capacity from 700,000 to 780,000 tpy, will come on stream by the end of this year - several months earlier than originally planned.
This is good news for both paper pulp and bioproducts customers since an increase in pulp production means more tall oil and turpentine, too. We see the development of new markets for sustainable bioproducts as entirely compatible with our ongoing investment in paper pulp. They are complementary, not contradictory and we are firmly committed to investing in both.
The pandemic has only served to highlight our industry’s potential as a sustainable business with sustainable products that improve our lives today and will do even greater things in the future. Our contribution is being recognised: Global volumes of softwood market pulp were at their second highest ever in 2020, surpassed only by the record year of 2019 and despite the worst global economic shock of our lifetimes.
Together we can be more than the sum of our parts. We’re very excited to partner with Lenzing for the development of OnceMore®, our pioneering raw material to help recycle textile fibres. It’s an exciting time for OnceMore®, with production set to increase ten-fold next year, but we are always seeking to build cooperation and value with our customers across all our product areas, existing as well as new, as we pursue sustainable solutions for the future.
We are excited to be emerging from these difficult days with a renewed sense of commitment to the environment, to our brand and products and above all, to our customers.
So, until we meet again (hopefully soon), enjoy a well-earned break and recharge those batteries! We’ve all earned it.
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