A turnaround in fibre availability drove Södra's expansion
It wasn't so long ago that fibre in southern Sweden was in tight supply. Södra Cell faced competition for its members' wood from a variety of sources. But the closure of paper machines at Kvarnsveden, Braviken, Hallstavik and Hylte Bruk together reduced annual demand for wood by around 1.8 million m3.
Meanwhile in Norway, closures of paper machines over 2012-2013, and Södra's shutdown of Tofte, resulted in around 2.2 million m3 less pulpwood demand in that country. Added to Sweden's 1.8 million m3, this makes 4 million m3 of surplus wood in Södra's home region.
At the same time, Swedish forests are growing by 1 percent or 120 million m3 per year as a result of intensive research, good forest management and hard work on the part of forest owners.
By region, Sweden can be roughly divided into four areas - Södra's area is southern Sweden, where members own one in every two trees. The region has a 25 M m3 annual allowable cut and sustainable potential of 25 M m3, so it is balanced. There is also potential for more growth in all four areas of Sweden, depending on individual forest age - lots of young trees were planted after the damage caused by Storm Gudrun, for example, which give cause to believe that Swedish forest growth rates will start to climb again in 2030.
It was in this context that Södra felt able to press ahead with the long-held ambition of expanding its Värö mill in southern Sweden.
"We plan ahead at Södra - 50 years ahead, in fact," said Gunilla Saltin, CEO of Södra Cell. The plan to expand Värö by 275,000 tpy of softwood pulp was in the mill manager's drawer for several years but it was the change in Sweden's fibre situation that meant we could pull it out of that top drawer and onto the table - once a few of the PMs in Sweden were closed, it changed the fibre supply in our favour and made the expansion secure."
For the 50,000 forest owners who make up the Södra Group, Värö's expansion ensures a future demand for their wood. For Södra's customers, they have peace of mind knowing that Södra is providing a pulp based on a stable and secure fibre from certified forests managed to the highest standards. In Saltin's words, it's a win-win situation.
We are expanding our mill in Värö- do you know why? Watch our Movie that explains.
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