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Global Pulp News Södra branches out into larch and poplar

Södra branches out into larch and poplar

Lärk ung på torvmark

Södra is introducing new species of wood for both its softwood paper pulp and dissolving pulps. These additions will not affect quality but will give us greater flexibility and more options, as Sustainability Information manager Eva Thuresson explains: “We know it is important for our customers to keep up to date with traceability of raw materials for certification requirements, which is why we are making the announcement, but nothing will change as far as pulp performance is concerned.”

Some softwood pulps will now contain Dunkeld larch (Larix x marschlinsii). In the aftermath of Storms Gudrun and Pär which caused considerable damage to members’ forests, some of our members began planting larch. The first of these trees are now ready for thinning, and in line with our philosophy to maximise our wood resources, we will harvest them for pulp. The percentage of larch in our softwood pulps remains very small, however. 

Our dissolving pulps will soon contain some poplar (Populus trichocarpa and P. deltoides (TxD) hybrid). Some of our members began to plant poplar following the introduction of the EU’s agricultural policy in 1990 which meant that large areas of arable land were taken out of cultivation to reduce surplus agricultural production. This poplar is now also ready for harvesting. Initially we will use only very small amounts, but the share will increase in the future. Today we use aspen (populus tremula) among other species to make our dissolving pulp. Aspen and poplar are similar when it comes to raw material properties which is why we are confident pulp quality will remain the same when we increase the share of poplar in the mix.

“This is just another example of how circular our business model is,” explains Henrik Wettergen, Vice President of Södra Cell International. “Our forest owners and our pulp mills work together to optimise our renewable resource base, ensuring that we always have a stable, reliable supply of premium raw materials for our customers.”

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