About the picture
Throughout Södra´s history, the sawmills have been an important part of creating a return for members timber.
After World War II, demand for sawn timber grew. Oceans were once again open and free, and exports were possible to both old and new customers. Many houses and other buildings were under construction, and demand for timber was strong. As the sawmills increased their volumes, demand for saw-logs from the forest owners in southern Sweden continued to grow. The need to secure markets for timber has always driven sawmill investments since sawlogs account for the highest proportion of income from forestry.
The capacity and volume of sawmills in southern Sweden was growing steadily, in line with new market demands. Small sawmills were replaced by larger facilities with more modern machinery. Old methods were replaced by new. Working and processing the timber became more common. Artificial drying became standard and Södra gradually installed new dryers to meet the new demands.
Market-oriented products and good service have been important for Södra’s sawmill operations since the start. Structural timber and other construction products are now the largest product category. Processing has become standard: Planing, drying, cutting and strength grading, while painting was added in 2013.
A milestone in the history of sawmills
The start-up of Södra’s sawmill in Kinda in 1968 was a milestone in the history of sawmills in southern Sweden. It was the first large-scale sawmill to be built in a very long time. New methods came into use and helped to drive development forward. Södra took its next step in 1974 with the sawmill at Värö. It was built adjacent to the Group’s pulp mill, which meant that resources could be pooled. In 1999, the sawmill at Mönsterås was ready for operation. It also stood adjacent to one of the Group’s pulp mills, with all of the benefits that entailed. Following the acquisition of Geijerträ and four sawmills in 2002, of sawn timber production increased even more.
Modern sawmills and new markets
In 2011, Södra built one of Europe’s most modern sawmills at Värö with a capacity of 600,000 m³ in three shifts. The sawmill had been relocated to Värö from Adelebsen in Germany.
In 2016, Södra acquired the remaining shares in UK company Crown Timber, a leading supplier to the UK and Irish building materials trade and manufacturing industry. Södra gained not only an efficient distributor but also access to comprehensive knowledge about the market and building material trends in the UK and Ireland. The acquisition also included a sawmill in Hamina, Finland.
In June 2016, Södra restructured closing the softwood sawmills at Ramkvilla and Torsås. Ramkvilla was closed in October 2016. In 2017, a decision was also made to divest the hardwood sawmill in Djursdala. As a result, Södra no longer saws hardwood. At the same time, Södra invested SEK 200 million in Långasjö, Värö and Orrefors. The investment in Långasjö was completed in November 2017.