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Stora Enso Reconsiders Plans to Build Chemical Pulp Mill in Beihai, China

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Stora Enso, Helsinki, Finland, has initiated a process with the Government of Guangxi, China, with the goal of removing the authorization for a hardwood chemical pulp mill from its investment permit. Stora Enso had previously announced that it was considering building a chemical pulp mill at its Beihai Mill site, once the mill’s new consumer board machine is up and running. The final decision is still subject to the decision of Stora Enso’s Board of Directors.

"The market demand for high-quality food packaging board will continue to grow in China and neighboring Asian markets. Our investment in a consumer board mill in Beihai (Guangxi, China) is ideally placed to serve this market. Meanwhile, the supply-demand of the global pulp market has been negatively impacted by new investments in hardwood pulp production. At the same time, we consider the wood costs to supply the potential chemical pulp mill to be too high, which reduces the competitiveness of such a mill. Therefore, sourcing the chemical pulp to Beihai Mill from the market or utilizing our current captive global hardwood supply is a viable option for us," said Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström.

This decision would not affect Stora Enso’s operations at Beihai Mill, which cover the consumer board machine with an annual capacity of 450 000 metric tons, a polyethylene extrusion (PE) coating line, and a bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP) plant. Stora Enso’s current investment permit also covers a second board machine at the site in Beihai, but the group has not made any decisions regarding it.

As a consequence of the change in scope, Stora Enso would decrease the area of its leased forest lands in the Guangxi region. The scope and schedule for the reduction of fiber base will be decided later. The group will keep parts of the plantations to supply raw material for the BCTMP plant. Stora Enso currently leases some 84,000 hectares of forest land in the region.

Stora Enso is a provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions, and paper on global markets. Its aim is to replace fossil based materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. The company employs some 26 000 people in more than 35 countries, and its sales in 2015 were EUR 10.0 billion. 


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