Iggesund Paperboard is expanding in the Asia Pacific region and will open a sales office in Japan from 1 September. Over the past year Iggesund has established a service centre with sheeting and warehousing in Taiwan to cut lead times in the region. Traditionally Iggesund has focused very much on Europe but we are now prioritising work to increase our global sales,” explains Arvid Sundblad, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Iggesund. “For more than a decade we have seen the conversion of packaging for consumer goods move from western Europe to other parts of the world, mostly in the east,” he says. “Brand owners with headquarters in one part of the world can have the manufacturing of both their goods and packaging in another. This is globalisation in a nutshell and we must adapt to it.”
Metsä Tissue, part of Metsä Group, has applied for a new environmental permit in Mariestad, Sweden, as part of its Future Mill programme. In the first phase, the plan includes a new tissue paper machine, an automated warehouse and an office building in the Mariestad mill. The possible investments in first phase are estimated to amount to approximately EUR 230 million.
In April 2019, Metsä Tissue published its new strategy, which includes the Future Mill programme. The programme aims to increase the long-term industrial efficiency and environmental performance of the tissue paper business. In line with its parent company’s goals, Metsä Tissue is also aiming for totally fossil-free mills by 2030. Improving the product quality and ensuring the availability of premium tissue paper are also part of the programme.
“Metsä Tissue is the only tissue paper producer on the market with strong roots in sustainably managed northern forests. Premium tissue papers made from pure fresh fibre, grown close to our customers and consumers and the leading tissue paper brands in the Scandinavia, Katrin, Lambi and Serla, have always played an important role in our company. Now we’re planning to continue to increase premium tissue paper production by investing, in the first phase, approximately EUR 230 million at the Mariestad mill. Our increasingly strong focus on fresh fibre in the future is also a result of the continuous decline of the availability and quality of recycled fibre. An investment in the production of premium fresh fibre tissue paper products with modern technology is the most sustainable solution for the future,” says Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue.
Metsä Tissue has today initiated an environmental permit process and a pre-feasibility study to create preconditions to double the company’s tissue paper production in two phases and to construct an automated warehouse and an office building in the Mariestad mill site. The study is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, in which case the final investment decision concerning the first phase could be made during the second half of 2021, after the environmental permit has been granted. In the first phase, the planned investments would increase Mariestad’s annual tissue paper production capacity by 50,000 tonnes fully as of 2024. The plans and scope of the project may change as a result of the pre-feasibility study.
“Scandinavia is our most important market area, and we’re committed to the development of our operations here. Tissue paper production is local, so we want to be close to our customers to be better able to meet growing demand. For us, Sweden and Mariestad represent a good operating environment and a possibility of developing the company with our professional and committed personnel,” adds Kaikkonen.
If realised, the project will have a positive employment impact at the Mariestad mill.