Stora Enso will consolidate its spruce timber production at its mill in Varkaus, Finland, where spruce timber production has synergies with the existing LVL (laminated veneer timber), pulp and paperboard mills. The target is to improve long-term competitiveness, the consolidation is part of the company’s profit protection programme. As a result of this consolidation, the Kitee sawmill will be shut down.
“Consolidation of spruce timber production to Varkaus creates the opportunity for utilising the full potential of a sawmill and processing plant as an integrated facility that produces high value timber products, such as LVL veneers and processed timber. This gives us a larger range of products, enhanced R&D and innovation work, and more efficient production”, saysJari Suominen, executive vice-president of Stora Enso’s Wood Products division.
With this consolidation, Stora Enso will permanently close the Kitee sawmill by the end of this year, leading to making 73 employees redundant. Of these, up to 20 can be handled by pension arrangements. The increase in production at the Varkaus Mill will create 20 new jobs and Stora Enso’s employees affected by co-determination negotiations will be given priority when filling these and other internal positions.
“During the co-determination negotiation process for Kitee sawmill, we were unfortunately unable to find any measures that would significantly improve the profitability of the sawmill. It is now important for us to provide with support to our Kitee sawmill employees in finding new employment opportunities. Stora Enso provides economic support for start-ups and will organise trainings for all employees to get five-year-licences for first aid, occupational health and safety, as well as hot work. Several companies in the neighbouring areas of Kitee have expressed their interest in hiring the professional workforce currently employed by the sawmill. We are also working closely with the local Employment and Economic Development Offices”, says Jari Suominen.