Metsa Board CEO speaks at drupa on company's strategy to refocus on paperboard, says after increasing paperboard capacity by 150,000 tonnes to 935,000 tonnes, company will focus on 'super productivity', sustainability, product and service development

ESPOO, Finland , May 4, 2012 (press release) – Mikko Helander, CEO of Metsä Board (formerly M-real), Europe’s leading producer of fresh forest fiber cartonboards, the world’s leading manufacturer of coated white-top kraftliners and a major paper supplier, spoke at drupa (May 4, 2012) about the company’s strategy to refocus on paperboard - the sustainable and lightweight packaging material.

“Metsä Board has undergone significant structural changes, transforming from a paper company to a profitable paperboard company. We look forward to a future based on sustainable products, modernized mills and improved services,” said Mikko Helander.

“Packaging is one of the biggest businesses in the world, and there is major growth potential for our paperboards in many markets,” Mikko Helander added. “Following the successful rebuild at our Ӓänekoski mill, Metsä Board’s 2011-2012 cartonboard investment program has met one of its key aims - increased capacity. We are now working toward ‘super productivity’ in a systematic program to make our productivity the best in the industry.”

Metsä Board has increased its cartonboard capacity by 150,000 metric tons (165 000 tons) per year to 935,000 metric tons (1.3 million tons) per year through investments at three cartonboard mills in Finland. The Metsä Board Simpele rebuild was completed in June of 2011, Kyro in November of 2011 and Ӓänekoski in May of this year. The decision to refocus the Kemi linerboard mill’s production to coated grades after an investment made in 2011 has been a success. Metsä Board’s state-of-the-art paperboard capacity, including the Kemi mill, today totals 1.31 million metric tons (1.4 million tons) per year.

Mikko Helander emphasized that Metsä Board is committed to the development of its remaining paper business: “Our paper production is now focused on Husum, in Sweden, Europe’s largest fine paper and pulp integrate with a capacity of over 1.5 million metric tons (1.6 million tons) per years. We are European market leaders in wallpaper base paper, made at the Kyro mill in Finland, and Chromolux cast-coated papers and boards, produced at Gohrsmühle in Germany.”

Pasi Piiparinen, Metsä Board’s newly-appointed SVP, Head of Paperboard, talked about future developments: “It is not only increased capacity that counts. We continue to invest in energy efficiency, decreasing our CO2 emissions and reducing the use of energy derived from fossil fuels. We are investing in a new bio power plant at our Kyro mill site in Hämeenkyrӧ, Finland, which will use discarded wood as fuel.”

Metsä Board continues work on product and service development. For example, sheeting operations at the Äänekoski board mill and Gohrsmühle site will further improve its service portfolio and the availability of sheeted cartonboard.

Metsä Board’s new R&D Center will research ways of supporting customers in the packaging industry and applications for new raw materials from forest fibers, and study how its products can match rapidly-evolving printing and converting technologies.

“We maintain a dialogue with customers as to how we can best develop our products to meet their needs and address specific concerns,” adds Pasi Piiparinen. “We are confident this will help uphold Metsä Board’s leadership in paperboard development into the future.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our business and increasingly consumers appreciate the benefits of our fresh forest fiber paperboards, knowing they are made from a renewable resource that comes from responsibly managed forests, and that they are recyclable. All our raw materials can be traced back to their source. Fresh forest fibers enable the production of light but stiff boards, which we have invested in significantly over many years, and are strong, clean and pure, making them ideal for use in contact with food or other sensitive products,” Pasi Piiparinen concluded.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.