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Papermaking giant Stora Enso is closing two of its biggest mills, cutting its manufacturing capacity by a staggering 35 per cent, and taking 1.36 million tonnes of paper a year out of global supply.

Closing: Stora Enso mill at Kv
Closing: Stora Enso mill at Kvarnsveden one of two to go taking 1.36 million tonnes of capacity out

The massive Kvarnsveden Mill in Sweden, and the even bigger Veitsiluoto Mill in Finland ,will be closed once the company has been through the required consultations. Closure date is likely to be in the third quarter of this year.

Marking the closures as “very significant”, Tim Woods at Pulp & Paper Edge says the 35 per cent reduction in Stora Enso’s capacity, “will have a major impact on global markets, including Australia and New Zealand, especially so because Stora Enso has long been a committed and capable supplier of some of the impacted grades into the region.”

Stora Enson said Covid had accelerated the long term decline in printed paper demand.

The closure of Kvarnsveden which has two papermaking machines will take out 570,000 tonnes, split between 400,000 tonnes of Super-Calendered & Magazine, and 170,000 tonnes of Improved Newsprint.

The closure of Veitsiluoto with three papermaking machines will take out 790,000 tonnes, with 540,000 tonnes of that in Cutsize (office grades), and 260,000 tonnes in LWC and MWC.

The closures of the two plants, which are currently loss-making, will knock aorund €600m a year off Stora Enso's revenue. Some 1100 staff will lose their jobs. Stora Enso's paper output will then be 2.6 million tonnes a year. The move comes a year after Stora Enso converted its last coated woodfree mill to packaging grade production. 

Tim Woods predicts that among the consequences higher newsprint prices are “certain”, he will be providing detailed analysis later this month.

Just last week, Print21 reported paper imports into Australia and New Zealand during last year were down by a whopping 37 per cent, with LWC down by 55 per cent, and newsprint down by 67 per cent.

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