At their meeting on 24 February, Södra’s board of directors made the decision to invest SEK 4 billion (around USD 610 million) to implement a major expansion of the pulp mill in Värö, Sweden. Work is now starting to increase the current production capacity of 425,000 tpy to 700,000 tpy of pulp. This will make the mill one of the biggest in the world in terms of softwood sulphate pulp production.
«This expansion is a vital part of our strategy, and a must if we are to be able to develop our business. The paper pulp market is growing globally, and now it will be possible for us to continue to grow together with our customers,» commented Lars Idermark, CEO and Group President at Södra.
«The expansion at Södra Cell Värö is a measure which will reinforce our market position. We already supply high-quality pulp to a number of different customer segments, and we can now develop and underpin this. Our aim is to become the first choice for customers,» he continued.
«This decision means that we will be increasing the current pulp production capacity of 425,000 tpy to 700,000 tpy. As well as increasing pulp production, this investment means that the mill can be made even more energy efficient. Södra Cell Värö is already independent of fossil fuels during normal operation. Our supplies of green energy can be increased still further thanks to this investment.»
If the environmental permit process goes according to plan, the expanded mill will be ready for commissioning in the third quarter of 2016. The project will create the equivalent of 400 full-time jobs over a period of ten years. In the long term, the investment will also create 20 or so new job opportunities at the mill and 220 job opportunities within surrounding businesses.