Stora Enso completes negotiations at Anjalankoski

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Stora Enso has completed the negotiations regarding the consolidation of its book paper production and the permanent closure of one of the two paper machines at its Anjalankoski site in Finland.

The Anjalankoski site is made up of the Anjala paper mill and Ingerois board factory
The Anjalankoski site is made up of the Anjala paper mill and Ingerois board factory

The Finnish packaging and paper giant said in April that it planned to permanently close one of the two paper machines and concentrate all book paper production to one line at the integrated Anjalankoski site, due to the prevailing weak paper demand and high input costs.

The closure of the line, which produces uncoated mechanical grades, will reduce the site’s annual capacity by 250,000 tonnes, from 435,000tpa to 185,000tpa.

It has now been confirmed that the closure will take place during Q4 2023 and will affect 89 people, including 50 who will be made redundant. Most of these redundancies will be managed through pension arrangements, Stora Enso said. It was originally estimated that 110 people would be affected.

“While it is very unfortunate that redundancies have to be made, we are pleased that the number of employees affected is significantly lower than anticipated,” said Hannu Kasurinen, EVP of Stora Enso’s Packaging Materials division.

“Stora Enso will continue to harness the Anjalankoski site’s synergies between board and paper production and with the remaining paper machine, the group will be able to continue producing its selection of book paper grades.”

The integrated Anjalankoski site has been reported under the Packaging Materials division since the beginning of 2023. The site includes the Ingerois packaging board production unit and the Anjala paper production unit, the latter of which was previously reported under the now dissolved Paper division.

The latest closure, which will be equivalent to a loss of €100m (£86m) to the group’s revenues, is another action in Stora Enso’s vast restructuring programme, announced in Spring 2022, which has seen it sell three of its five paper production plants.

Only the Anjala and Belgian Langerbrugge plants were retained, with the German Maxau mill sold to Lidl owner Schwarz, Swedish Nymölla mill to US-based uncoated stock manufacturer Sylvamo, and Swedish newsprint mill Hylte to Sweden Timber.

Stora Enso has retained its packaging material production sites and is due to complete a feasibility study for the conversion of its two Langersbrugge paper machines to recycled containerboard in mid-2023.

Stora Enso also acquired Dutch De Jong Packaging Group in January 2023, and has said it will invest approximately €1bn in its high-volume consumer board line at its Finnish Oulu site.

In April the business revised its guidance for 2023 and said its operational EBIT was now expected to be “significantly lower” than for 2022 due to the worsening outlook.


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