Veitsiluoto: PM2 repairs will take until year-end

By Jo Francis, Thursday 24 August 2017

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The damaged PM2 machine at Stora Enso’s Veitsiluoto mill will not be fully up and running again until the end of the year at the earliest, PrintWeek has learned.

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Interim solution at mill with limited capacity next month

The biomaterials group said that it now had updated information as a result of investigations into the incident at the Finnish mill, which resulted in significant damage to the line’s drying cylinders and electrical systems.

A Stora Enso spokeswoman told PrintWeek that the company was working on a stop-gap solution in order to restore some production on PM2.

“Based on current estimates, we expect the machine to be down until end-December. New cylinders and other parts for the drying section will need to be manufactured by our suppliers and this takes considerable time,” she said.  

“We will attempt to start up PM2 in September with an interim solution and limited capacity.”

The company declined to comment on the likely amount of tonnage that would be lost as a result of the line being out of action.

Veitsiluoto houses three papermaking machines that manufacture office papers and magazine paper, and has an annual capacity of 790,000 tonnes. PM2 makes several wood free uncoated office grades as well as scholastic papers.

The knock-on effects of PM2 being out of action will likely exacerbate the current squeeze on the availability of some uncoated grades in the UK, including narrow reels used by envelope manufacturers. 

Phil Bryan, director at envelope manufacturer Heritage Envelopes, part of the Mayer-Kuvert group of companies, said: “We are aware of it and we are certainly being pro-active at a group level to mitigate this issue.”

Stora Enso aims to manage the situation using capacity from elsewhere in the group, but nonetheless it has brought into effect the force majeure clause in its contracts as a result of the disruption to production caused by the incident.

“We will of course do our best to manage customer orders from our other office paper lines in Veitsiluoto and Nymölla, Sweden. However, it is evident that the situation will impact customer deliveries,” the spokeswoman reiterated. 

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