FINLAND – Finnish manufacturer of pulp, paper and other forest products Stora Enso is palnning to spend up to €80 million (about US$96.89 million) in upgrading facilities at its Imatra Mills in southern Finland, which produce packaging boards for food and beverage products.

The investment – which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022 – aims to modernise the wood handling process in Imatra and centralise it in one of the existing wood yards.

The project includes the installation of a third, more efficient debarking line which Stora Enso says will reduce the environmental impact of the process.

Stora Enso further noted that the project upgrade will also include improvements to chip handling systems, and modifications to the existing wood yard infrastructure.

Following the investment, the centralised and modernised wood handling capacity is expected to boost efficiency at the site.

Imatra Mills which are comprised of two production units – Kaukopää and Tainionkoski –   produce consumer packaging boards for food, drink and luxury packaging, with an annual production capacity of 1,195,000 tonnes.

“Stora Enso’s packaging materials offering relies on the competitiveness of large and strong integrated mills such as at Imatra,” said Hannu Kasurinen, executive vice president, packaging materials division at Stora Enso.

According to  Kasurinen, Imatra is one of the world’s largest producers of liquid packaging board serving customers globally.

From a long-term perspective, Kasurinen notes that “efficient and stable wood handling capacity is fundamental to both pulp and board production.”

Earlier this year, Stora Enso introduced new barrier boards for paper cups and food packaging, as it continues to remove plastic in packaging.

The materials are suitable for paper cups, ice cream packaging and fast, frozen and dry food packaging.

The new barrier solution according to the packaging maker “responds to market demands for eco-friendly, renewable and recyclable packaging materials to replace plastics in food service applications.”

Speaking during the launch of the new packaging, Ebba Mannheimer, Head of Business, New Barrier Solutions, Division Packaging Materials said: “The new barriers are aimed at retailers and brand owners who want to improve recyclability of their food packaging to meet eco-conscious consumers’ demands.”

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