Central European roundwood markets are at a turning point. Over the past four years, forests have suffered extensive damage from a spruce bark beetle outbreak in much of the region, leading to temporary increases in harvesting, lumber production, and log exportation. The infestation in the Czech Republic and Germany has resulted in record-high timber harvests over the past few years. As a result, from 2017 to 2021, annual roundwood removals were up 15% and at an unsustainable level.
Cepi’s thoughts are with our colleagues and the people of Ukraine who are suffering an unbearable war. Today, we see how the unprovoked and unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine has become a dramatic wakeup call to strengthen the European Union’s energy security and to build its strategic autonomy. In this context, the forest fibre-based industry offers readily available solutions to address the serious shortcomings of Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Up to the age of three, a baby uses around 5,000 diapers - and although common disposable diapers score points with their convenient handling, parents are increasingly looking for a healthy and sustainable alternative to these products, which are in most cases synthetic. After all, they cause an enormous amount of plastic waste - in Germany alone, 10 million diapers are disposed of every day.
ABB has been awarded a major contract by NatureWorks, manufacturer of polylactic acid (PLA), a low-carbon bioplastic made from renewable agricultural resources, to automate their new, greenfield plant in Thailand, converting sugar cane to the polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer, IngeoTM.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Ellepot, and OrganoClick have partnered to provide 100% biobased and biodegradable solutions to the horticulture market. Organic 2.0 paper pot is an entirely organic-based solution to grow crops on an industrial scale. The new product has allowed the companies to enter the organic crop segment, which is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is to initiate negotiations on changes related to its plans to discontinue the sawn timber production in Kyrö. According to the plans, production will end in the summer of 2022. The change negotiations at the Kyrö sawmill concern all the sawmill’s 73 employees.
Andritz has received another order from the Hitachi Zosen Corporation in Japan to supply a 52.7-MW PowerFluid circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler on EPS basis. The boiler will be part of the biomass power plant in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, in Japan. Start-up is planned for 2025.
On 24 February Holmen acquired all shares in the part-owned wind farm Varsvik AB, located on Holmen land in Uppland. The purchase boosts Holmen’s business in renewable energy and marks a further step in terms of the company’s ambition to contribute to climate transition.
The construction of Wisdome Stockholm, a scientific experience arena, is now underway. The building at Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm has a pioneering design and will be a landmark object for sustainable and climate-smart construction in wood. Stora Enso is the main partner and delivers wood construction materials to Wisdome Stockholm.
Metsäliitto Cooperative, the parent company of Metsä Group, has divested its entire holding in Finsilva Oyj, i.e. approximately 20 percent, to Dasos Capital Oy Ltd's forest fund. Contracts between Metsä Group and Finsilva related to wood trade and forest services continue unchanged.
Wood fiber costs for pulp manufacturers have gone up in practically all countries covered by the WRQ over the past year. In the 3Q/21, the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was at its highest level since 2014, 8.1% higher than the 3Q/20. The most significant price increases have occurred in Western Canada, US South, Latin America, and Oceania.
UPM Raflatac continues its efforts to lead the label industry into a net-zero carbon emission future. The company raises its climate ambition to accelerate its journey towards being the world's first label materials company beyond fossils. In practice, this means increasing the use of certified fibers and traceability of biobased materials, fostering reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and developing innovative products and services that help brand owners take positive climate action and go beyond their climate goals.