Metsä Wood’s birch plywood mill inaugurated in Pärnu

The new birch plywood mill of Metsä Wood, the Wood Products Industry segment of Metsä Group, was inaugurated in Pärnu today, 3 October 2018. Formal addresses were given at the event by Rene Tammist, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of Estonia, and Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group. The investment in the birch plywood mill in Pärnu is worth EUR 55 million. It enables Metsä Wood to respond to the growing demand for birch plywood in the global market.

For Metsä Wood, the Pärnu mill is a strategically important investment in birch plywood speciality products. The most important applications for birch plywood include construction and transport industry, which are increasing globally as a result of enhanced urbanisation.

"Metsä Wood has been implementing its industrial efficiency strategy for five years, to great effect. The inauguration of the birch plywood mill in Pärnu is the culmination of the company’s EUR 100 million investment programme, which improves production excellence and competitiveness in the market. Today, we are witnessing another new beginning for Metsä Group’s strong growth", said President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä.

The annual production capacity of the Pärnu birch plywood mill is 50,000 cubic metres. This increases Metsä Wood’s total net production capacity by around 30,000 cubic metres. Once the mill is operating at full capacity, it will employ around 200 people. The growing wood products sector is popular among job applicants. The mill has a highly dedicated and motivated team, which will still enlarge significantly in the future.

"To a foreign investor we want to offer a good economic climate and smart workforce, who receives a competitive salary. The decision of a Finnish company to build a mill in Estonia demonstrates the high reliability and competence of our business environment," Rene Tammist, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, said.

"Metsä Wood's investment is one of the largest foreign investments made in Estonia in recent years. EAS (Enterprise Estonia) contributed 2 million euros to this investment – to create 200 new jobs in Pärnu County. Every company, whose aim is to increase the production value to the wood products, is very useful and necessary for us in Estonia," Tammist added.

The birch plywood mill in Pärnu uses birch veneers as a raw material. The veneers are produced in Äänekoski in central Finland. The wood is acquired from Finland, mainly from the forests of Metsä Group’s owner-members. The veneer mill at Äänekoski and the birch plywood mill in Pärnu constitute a mill complex, in which the two parts must work seamlessly together. The Pärnu mill is expected to reach its full capacity during 2019. 

The construction of Pärnu birch plywood mill began in April 2017 and was completed last spring, with the Estonian firm Nordecon AS as the building contractor. Production officially began on 27 August 2018. The main machinery suppliers were Raute Oyj and Pinomatic Oy from Finland.