The Finnish forest industry giant UPM has held initial negotiations over the selling of its Myllykoski mill to a paperboard entrepreneur. Factory manager Timo Suutarla confirms that “certain individuals” have visited the establishment.
The paperboard connection was first reported by the Kouvolan Sanomat daily.
UPM formally purchased the Myllykoski mill in August and closed down the printing paper production there last Monday. The factory employed 375 personnel.
Changing the Myllykoski paper mill to a paperboard factory instead would not interfere with UPM’s business, as board is not part of its strategy. Finland’s largest paperboard manufacturers are Stora Enso and M-real.
The Myllykoskifactory houses two paper machines, which could be converted to produce the thicker paperboard. The alteration work, however, would require investments to the tune of tens of millions of euros to both the wet and dry ends of the paper machines.
The paperboard’s raw material would be spruce, which could be turned into pulp at the Myllykoski mechanical pulp mill. The site also houses a workable power plant.
Suutarla warns of fostering false hopes.
“We are heading for a recession. Where will we find the person with the money to modernise the equipment? The forestry industry is not a business for those with empty pockets”, Suutarla says.
Even ifan investor were to be found, the starting up of production would take many months.
“The delay would be in the region of a couple of years”, Suutarla reckons.