Stockholm, Sweden 31 August 2017 -- Södra is investing in a small facility for cross-laminated timber (CLT) adjacent to Södra's sawmill at Värö. The plans include a future investment in a larger facility.
"Södra is focused on increasing the use of sustainable timber construction and wants to take part, and to stake out a position, in this growing market. Production is scheduled to commence in early 2019. The facility will have an annual capacity of about 5,000 m³ per shift," said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.
The investment is an important part of Södra's strategic process of building long-term relationships across the value chain.
"CLT will help us develop a new way of working, where we will be offering the most cost-effective material on the market for the construction of high-rise buildings. We are putting a complete customer offering together for CLT and will expand profitability as the market grows," said Jörgen Lindquist.
High-rise construction with timber is a growing market and demand is driven by both economics and sustainability. Demand is strong across all of northern Europe - in countries where Södra already holds a leading market position. CLT is a flexible material and particularly competitive in major cities, where the aim is to densify and construct high-rise buildings. Compared with other materials, CLT is transport-efficient, light and maintains high environmental integrity. These benefits are reflected not only in housing production, but also in the construction of sports facilities, warehouses, offices and schools.
An extensive project has been ongoing for 12 months to improve and develop the profitability of Södra's existing sawmills. At the same time, the best type of timber engineering for Södra's structure, position and various markets has been under assessment.
"Södra's main mission is to strengthen family forestry by offering new and innovative products. We have identified CLT as an interesting product and want to take part, and to stake out a position, in a growing market. But we are also aware that this will require heavy investment, take time to position ourselves in the market and is associated with business risks. That is why we are starting out small," said Lars Idermark, CEO of Södra.
The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to both the UK and other international destinations. The facility will be co-located with Södra's pulp mills and sawmills for access to green electricity and completed infrastructure. The investment is expected to require several new recruitments.