Greening the economy by growing forests

A EUR 150 million loan agreement signed in November 2017 will help the Swedish paper manufacturer SCA to increase its production in an environmentally sustainable way to meet the growing demand for renewable forest products. With the expansion of the Östrand pulp mill in the town of Timrå and the regeneration of surrounding forests, the project will ensure the sustainable operation of the mill and contribute to climate action at the same time.

The operation involves investment in selected renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection measures consisting of the upgrade of the pulp mill in Timrå while also replanting and regenerating about 68,000 ha of forest. The project concerns the construction and improvement of 4,250 km of forest roads and upgrading of five forest terminals. It will also create about 650 new jobs in the rural economy.

Advanced process technologies will be installed at the pulp mill, resulting in substantial energy efficiency gains. The mill will be able to make use of renewable resources, such as bark and by-products from the production process, for its energy generation, including both power and heat. As a result, the modernised pulp mill will not only be energy self-sufficient and increase its production capacity, but will also be able to export surplus (green) power. The mill’s carbon footprint will be smaller than that of any comparable mill in the world. Therefore, the investment will add value to the production of renewable, green forest products, promote the protection of the environment and significant carbon sequestration, and contribute towards the overall EU objective of ‘greening’ the economy.