Pulp is primarily made from wood and is the base material for paper. It is thus a logical step for the company to handle the entire value chain, in other words, not just paper production but forestry as well. This vertical integration strategy is being followed by Stora Enso, the second-largest forestry company in the world and one of the largest manufacturers of paper and packaging materials.
About 50 kilometers outside Beihai, in the southeast of the Chinese province of Guangxi, the Finnish-Swedish conglomerate set up a production mill for special cardboard on a greenfield site. Prior to this, a forest plantation was established covering 90,000 hectares including 72,000 hectares as a dedicated eucalyptus plantation.
Two types of special cardboard are produced there for the local packaging industry: “liquid packaging board” for packaging beverages, and other liquids and folding box board. A decisive factor was that previously as much as 80% of the special cardboard impermeable to liquids needed for the Chinese market had to be imported. This situation changed at the beginning of 2016, with the mill in Beihai now producing 450,000 tons of liquid packaging board and other products per year directly in China. In the final phase, some 1,000 jobs will be created here, along with about 30,000 additional jobs at suppliers and customers in the region.
It all started with the eucalyptus plantation in 2002. Eucalyptus was purposely used because it grows rapidly and is an excellent source of raw material for pulp production. The plantation sets a high standard for sustainable paper production.