Editorial The factory died, long live the factory!

The Finnish forest industry is moving away from paper production.

Chemistry has encountered two big forest industry news in a couple of months.

In February, Metsä Group confirmed that it would build a large bioproduct plant in Kemi. On Tuesday, Stora Enso announced that it would close the Veitsiluoto pulp and paper mill in Kemi. The closure of Veitsiluoto will take six hundred jobs. The bioproduct factory secures Metsä Group’s current two hundred jobs at the Kemi plant and brings new ones into its value chain.

The closure of the factory and the emergence of a new one indicate a restructuring of the industry. Paper production is declining and, among other things, the production of packaging material is increasing. Metsä Group’s Kemi mill focuses on export pulp. The trend was already visible before the pandemic, but the pandemic set it in motion. The world goes online and products are purchased from the online store.

For the government – in any country – the situation is awkward. Politically, it is inviting to support the old and oppose the closure of factories. But economic bottlenecks are so strong that the best employment policy is the one that supports change.

The editorials are HS’s statements on a topical issue. The writings are prepared by the editorial staff of HS and reflect the magazine principle.

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