Westas Group is one of the largest private wood-processing companies in Finland. Located in western Finland, the Group comprises Westas Raunio Oy, Westas Pihlava Oy and Westas Bioenergia Oy. Westas Group is owned by Pekka Kopra (M.Sc. Tech.), and the Group’s head office is situated in Koski, where the company’s Forestry Department, which oversees wood procurement for the sawmills, is also located.
The Group has annual net sales of approximately EUR 120 million and an equity ratio of 35 per cent. Most of the company’s net sales is generated by sawmilling operations. Westas Group is a member of the Finnish Sawmills Association, which promotes the interests of the independent sawmill industry.
From Finnish forests to the rest of the world
The Group’s business is based on sawmilling and bioenergy operations. The company’s sawmills, Raunio Sawmill in Koski and Pihlava Sawmill in Pori, produce a total of approximately 450,000 m3of spruce and pine sawn timber annually.
The sawmills focus on producing high-quality basic sawn timber that is exported to more than 30 countries worldwide. Exports account for close to 85 per cent of the company’s net sales, and the Westas Group has earned a reputation as a reliable partner in all of the main sawn timber markets – Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa alike.
Westas Group’s Forestry Department annually purchases nearly 1.3 million cubic metres of high-quality wood from certified Finnish forests. The Forestry Department employs some thirty forest industry experts, who are tasked with ensuring a continued supply of raw materials as well as harvesting operations that take into account the needs of both forests and forest owners.
Westas Bioenergia, a supplier of biofuels, refines and sells the forest residues from harvesting operations and the fractions produced as a sawmilling by-product to large and mid-sized heat and power plants operating in western and southern Finland. The annual volume of biofuel deliveries corresponds to roughly 650 GWh.
A group effort
Westas Group is a major employer in its operating area: more than 150 professionals with a solid forest industry background work for the Group. The company also indirectly employs close to 200 transport and harvesting experts and guarantees the forest owners in its area a secure income from selling their timber.
There are close to 30 different job titles within the Group and job descriptions from various production stages to international sales tasks. The competence of Westas Group’s personnel is maintained, updated and broadened through various training programmes. Not only can employees study while working, they also have job rotation opportunities.
Deep roots in Finnish forests
Westas Group’s roots can be traced back more than a century. The Raunio Sawmill in Koski was established along the Paimionjoki River in 1909. The sawmill, owned by the Raunio family, was known right from the start for its high-quality sawn timber, and even back then it was an important employer and source of vitality for the region.
The Group’s other sawmill, Pihlava Sawmill in Pori, was built along the Kokemäenjoki River back in 1875. Ownership of the then Swedish-owned sawmill was transferred to Antti Ahlström in 1889, and the sawmill eventually became Ahlström’s flagship sawmill.
In 2013, both the Raunio and Pihlava sawmills were acquired by Westas Group, and their ownership was subsequently transferred to Pekka Kopra.