Westas Group’s Pihlava sawmill invests and increases its production

During this summer and autumn, Westas Group’s sawmill at Pihlava will invest 3 million euros in developing production and logistics in order to increase the sawmill’s production to 230,000 m3 of sawn timber per year. The internal logistics of the sawmill is developed further by demolishing about 6,000 m2 of old sheltered process storage rooms, by investing in storage facilities that can be utilised more efficiently and by building a new canal drying plant for sawn timber. The increase in production also requires more power from the Porin Prosessivoima power plant. The sawmill’s production and heat requirement have doubled in three years. The number of personnel has remained the same during this time, being about 55 employees.

The rise in production increases the company’s log procurement by about 120,000 m3. The raw material shall be purchased from forest owners in Satakunta, Pirkanmaa and South-West Finland. The wood procurement, based on saw logs, shall be supported by small logs in the Satakunta procurement area. The company believes that this will boost the forest owners’ willingness to sell their wood to Westas Group. Two new procurement areas shall be established; one to the Säkylä area, the other to Northern Satakunta. The company’s goal is to cover the majority of the increased requirement with pine.

The export volumes of sawn timber have risen to a record level in Finland. The company believes that the demand for high-quality sawn timber from South-West Finland remains strong, despite the economical uncertainty. Their trust is especially high regarding the use of wood in the construction sector in Finland. In recent years, the use of wood in Finland has halved from 6 million cubic meters to about 3 million cubic meters. An increase as moderate as 1 million cubic meters would improve the demand of Finnish sawn timber by 10%.

Westas Group has two sawmills; one at Pihlava and the other at Koski Tl in Varsinais-Suomi. The overall production of the company shall rise from the current 400,000 m3 to 450,000 m3 per year. The company employs about 140 people. The company purchased about 1.1 million cubic meters of raw wood in 2015. In future years, the amount shall be almost 1.3 million cubic meters annually. The wood procurement and production operations create a significant amount of renewable bioenergy and by-products for the pulp and paper industry.

For further information, please contact:
Pekka Kopra, Managing Director, Westas Group Oy, Tel. +358 50 5977245