Metsä Wood has started test runs on the new 65,000 cubic meter Kerto LVL line at the Punkaharju mill. The investment will increase the mill’s production of Kerto LVL by about 50 per cent. The installation phase of the investment project, launched at the beginning of 2018, was completed on schedule. The first products from the new line will be available for sale in April.
In 2017 to 2018, Metsä Group made its largest investments in wood products. In addition to the Punkaharju mill, there was an investment in Kerto LVL in Lohja, where a new line was introduced a year and a half ago. Since then, the Äänekoski birch veneer mill and the Pärnu birch plywood mill have also started operations.
The production capacity of the new Punkaharju line is 65,000 cubic meters, and the value of the investment is 52 million euros. At the moment, there are some 500 people working at the Punkaharju Kerto and birch plywood mills, including all operations within the mill area. In January, 43 new employees were recruited to the mill, of which 35 were recruited through apprenticeship training. Most of the new employees come from the surrounding area, Savonlinna and Parikkala.
The investment will increase the use of logs by 160,000 cubic meters per year, which adds about 40 person-years to the subcontracting chain.
For the new line, an extension was built to the Kerto mill. The construction was carried out by Rakennusliike U. Lipsanen Oy. The main equipment suppliers are Raute and Pinomatic.