Mondi Group Celebrates Two Historical Paper Mill Milestones

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Mondi Group has announced two significant milestones: the 50th anniversary of Russia’s Mondi Syktyvkar mill, as well as the 70th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s Mondi Štětí mill.

Russia

When you look at the Mondi Syktyvkar pulp and paper mill today, it is hard to imagine its origins in 1969 Russia, twenty years before the fall of the Berlin wall. ‘Over the past fifty years our mill has undergone a profound transformation’, said Klaus Peller, Mondi Syktyvkar managing director. Today, the production site is not only one of the largest in the entire Mondi Group; it is a modern industry powerhouse, a leader in production as well as sustainability, and the employer of choice in the Komi region of Russia, which is the size of Spain with a population of 830,000.

Around 4700 people work at the mill, and its annual production reached 1.2 million tonnes of office, offset and newsprint paper, containerboard and market pulp in 2018. Most Russians will know the office paper Snegurochka, which is produced here, and recently received a brand refresh. Mondi Syktyvkar is a fully integrated pulp and paper mill operating three uncoated fine paper machines, one containerboard machine and a pulp dryer, as well as a wood yard, a pulp mill, a power plant and a waste water treatment plant. So Mondi Syktyvkar is almost a small town in itself.

The mill plays a vital role for the communities of the Komi Region. Its waste water treatment plant processes over 80 million cubic metres of water annually, including 100% of municipal wastewater from Syktyvkar, the Ezhva district, and neighboring industrial companies. Its power plant not only powers the mill, but covers around 20 percent of the regional demand in electricity, and it is the only source of heat and warm water for Ezhva district of Syktyvkar with a population of around 60,000 people, which matters when temperatures range between –35°C in winter to +30°C in the summer.

Mondi Syktyvkar covers the entire supply chain from wood to paper and takes special care to design all processes in a sustainable way. It partners on environmental initiatives with WWF Russia and cooperates with the Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development to preserve biodiversity of boreal forests for future generations. The forest management and wood supply chain of the mill are certified in accordance with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council FSC-C 119916, as well as PEFC and ISO 14001.

This means for instance that 12% of all forest areas have to be conserved under the forest management plan. Mondi Syktyvkar goes one step further by leaving another 12% of the territory untouched. In its own forest nursery, the company plants more than 8 million containerised seedlings of pine and spruce per year, as part of its contribution to reforestation activities of the Komi Republic and neighbouring regions.

Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. That is why June 2019 was dedicated to the 50 year mill anniversary in and around Syktyvkar. On 6 June a photo exhibition dedicated to the past and present achievements of the mill opened in a shopping center. The visitors also had the chance to take a virtual tour of Mondi Syktyvkar with an augmented reality app.

‘I’m very proud of the success story that is Mondi Syktyvkar, their performance, their focus on sustainable development and responsibility towards the environment, and their excellent team. My deepest congratulations to all of the employees. I am looking forward to the next 50 years,’ said Peter Oswald, Mondi Group CEO

The Czech Republic

The art of making paper has a long tradition in the Czech Republic with the first paper mill dating back to the middle ages. Today Mondi Štětí is proud to be the country’s leading paper mill in terms of size of the mill, production rates, and environmental responsibility.

‘Mondi Štětí’s success is built on more than 70 years of paper-making tradition, and as one of the largest employers in the Ústí region we are proud of the contribution we make to the local community. I would like to express my thanks to our employees past and present, and their families, who have helped us to build a strong company that is able to compete as a leading European paper-maker,’ said Roman Senecký, MD Mondi Štětí.

But how did it all start? After the Second World War, packaging paper reserves were all but depleted. The need for a new paper mill led project planners to a small town on the right bank of the Elbe river, Štětí, where a sugar refinery had recently ceased operation. A paper mill was founded in its place in 1949 under the trade name ‘Národní podnik Severočeské papírny’ (National North Bohemian paper mill). Three years later manufacturing commenced and the very first reel of paper emerged from the production line. In the coming decades, the site developed into largest paper mill in what was then Czechoslovakia.

After the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and further democratisation of the country, the vast majority of companies were privatised. After several periods of short private ownership, the mill finally landed in the hands of Mondi Group in 2000. Ever since Mondi has continued the paper manufacturing tradition, investing in the mill and its people, and sharing expertise from its global network to take the mill from strength to strength. Mondi has become a respected patron of the region, providing attractive permanent jobs for around 850 people and contributing to the local economy.

Since joining the Mondi Group, the mill has undergone significant investments and improvements, increasing production by 50%, enhancing the product mix, and reducing its environmental footprint including now being 100% electricity self-sufficient.

‘I’m very proud of Mondi Štětí’s ongoing success story. The commitment the team shows to being a benchmark in the industry is helping us to contribute to a better world and become an employer of choice in the Czech Republic. Following on from our recently completed R5.3 billion (€335 million) modernisation project, I am excited about our R1 billion (€67 million) investment project to convert a containerboard machine at Štětí into a fully dedicated speciality kraft paper machine for paper shopping bags to help us meet the growing demand in this area,’ said Oswald.

MONDI GROUP www.mondigroup.com