The war between Russia and Ukraine has heavily impacted pulp and paper mills that have plants in the region. European companies are evaluating the situation to adopt strategies considering the confrontation.
UPM, which has employees, suppliers and customers in both countries, has decided to stop deliveries in Russia and has been monitoring the situation to better define decision-making. According to the company, Russian customers and suppliers will be informed of the situation as new actions are taken. Currently, UPM’s Russian plant in Chudovo, which employs approximately 800 people, is still operating.
The company has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and supporting its employees in the affected areas. UPM Raflatac’s distribution terminal in Kiev, which employs 13 people, has ceased operations until further notice. “Our main concern is the people who suffer from the war,” the company declared.
Stora Enso, on the other hand, stopped all production and sales in Russia, as well as imports and exports to the country. The company has three corrugated packaging plants and two wood products sawmills in the region, employing around 1,100 people.
“We will now focus all our attention on supporting our customers and the well-being of our employees,” said Annica Bresky, President and CEO of Stora Enso. The company stated that a mitigation plan has been activated to ensure the availability of inputs from other sources.
Sylvamo may temporarily reduce or stop pulp and paper production at its plant in Svetogorsk, Russia, which employs approximately 1,700 people. The plant is currently in operation as the company takes steps to mitigate supply chain issues and continue production.
The factory is also the main supplier of water, electricity and water treatment to the community of Svetogorsk and is committed to continuing to provide these essential services.
“We hope for an immediate cease-fire agreement and swift diplomatic resolution,” said Jean-Michel Ribiéras, president and chief executive officer. “Our thoughts are with the citizens of Ukraine.”
The operations of Metsä Group’s only production facility in Russia, the plant in Svir, have been suspended. The purchase of wood in Russia for Svir and imports for the Finnish and Swedish mills of the Metsä Group were also discontinued.
While evaluating the impacts that the confrontation between European countries can have on the market, the manufacturers seek to maintain their activities, preserving the safety of their employees, and supporting the end of the military conflict started by Vladimir Putin. The main concern is about the soaring price of oil, which can increase transport costs, but, as the conflict is still in its infancy, the moment is one of uncertainty and apprehension.