The UPM Seikku sawmill at Pori had an unusually busy day on Wednesday 17 April, as a group of private forest owners visited the sawmill to learn about its operations. The forest owners mostly came from the western Finland area to learn about the sawmill, its products and their end uses.
“UPM is known for the responsibility and high quality of its sawn timber. Our quality assurance starts in the forest and its management. We collaborate closely with UPM’s wood sourcing and regularly invite forest owners to learn about our sawmills and to discuss shared issues,” says Director of Seikku sawmill Matti Nordberg about the background to the visiting day.
During their visit, forest owners from the neighbouring area were especially interested in what happens to the spruce timber felled from their forests in the sawmill. The end uses of sawn timber and customers’ responsibility requirements, such as the significance of forest certification for the products’ end users, inspired a lot of discussion too.
“It is great to see how the wood that grew in the family forest for 70–80 years gets a new form of life at the sawmill and continues its journey, for example to be used as raw material for the construction industry,” say Jorma and Ritva Hautaniemi, third-generation forest owners from Sastamala. They have sold wood from their forest located in Ahlainen, Pori, to UPM on many occasions.
Products made from the spruce of the area’s forest owners can be found in furniture in Chinese homes and the walls and external cladding of French homes and public buildings. More than two thirds of the production volume is exported.
Modern sawmills raise interest
The Seikku sawmill, located at the Aittaluoto industrial area, has been significantly renewed in recent years. The sawmill has been invested in on several occasions and its equipment has been improved in many ways. The latest renewal is the still-in-progress expansion of the sawmill’s drying capacity. When it is finished in the autumn of 2019, the sawmill’s total sawing volume can be increased.
Some of the forest owners visited the sawmill for the first time. Many were surprised by the production efficiency and automatisation of the sawmill, which raised a lot of questions and active discussion. The visitors at Seikku were also shown the new log sorting line that is considered the biggest renewal in recent years. With the modern lines, all logs can be sorted into quality and size straight from the truck. This improves sawing efficiency by lengthening batches and minimising downtime. The log sorting line also enhances the internal logistics and processes of the sawmill by being located closer to the saw infeed.
“Environmental factors always have an important role in the development of our operations. For example, the renewed log sorting line responds better to the environmental permit’s stricter noise restrictions,” says Matti Nordberg.
“We have also taken the neighbouring areas’ residents’ feedback into consideration and built a new road to the unloading area of logging trucks together with the city of Pori, which reduces truck traffic in the Pori centre, among other things,” Nordberg continues.
Responsible use of forests is a common goal
Running UPM’s sawmills requires approximately three million cubic metres of wood annually. Over half of the wood is bought from private forest owners. UPM itself is also a significant forest owner in Finland with 612,000 hectares of forest. It is vital for the company to manage its forests according to the principles of sustainable forest management while following laws, regulations and certification standards. Good forestry has doubled the growth of Finnish forests in the last 50 years.
“UPM continuously develops forest management methods in its forests. The expertise accumulated in the company-owned forests is always shared with our forest owner customers. We manage approximately one million hectares of private forests, which is an example of our expertise,” says Matti Toivakainen, Regional Director of Southern Finland at UPM Forest.
Responsible use of forests as a goal unifies UPM and private forest owners more and more, because climate change prevention is on everyone’s minds. We utilise every single piece of the wood raw material at the sawmills and do not waste any of it. The byproducts of sawing—wood chips and sawdust—are used at the company’s pulp mill. Sawn timber is a very ecological product that acts as a carbon sink and absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere throughout its lifecycle, up to hundreds of years.
“For example, a house built from wood binds up to 50 tonnes of carbon, which corresponds to five years of an average European’s carbon dioxide emissions,” Matti Toivakainen says, describing the excellence of wood as a construction material.
For further information, please contact:
Matti Nordberg, Director of Seikku sawmill, tel. +358 40 515 8752, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matti Toivakainen, Regional Director of Southern Finland, UPM Forest, tel. +358 40 505 7518, email@example.com
UPM Seikku sawmill
UPM Seikku sawmill produces spruce timber from certified Nordic raw materials, mainly sourced from forests in western Finland. The annual production capacity of the Seikku sawmill is 390,000 cubic metres of sawn timber. More than two thirds of the production volume is exported. Currently, 80 employees are directly employed by the UPM Seikku sawmill and a total of 120 people work in the sawmill area. The Seikku sawmill has been modernised on multiple occasions and it uses the latest techniques of the sawmill industry to produce high-quality spruce timber.
UPM Timber manufactures top-class sawn pine and spruce timber for the construction and joinery industries. UPM Timber’s sawmills are located in Pietarsaari (Aholma), Lappeenranta (Kaukas), Juupajoki (Korkeakoski) and Pori (Seikku). The annual production capacity is 1.5 million cubic metres of sawn timber. UPM Timber is part of the UPM Biorefining business area. www.upmtimber.com