Latvijas Finieris invests in Kohila, Estonia
Latvijas Finieris has established a subsidiary Kohila Vineer in Estonia which acquired from SEB Liising the assets of Kohila birch processing plant that stopped operating in 2008. The goal of the acquisition is to resume the activities of the factory at a new level, using the available wood resources and creating around 70 workplaces for local people in the nearest 3 years.
Factory will be subject to reconstruction in order to meet the latest technology standards – manufacturing of high-value products, while also saving wood and energy resources. Moreover, the factory will require highly skilled labour, therefore personnel preparation and training will be of key importance. Total investments in 3 years will reach 17 million EUR.
Tallinn region has long traditions in processing birch – historical sources reveal that the world’s oldest veneer plant was established in Tallinn in the 2nd half of the 19th century. For long years the birch plywood plant was operating in Tallinn and along with city development plans was later relocated to nearby Kohila village. It has a well-developed infrastructure and all preconditions for successful manufacturing of birch products and their subsequent sales mainly to the European market.
Estonian forest owners will also have a chance to resume long-term cooperation in birch assortment sales for local processing with an aim to produce high quality veneer and later also plywood, which is a very competitive product in the world market.
Implementation of this project will be beneficial for Latvijas Finieris as well – existing 5 factories in Latvia and one in Lithuania will be joined by an Estonian factory, thereby enhancing the conversion of Baltic birch resources into valuable products and providing wider alternatives for further product development.
„Despite of general trends about relieving of the economical crisis, Kohila’s unemployment rate is still quite high. It is impossible to overrate the importance of that investment for the local people and to our municipality as well“, said Mr. Argo Luik, Deputy Head of Kohila Municipality Government.
„For the wood processing industry in Estonia and economic development of Kohila the transaction is essential and we are glad that buyer will put a new life to the production,“ said representative of SEB Liising Mr. Ainar Leppänen.
„By successfully transferring the best experience to Estonia, Latvijas Finieris has a chance to strengthen the company as a leading birch plywood producer in the Baltics and improve the position to represent the joint interests of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in the global market,” accent Mr. Uldis Biķis, CEO of Latvijas Finieris AS.