BLANKENSTEIN, Germany, Feb. 17, 2014 (Press Release) - Zellstoff- und Papierfabrik Rosenthal can look back on an overall successful year with new records in production, sales and turnover.
Compared to the best-ever year in 2011, sales of pulp last year increased to 360,241 tonnes. Therewith for the first time the mark of 350,000 tons was exceeded. With 361,724 tonnes the production was even higher and thus surpassed production of the so far best year in 2011 by 5 %.
This was made possible by the significant investments of the year 2012 (ca. 16 million Euro). Since the takeover of the company by Mercer International Inc. in the year 1994 altogether far more than 500 million Euro have been invested.
Likewise, also the production and the sales of bio-energy, the second main product of ZPR, has steadily been increased. 178,295 megawatt hours of electricity from renewable sources were sold, 5 % more than in the previous year which amounted approximately to 169,000 megawatt hours sold. With the bio-energy sold by Rosenthal around 51,000 households (average consumption of 3,500 kWh per year) can be supplied.
Total turnover grew up to 202 million Euro.
In the last fiscal year Zellstoff- und Papierfabrik Rosenthal GmbH employed altogether 367 persons. Additionally there were 14 apprentices and 60 employees in the subsidiary ZPR Logistik GmbH. This subsidiary is responsible for wood procurement and -transport. More than 98 % of the workforce are skilled workers or even have a higher degree. More than 83 % of the workforce is able to fill at least two different jobs within the company. Since 2008 the mill has continuously been working on the profile of multi-skilling and this topic will be on the program also in the future.
In 2013 the in-house collective agreement with the labor union has been prolonged for another two years. The normal working hours in ZPR are 35 hours per week; each shift workplace is staffed with six colleagues. For more than 15 years, the company has been renouncing compulsory redundancies. The job security is part of the contract concluded with the "IG Bergbau-Chemie-Energie".
There are, however, also critical points to be reported. Wood as the main raw material, which accounts for over half of the production costs, has become very expensive. In this context the competition of bio-energy has an effect. In Germany more and more wood is being burned and this restricts the wood availability for material users.
The wood market will quite probably continue to bother ZPR.
Since 2004 ZPR has been a founding member of the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Rohholzverbraucher (AGR)" in which the material users of wood have joined together. The AGR is committed to ensure that the material users of wood are not disadvantaged compared to the energetic users. In 2013 Rosenthal's managing director, Leonhard Nossol, was elected president of the AGR.
Preview on 2014:
2014 has been starting well and the company is working at full capacity. The wood supply is good because of the mild winter. On the schedule there are three large investment projects. Firstly, an automated storage place for wood chips from sawmills has been planned. Secondly, an extension of the evaporation plant is foreseen. Finally, Rosenthal is part of a group-wide program to create a computer system (ERP system) across all parts of the organization.
All three measures will extend over 2014 and 2015, requiring investment funds in the amount of more than 20 million Euro.
The company is concerned about the direction the discussion on the reform of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) is taking. Rosenthal generates most of its energy needs itself, namely from renewable resources. If it is now intended to subject this internal current generation to the EEG levy; this would mean a subsequent devaluation of investments and a considerable competitive disadvantage compared to our European and non-European competitors who do not have to pay such levies.
For 2014, an "Open Day" has been planned again. This year's focus is going to be the employees and their safety at work. The event is scheduled for the 9th of August.