ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21, 2018 (Press Release) -Earlier today Ilim Group Chairman Zakhar Smushkin and Irkutsk Oblast Governor Sergey Levchenko took part in the official launch of the integrated investment project Big Ust-Ilimsk at Ilim's Mill in Ust-Ilimsk.
The Big Ust-Ilimsk project includes construction of a new line for production of kraftliner and other packaging materials with a capacity of 600 thousand tons per year. Total investments in the project will be around USD 1 billion with implementation to be completed by the end of 2021. The Company will also perform a large-scale upgrade of the existing operations in order to increase pulp output by 130 thousand tons per year.
Project implementation will drive the Mill capacity up to 1.5 million tons of finished products per year with an initially installed capacity of 550 thousand tons per year. The Ust-Ilimsk Mill will thus become one of the leading pulp and paper manufacturers in the world. Ilim Group is currently preparing a set of documents required to classify the Big Ust-Ilimsk as a priority investment project in terms of forest management.
“We consistently build our production development strategy with a focus on market demand, said Zakhar Smushkin, and our new investment project will allow us to produce the products which the market needs. Our investment project perfectly fits one of the key goals set forth by the President of the Russian Federation for the domestic industry, that is boosting of non-commodity exports. Meanwhile, such large-scale projects involve not only production but also social investments. The launch of the new KLB line will create 600 new jobs. Therefore, implementation of this project should be linked with a comprehensive development of the infrastructure in the region. We are working together with the Irkutsk Oblast Government to resolve this issue”.
Ilim Group CEO Kseniia Sosnina said: “The Big Bratsk project drove a step change in softwood pulp output volumes while the delivery of the Big Koryazhma project resulted in higher production volumes of high-quality white papers. Delivery of the Big Ust-Ilimsk project will help us to reinforce our presence in the packaging segment, primarily in the growing Asian markets. Upon completion of the project in Ust-Ilimsk and upgrade of the Bratsk Mill, Ilim will become one of the largest manufacturers of unbleached packaging materials globally with a total board output of 1.5 million tons per year, bringing an aggregate production output of Ilim Group to over 4.3 million tons per year”.
“This is an example of a robust partnership between the community and a large industrial company. And a forestry company at that.” - emphasized Irkutsk Oblast Governor Sergey Levchenko. “This partnership has already delivered its results: a new training center, a woodyard, and a sports center which is currently under construction. And last but not least, implementation of a large-scale Big Ust-Ilimsk project is now underway. In a few years, there will be a new modern mill, new jobs, and higher production volumes. Big Ust-Ilimsk also involves a big joint effort to develop the social and transport infrastructure, and therefore improve the quality of life for the Ust-Ilimsk community.”
Ilim Group is the leader of the Russian pulp and paper industry in terms of market share, output and investment volumes, and one of the industry leaders globally. International Paper, the world's largest pulp and paper manufacturer, is the strategic partner of Ilim Group. Over the past few years, Ilim Group has invested USD 3.2 billion to develop its own mills, which is an unprecedented figure for the Russian pulp and paper industry. In 2017, Ilim Group’s sites reached a record-high output of 3.3 million tons of market products. Presently, Ilim Group supplies its products to more than 70 countries worldwide.