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2015 was a good year for Austria’s paper industry

11. May 2016

Austria’s paper industry increased production by 2% to 5 million tons in 2015. The sector is simultaneously advancing towards development as a ‘bio-refinery’.

The Austrian paper industry can look back on a successful year 2015. A total of 24 companies in the sector, employing 8,000 staff, produced some 5 million tons of paper, cardboard and paperboard, representing a growth of 2% on 2014. The industry more than made up for a dip in domestic consumption with increased exports, principally to neighbouring EU states, South America and the Near and Middle East. The export ratio for 2015 was 87%, with a turnover of EUR 3.8 billion.

Production increased in every category, from graphic papers (+0.2%) to specialty papers (+1.5%). The packaging sector performed particularly well, rising 4.9%.

The sector is making investments and optimising its use of wood as a raw material to expand its bio-refinery business. Many companies have long since moved on from producing only paper and cellulose and now manufacture a wide range of innovative fibre and chemical products. Textile yarns and new applications such as fibre-reinforced plastic components, chemicals and food additives are all made from by-products of cellulose manufacturing.

The paper industry has also been a pioneer in energy efficiency and climate protection for many years. The sector already covers 90% of its primary energy requirements of 14,400 GWh with on-site generation using highly efficient power plants, and CO2 emissions per ton of paper have been reduced by 40% since the 1990s.