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Estonian Cell wins Foreign Investor of the Year awards

14. October 2019

Estonian Cell, operator of an aspen pulp mill in Kunda on Estonia's North Coast, was awarded the titles of Company of the Year and Foreign Investor of the Year at a gala of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday evening.

Victories in the two categories were secured for Estonian Cell by an investment of 20 million euros made in the plant, which enables to increase production volumes and further reduce the plant's impact on the environment, Estonian Cell Board Member Siiri Lahe said.

"We are very proud and happy about these titles," Lahe said in a press release. "This is a great recognition of our many years of work in adding value to Estonian timber," she said. According to Lahe, the Estonian Cell plant has used only the best possible technology since its launch, and the investments made in recent years have enabled to achieve costeffectiveness and ambitious growth targets alike, while also diminishing impact on the environment.

The owner of Estonian Cell, Heinzel Group (Austria), has invested altogether 50 million euros in the plant during the 13 years that the plant in Estonia has been in operation, in addition to the initial investment of 153 million euros. The company said that the investments that brought it the high recognition of members of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry were made in response to the government's decision last year to cut the electricity excise duty for large consumers of electricity. 

Alfred Heinzel, one of the owners of Estonian Cell, said that lowering the excise duty alone is not enough for deciding on further investments. "The government last year decided to lower energy excise duties for energy-intensive industry. I have kept my word and invested 20 million euros as a response to the lowering of the duty. With this we took the first step towards removing bottlenecks in production, but also improving environment related activities," Heinzel said. "To go on with investments, however, we need energy taxes that are more competitive still and more stable political decisions for the growth of industry," he added.

Estonian Cell is the biggest Austrian foreign direct investment to Estonia and one of the biggest foreign investments in the country. The Estonian Cell mill produces 170,000 tons of aspen pulp a year, 100 percent of which is exported to paper factories in Europe and Asia. The company employs 90 people.

Quelle: “Baltic Business Weekly” (41-2019, 14.10.2019)