BSW Timber, the UK’s leading integrated forestry and timber company, has announced its latest investment of €40m in Slovenia via the Slovenia company BSW SI, by constructing a new sawmill, value add facilities, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and pellet manufacturing facility which will see the creation of 170 new Slovenian jobs.
BSW.SI has been established to deliver this multi million Euro inward investment across three sites. The sites include a modern sawmill in Gomilsko, a pellet production and wood biomass cogeneration facility in Šoštanj and the third site in Letuš which will focus on value added products.
The principal behind these investment plans is to added value to the very high quality wood available in the Slovenian forests and other partner Slovenian sawmills, while creating 170 direct jobs plus many more jobs through the supply chain from the forest to customer.
The sawmill will be located in municipality Braslovče which is also one of the oldest settlements in Slovenia. It has a long and rich history of sawmilling. Therefore the mill in this area has both economic and social value through the rejuvenation of a former sawmill site. A key principal for BSW SI will be to work together with local community for the local community and the wider Slovenian economy. By sourcing logs from the Slovenian forest for processing and sawn timber for value adding from other third party Slovenian sawmills the BSW SI business aims to bring growth across the forest products sector of Slovenia.
As the forests are one of the most important natural resources in Slovenia, the ability to add value to these high quality sustainably managed forests within Slovenia and market the end products both domestically and globally is a compelling objective for BSW SI.
Slovenia is the third most afforested country with within Europe and has a long tradition of actively managing the forests providing high quality habitat, first class recreational facilities, and high quality timber, all within an attractive natural landscape. The principals of sustainably managed forests are enshrined within Slovenian national forest policy which BSW SI seeks to continually support by providing long term global markets for the timber products through a robust chain of custody to the end users.
The planned production complexes in the three locations will include: a state of the art wood processing centre to be built in Gomilsko. It includes the construction of the largest sawmill in Slovenia with the capacity of cutting 300,000m³ of round wood annually. This will utilise world leading technology to ensure long term competitiveness of the mill in a global economy.
In Šoštanj, the pellet and wood biomass cogeneration plant will provide power for the local market and pellets both for the Slovenian markets and export through partnerships with strategic Slovenia distribution companies. While in Letuš, the focus will be on adding value to the Slovenian sawn timber by developing processing capabilities for such markets as tile battens, scaffold boards, high performance lamellas for engineered timber products, pallets and wood packaging.
One of BSW SI's key milestones was its signature of the Memorandum of Understanding with the other partner organisations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, the Forest Owners Association of Slovenian and Petrol Energetska Družba d.d. to launch the investments. Memorandum is an important contribution to the implementation of the Slovenian National Forest Strategy Wood is Beautiful.
The BSW SI investment will help Slovenia deliver each of the four aims of the strategy.
- Create a market for wood products and services - BSW SI gives access to global markets via our established sales network and confidence in BSW SI to utilise the superior quality of Slovenian timber.
- Increase in forest felling and care, according to the forest management plans - The state of the art mills will require stable and reliable supply giving options to increase timber harvesting while assisting in the management of the forests by encouraging harvesting from private growers.
- Increasing the quantity and processing of timber on the higher difficulty levels, with new technologies - State of the art technology and innovation ensure that the technological process best utilise the resource and enhance value within Slovenia to new levels giving access to new demanding markets for the sector
- New jobs and growth in value added per employee in the wood processing industry - 170 new direct jobs and many more in an enhanced supply chain plus the deployment of new technology ensure a higher value added per employee and a “cluster” effect to further stimulate the forest products industry in Slovenia.