Holmen invests in more sustainable construction

Braviken sawmill (Image: Lars Hejdenberg/Holmen)

Holmen’s production of wood products has become an increasingly important part of their business. The technical standard of Holmen’s sawmills enables a range of dimensions and grades to be produced.

Today, the supplier of wood products offers everything from joinery timber and refined products for builders’ merchants to advanced structural components in cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam).

With the acquisition of mass timber elements manufacturer Martinsons in 2020, Holmen will take a step further and invest in increased production and processing of wood products for sustainable construction.

“Developing the wood products side is a natural extension of our forestry business and an important element in Holmen’s strategy of owning and adding value to the forest,” Johan Padel, senior vice-president of wood products in Holmen.

“Wood products used for houses and other buildings also provide considerable climate benefit, as they store carbon for a long time while at the same time replacing fossil emissions from concrete and steel.”

Over the years, Holmen has gradually developed its business with builders’ merchants, not least through the acquisition of Martinsons, which has added glulam beams to its product range.

Glulam is produced at Bygdsiljum sawmill in Västerbotten county of Sweden, from where it is distributed to customers all over the country.

About half of the total volume is supplied via builders’ merchants. Establishing a cutting line and a distribution warehouse at Braviken sawmill outside Norrköping city will shorten delivery times to customers in southern Sweden, while also reducing transport costs and the climate footprint of the products.

An extension and investment to remove bottlenecks at Bygdsiljum sawmill will also enable Holmen to increase the production of CLT.

A new computerised numerical control (CNC) milling machine, used to make cut-outs for windows and doors in structural elements made of CLT, will allow capacity to be increased by 50%. The new plant is expected to be operational by spring 2024.

“Demand for processed wood products, especially CLT and glulam beams, is growing and with rising interest in wood construction we see great opportunities to further develop the business. By investing in higher volumes of value-added products and increased sales to builders’ merchants, we are taking the next step to strengthen our business,” concluded Olov Martinson, mill manager at Bygdsiljum sawmill.