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Labe Wood      

The new 1 million sm³ sawmill

Article by Gerd Ebner, translated by Susanne Höfler | 14.12.2018 - 15:17

The project under construction is a million-capacity sawmill that is technologically geared to the way timber industry Maresch in Retz is practicing the business. The chipper profiling line therefore comes from Linck in Oberkirch/DE, sorting and mechanizing are supplied by machine factory Springer, Friesach. All contracts with these main suppliers have been signed already and will be delivered next year.

In accordance with the progress of construction works the aim is to start operation in 2020. The brief press release of stock corporation Mondi: "Commercial production is expected to commence in the second half of 2020."

Roundwood purchasing will be taken care of by Wood-Paper. Supply will come from Czech Republic. 

Mondi will process all sawmill residue, Labe Wood itself will be marketing lumber – with according support by timber industry Maresch.

Labe Wood will invest €100 million (CZK 2,577 bn.) at the location of Mondi Steti. According to Czech media, Labe Wood can claim up to 18.9% of the costs as investment incentive funding. which is maximally €19 million. In full operation, an annual turnover of €150 to 200 million is projected for Labe Wood. 160 employees will be working there, according to plan.

Labe Wood's chairman is Herbert Schlögl, owner of timber industry Maresch. The board of directors consists of Dr. Veit Sorger, Christian Skilich, Ernst Burger and Ernst Schlögl. Labe Wood's biggest shareholder is Eco-Invest from Prague with 37% followed by timber industry Maresch with 33%, Mondi Steti with 25% and Unitimber, Koper/SI, with 5%.

Eco-Invest belongs to Milan Filo, one of Slovakia's richest people. The participation in the largest Slovakian paper and pulp mill SCP Ružomberok turned Filo into a billionaire, according to Slovakian media. Paper continues to be the backbone of his Holding.

With regard to the name "Labe Wood": Stati is located at the Labe river, in German Elbe.

Mondi location Štětí

In 2017, Mondi started its most recent investment at the Štětí location: Since then, €470 million have been invested to modernize the site. The measures include a recovery boiler, the reconstruction of fiber line, the elimination of bottlenecks in the paper machines as well as a machine for kraft paper that is smooth on one side with a capacity of 90,000 t/yr. With this, the company wants to cover the strongly growing demand for flexible packaging and applications in the food service industry.

The new boiler and the fiber lines are now launching operation. The kraft paper machine will be started up in the first half of 2019.

Furthermore, the measures will boost pulp production to 130,000 t/yr at lowered production costs per tonne at the same time.

Timber industry Maresch

The new sawmill construction project Labe Wood has been seething since 2012 at the very least, mainly promoted by timber industry Maresch. The struggle around the building permit took a long time. Most recently, a new repurposing tax was introduced.

Timber industry Maresch is one of the most successful sawmill companies in Europe. The factory in Retz saw a cutting volume of 1.2 million sm³ this year. For 2019, the company aims for an output of 1.3 million sm³.

As one of the few large-scale sawmills in Europe, the timber specialist does without technical wood drying. This company strategy has proven to be very successful. Maresch's great annual figures are discussed extensively throughout the sector. Examples: The net profit climbed from €20 million in 2013 to most recently almost €29 million (+45% balance of 2016/17). During the same period, the turnover grew from €118 million to €133 million (+13%), the EBITDA from €5.9 million to almost €10.8 million (+83%).

The equity ratio ranges around 90%. The average value of the profit or loss on ordinary activities between 2013 and 2017 was 13%.

Labe Wood facts

Construction start: December 2018

Main suppliers: Linck, Oberkirch/DE, machine factory Springer, Friesach

Cutting capacity: 1 million sm³/yr (full operation)

Types of wood: Softwood

Employees: 160

Amount to be invested: €100 million