Estonian Cell achieved a record sales turnover
Estonian Cell achieved a record sales turnover of 90.9 million euros in 2021 and ended the year with a profit of 3.5 million euros, despite the negative result of the 4th quarter at the end of the year due to sharp rise in energy prices.
Sales revenue, production and sales volumes increased to new record levels
In 2021, Estonian Cell's sales revenue increased by 30% to 90.9 million euros. "The achievement of record breaking sales was also supported by record-breaking production and sales volumes, both of which increased by 8% compared to the previous year," said Siiri Lahe, Member of the Management Board. Lahe explained that 2021 began with a successful recovery from the losses affected by COVID-19 the previous year. "Strong demand was supported by internal costeffectiveness, until the unexpectedly escalating energy crisis in the last months of the year and the negative impact of soaring energy prices."
"Although the result of the fourth quarter was negative due to high energy prices, we were still able to end 2021 with a profit of 3.5 million euros due to the profits of previous quarters and the efficiency of internal energy consumption," commented Siiri Lahe, a Member of the Management Board. The net loss of the previous year, ie 2020, was 9.3 million euros.
Optimizing work processes helped save energy and reduce environmental impact
According to Rain Pärn, a Member of the Management Board, 2021 was also very successful in terms of the company's internal developments. "We set the production volume at a record level of 188 thousand tons per year and achieved the targeted savings in chemical and energy costs per tonne of product," commented Pärn. "Thanks to the optimization of work processes, we saved 9 GWh of energy at the new production volume level in 2021," said Pärn, adding that already in the previous 2020, the company had achieved 10 GWh of electricity savings per year as a result of preceding investments.
For the sixth year in a row, Estonian Cell's biogas production exceeded 7 million cubic meters. In 2021, the company produced 7.4 million cubic meters of biogas with 75% methane content. The energy value of the produced biogas is over 50 GWh per year. "Innovative biogas production from organic matter in wastewater has once again made a significant contribution to reducing the environmental and the carbon footprint," Pärn explained.
The company continues on a growth trajectory despite today's challenges
The company plans to continue to make the use of the resources of the plant operating at maximum 24/7 capacity even more efficient than before, thus also contributing to environmental protection. "In parallel, in 2022, we will start preparing for the next phase of the removal of production bottlenecks in order to increase the production capacity of the existing plant to more than 200 thousand tons per year, as envisaged in the business strategy. "In addition, we will continue to work with green energy production solutions and reduce the CO2 footprint to achieve at least a 35% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 in line with the goals of the parent company Heinzel Group," Pärn explained.
Commenting on the expected economic result, Lahe explained that the impact of the energy crisis that started at the end of 2021 on the company's results has intensified on February 24 after the Russian aggression in Ukraine. "The result of the current year depends largely on the stabilization of the international geopolitical situation and curbing the energy crisis, as well as the global economic development," said Lahe, explaining that the company is under enormous pressure to increase input prices from both timber and chemical sellers, in addition to multiplying energy prices compared to last year "Although the short-term result is unpredictable, we do our best to adapt quickly to daily changing circumstances and in the long run we work for sustainable growth,"Lahe concluded with the company's outlook for the coming years.
Estonian Cell’s Kunda aspen pulp mill begun operations in 2006. With 205 MEUR, the facility boasts one of the biggest foreign greenfield investments made in Estonia over the last decade. The company employed 95 people directly as of 31.12.2021 and generates work for around 500 employees within its value chain. The company produces high-quality chemi-thermomechanical aspen pulp that is exported to various countries in Europe and Asia. The company’s activities meet all the requirements of quality, safety, environmental and energy management systems and have received ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 50001, FSC, and PEFC certificates. The sole owner of Estonian Cell is Heinzel Holding GmbH, a leading producer of market pulp and packaging papers from Austria.
Siiri Lahe, Board Member, AS Estonian Cell