A €13.2m investment in a glue-laminated beam mill in Imavere, Estonia will help Stora Enso realise its amibition to become a full sortiment supplier for the Japanese post and beam house market.

The company also plans to build a post mill in Austria and other investments include improved planing and finger-jointing in Finland.

A new sales company, Stora Enso Timber Japan, will begin operations in Osaka in July.

The Imaevere beam mill will include planing and stress-grading facilities for refining the lamella raw material to be glue-laminated into beams.

Construction is due to begin this spring and production start-up is planned for the first half of 2005 with a full capacity of 80,000m3 to be reached in 2006.

On completion, the Imavere site will consists of a large scale sawmill, a planing and finger-jointing line, a component line and a beam mill. Total log consumption will be around 780,000m3.

Matti Mikkola, senior vice-president, business line construction, said the investments will keep the Japanese house industry among the company’s key market areas, adding that the aim is to widen the product family in Japan in the future.