Södra’s investment in a cross-laminated timber (CLT) facility at Värö was the first step towards a new business segment, Södra Building Systems, as a part of the Södra Wood business area. The next step of this initiative has now been taken, the recruitment of Jörgen Hermansson who will lead the unit. The unit has been formed to drive the development of wood-based solutions for the construction and housing industries.
Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area said: “Södra is working to increase sustainable timber construction and wants to be part of, and stake out a position, in a growing market. We have now employed Jörgen Hermansson to lead this initiative. Jörgen was previously employed as Head of Building Components and Systems at Stora Enso.”
Södra is currently building its first cross-laminated timber (CLT) facility at Värö, with production start-up planned for the first half of 2019. The annual capacity of this facility will be about 5,000 m³ per shift, but the target is a large-scale facility. The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to the UK as well as other international markets. The facility will be co-located with Södra’s pulp mill and sawmill, with access
to green electricity and existing infrastructure.
“Extensive efforts are currently taking place within Södra to improve and develop the profitability of our existing sawmills. At the same time, the best type of value-added processing for Södra’s structure, position and various markets has been assessed. We have identified CLT as an interesting product and believe that taking this next step in the value chain is a natural progression. CLT will provide the basis for a new segment, where we will be offering the most cost-effective construction material in the market for high-rise buildings. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Jörgen Hermansson will be leading this initiative.”
Jörgen Hermansson is 49 years old and holds a Master of Science from Luleå University. He has previously held senior positions in marketing and sales as well as production in an international market. His most recent role was Head of Building Components and Systems at Stora Enso, with the task of managing and creating new business to stimulate growth. He has also been responsible for both innovation and marketing to create sustainable growth. Products in his area of responsibility include CLT, LVL, laminated wood beams, windows, doors, moulding components and pellets. Prior to that, from 2008-2011, he was employed at Inwido in the areas of purchasing, supply chain and e-business.
Jörgen Hermansson said: “I am looking forward to leading and contributing to Södra’s Building Systems initiative, and to leveraging Södra’s unique advantages when it comes to generating value for its customers and other stakeholders. I have been leading the development of new business for many years, and our assignment will be to position Södra as the market’s preferred choice. To do that, we need to understand our customers’ business and support their growth, and create strong teams and effective
structures in order to deliver value.
“Together with more than 50,000 members, Södra uses every part of the raw material from the forest. It is processed into products including sawn timber, paper pulp or woodchips for heating and energy. Now that we are offering CLT, we believe we are also making a difference in that area and increasing the value of forests for customers, our members and society.”