Scottish forestry and timber company BSW plans to invest 40 million euros in Slovenia with the construction of a sawmill, CHP plant and pellet manufacturing facility, creating 170 new jobs from September 2018.
BSW’s CEO Tony Hackney signed a memorandum of understanding with the Slovenian Slovenia, the Slovenian Forest Agency and other stakeholders in order to start operations in 2020.
The investment will see construction on three sites, including a modern sawmill in Gomilsko with state-of-the-art wood processing technology, the development of pellet production and wood biomass cogeneration at Šoštanj, and a final site in Letuš which will focus on the production of value added products.
“After seeing the success of our Latvian sawmill we were keen to explore new opportunities within the EU,” Mr Hackney said. “Slovenia has some of the best forests in the EU and a largely undeveloped processing sector. We are delighted to be working alongside the Slovenian government to increase the competitiveness of the country’s timber supply chain, in line with their ‘Wood is Beautiful’ strategy.”
With the UK experiencing a wood shortage, Slovenia has become an attractive destination to invest in. According to the UK Forestry Commission, domestic production of wood pellets and briquettes dropped of 15 per cent in 2017.
“The site in Gomilsko is the ideal location for our new sawmill, providing us with access to high quality raw material, a good history of timber processing as well as the added advantage of the site’s geographical location, very good road links and with the port of Koper offering excellent export links,” added Alexander Brownlie, BSW’s commercial director and chairman.
The new sawmill will have the capacity to process an annual input in excess of 300,000m3 sawlogs, making it the largest mill in Slovenia. Its products will be available first for the Slovenian market, but as with Latvia, BSW plans to eventually export the majority of its output to international markets.