Why build a green field mill in Jõgeva county?

The location choice for wood industry consists of many aspects. It is usually a compromise between the sources of labour, raw materials, logistics connections and investment environment. One might think that Jögeva and Viruvere are away of everything. With a closer look the positive things start to uncover.

As manufacturing nowadays contains a great deal of automation and computer controlling, the longevity of the workforce is more than welcome. Most of the production lines are computer controlled, and proper training and skills are needed.

Around the main Estonian cities like Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu, the competition of employees has become tough. People tend to switch jobs easily if they find more tempting offers. On more rural areas the situation is easier, as there is not that much of manufacturing jobs available. 

The large scale industrial jobs are appreciated, due to the reliability and stability they offer. This attracts skilful workers.  It is easier to commit, when you able to plan your life and living more long term.

If you can find a steady source of income in the countryside, you might enjoy the better housing and nature conditions compared to the cities. It all comes together with balanced work life and ability to enjoy the work you do.

“Industrial jobs offer stability.”

Of the 3 main wood species, birch is the only one which share has been growing since 1960. The statistics from the Estonian Environment Agency show, that from year 1958 to 2017, the birch standwise inventory has been growing from 19 to 26 per cent. During the same period the shares of pine and spruce have decreased.

In the future the ESTPLY mill at Viruvere will need more than 50 trucks of birch logs per week. In this scale the procurement distance makes a difference. The impact is significant in operative logistics as well as in the cost. A central location is a clear advantage.

In this part of Estonia are the most concentrated birch areas in the country. In the Jõgeva county there is more birch dominated forests, than pine and spruce together (area wise). https://www.keskkonnaagentuur.ee/en

Forestry has been an important source of wealth for the Jõgeva county. However, the emerging wood industry brings along new value added. This is very welcome. For the community it means news jobs, salary income and tax income.

A green field mill project needs also investments in the road and electricity infrastructure. We have been happy to notice that all the stakeholders are sharing positive thinking towards the common good. The economic activity and new opportunities will rise together with the industrial production in the area. 

“The investment environment has been supportive.”

The logistic position of Viruvere is tempting. The mill is surrounded by raw material and labour supply, and the access to the customers is fluent.

We are situated between the Muuga (near Tallinn) and Riga ports. The EU funded Via Baltica (E67) offers a smooth road connection to our main markets in Central Europe. The road network has been renewed and is in good condition. 

In 2004 the Baltic states joined the EU. The freight transport has been steadily increasing from those days. Via Baltica serves also as an international corridor for Finland. This enhances the freight volumes and supply. There are numerous logistics partners offering road and container transport in the Baltc countries. Let’s hit the road!

© by Randel, ESTPLY.

Randel Veerits is the managing director of Estonian Plywood AS. He has been leading production and operations in different industries along his path to plywood. He is passionate about team energy, and works hard to connect it to his other favourite, mathematics.