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Pölkky Oy has faith in market growth and is considering biorefining

CEO Josef Dringel intends to visit Kuusamo regularly. He and his team watched their namesake team play a home game.


“The completion of Metsä Group’s Kemi bioproduct mill is a good thing for Pölkky Oy,” says Pölkky’s CEO Josef Dringel, from Austria.“Logging and timber use will increase as a result of the project. That means there will be more pulpwood and logs, which Pölkky needs, on the market. Pölkky also has the potential to increase its delivery of sawmill by-products to Kemi,” adds Dringel.

In week 11, Dringel and three other people arrived at Pölkky Oy from Pfeifer Group, which purchased Pölkky Oy in January. Dringel was appointed temporary CEO after Petteri Virranniemi resigned from the position in February. “We’ve discussed things such as sales, production, investment products, and merging Pölkky with Pfeifer. I visit Kuusamo regularly,” says Dringel.

According to Dringel, the biggest challenge currently facing the wood processing industry is a slump in the market after two very positive years. “Construction has decreased due to the energy crisis and inflation, and banks have cut back on granting credit. But the situation is temporary.” Dringel believes that the popularity of wood as a construction material is increasing in comparison to steel and concrete. Workforce availability has also posed a challenge for Pölkky. “Although we’re investing in automation, we need a professional workforce.” Pölkky is currently looking for production workers for the Kuusamo and Kitka sawmills, a sales manager for Kuusamo, and summer workers.

An extension to the grading plant at the Pölkky sawmill in Taivalkoski is under way. In Kajaani, the reconstruction of the company’s entire production facility will continue until next year. “We thought about what bioproducts we could further process in Kuusamo and at other Pölkky plants,” Dringel adds, explaining future plans for the company.

On Thursday evening, the people from Pfeifer and Pölkky’s management group were at Kuusamo sports hall watching Pölkky Kuusamo, sponsored by Pölkky Oy, play against LiigaPloki in the women’s Finnish Volleyball Champions League playoffs. “It feels good that the team’s name is Pölkky. Pfeifer has sponsored sports clubs before,” says Dringel. Dringel, 57, says that he was good at volleyball when he was at school. Then he dropped other ball sports to focus on football. Now he is an avid spectator.

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