“The state can affect two components - the cost of raw materials and energy. For this, there are powerful levers in the government. A 50% reduction in the profit tax on the sale of raw materials by the end of the year has spurred forest owners.
So, this practice can be continued. In addition, it is necessary to urgently abolish the increase in energy tax ”, - cut the opponent chairman of the union of workers of the paper industry Jouko Ahonen.
The trade union leader was supported by the Greens and the Social Democrats represented in parliament.
“Legislation on forest management requires changes. It is also necessary to consider the possibility of increasing the average area of industrial forest. And it's time to return to the old forest owner taxation scheme: let him pay not for the felled forest, but for its area.
Then, most likely, they will chop more often, ”say these parties.
Under pressure from the opposition, trade unions and business, the defense minister was forced to change his cool attitude to the problems of the forestry complex. Now the government is considering the possibility of taking additional measures to save the dying industry. What will be the decision of politicians, is still unknown. Meanwhile, researchers offer their own ways out of the crisis.
New directions in forest exploitation
The revolution in the media during the mini-crisis in the United States proved that the consumer is able to abandon the traditional ways of perceiving information. Paper carriers are easily and permanently replaced by electronic ones. “Look at the situation overseas. The Americans, having come out of the previous crisis, did not rush en masse to newsstands. It is difficult to predict what the consequences of the current economic downturn will be, but a return to the previous volumes of paper consumption is unlikely, ”Mella experts warn.
“Only at first glance it seems disastrous to reduce the demand for forestry complex products,” said Joobsu Amiell, a scientist from Joepsuu University, who has published his own scenario for the development of the Finnish timber complex over the next 20 years. - Below the annual 10 million tons of paper products downturn will not occur. In fact, the volume of production is stabilized at the level of the early 90s. In addition, for business, the main indicator is profit, and not the quantity of products manufactured, so you should not dramatize the situation.
Such a recession would have become an irreparable blow to the economy in the 60s. Now the country is able to create a replacement for the "emigrating" industry. Finland will continue to use "green gold", only the range of its application will become much wider. "
According to the calculations of the scientist, provided that the timber industry enterprises are replaced by other industries, the loss of GDP will be only 1%. In this situation, there is a plus: experience shows that consumption growth cannot last forever, and alternatives to traditional business areas need to be developed now.
Paper and cardboard will be in demand in the future. Despite the fact that the circulation of newspapers and magazines will fall significantly, the print media will not disappear completely. Cardboard will be required for the production of packages and after 20 years, paper towels and toilet paper will most likely be made from cellulose.
“Innovation is the salvation of the industry,” says Jacob Dopper-Amiell. New types of wood use are already one of the priority areas for the development of timber. "Forest" energy - is not only the burning of chips and waste in the furnaces of thermal power plants, but also the development of biodiesel.
Industry is the best prepared for this area. It already has a virtually finished production chain, starting from suppliers of raw materials and ending with a sales market “shaped” by EU directives. Practically every large forest concern conducts development in the sphere of production of "green" oil ”.
The new compound will benefit from the chemical industry, which will create a whole range of products based on it. Not the first year, scientists have been studying the possibilities of Finnish pine and spruce as a raw material for use in the field of nanocellulose technologies.
One of the projects is to create ultra-thin paper that does not let water through.
Researchers and prospects for the use of wood in the food and pharmaceutical industries. “For example, well-known xylitol, a food additive that prevents the development of caries, is produced from hardwood. Betacytosterol, used as a component of a blood cholesterol lowering agent, is isolated from pine oil, and lingin, which slows the growth of cancer cells, is extracted from a certain part of the spruce branch. And how many more unexplored compounds are contained in the wood mass! ”Jacob Dopper-Amnell optimistically lists.
The scientist is confident that the possibilities of the forest are truly endless, science has only just begun to reveal its secrets.
In the future, such workplaces are also capable of providing traditional areas such as wooden house-building and lumber production.
There are prospects for the "forest energy", provided that the cost of electricity will rise again.