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Operating revenue

10,309.7

mill. nok
Operating profit

295.0

mill. nok
Operating revenue

10,309.7

mill. nok

Moelven’s best year since 2007

Moelven posted an operating profit of NOK 295 million in 2016, up NOK 80 million on 2015. Operating revenue increased by 6.4% to NOK 10,310 million. That’s a brief summary of the results for 2016.

We passed the NOK 10 billion milestone for revenue, with a year-on-year increase in operating profit of 37.3%. This was mainly due to a continued high level of demand for products from the Group’s timber operations and a good, healthy level of activity in the project division - Building Systems.

Another important factor that has played a key role in improving results is restructuring and efficiency programmes in several Group companies. The improvement and efficiency work is ongoing, with exciting projects under way throughout the Group.

Our two biggest sawmills in Sweden – Moelven Valåsen AB and Moelven Notnäs AB – are undergoing major organisational changes. At the same time, investments of around SEK 160 million in plant and machinery are planned.

These measures will be fully implemented by the summer of 2019. The aim is for these entities to be among our most efficient and profitable.

Another important development project worth mentioning is the investment programme at Moelven Byggmodul AB, our building module producer in Säffle. The business is experiencing increased demand and is investing more than SEK 80 million, among other things in robotised module production.

The robotised line builds elements almost wholly without human intervention and has been designed by Moelven’s own experts, who took inspiration from the car industry.

The production line increases production capacity by 80%. Robotisation in combination with the installation of other production equipment, workstations and various systems has contributed to almost 50 new jobs in Säffle. The plant will be ready in April 2017.

The Group has worked intensively to reduce the number of occupational accidents at Moelven, and it is pleasing to be able to report that these efforts are paying off. The number of occupational accidents fell in 2016, at the same time as awareness and targeted safety work increased and reporting of near-misses and dangerous situations almost doubled.

However, we have to acknowledge that there is still much to be done to achieve the Group’s targets for health, safety and the environment. Work on this is a priority and ongoing, in order to achieve the targets set for 2017 and beyond.

Norway’s mainland economy is experiencing growth, while the decline in the oil sector has slowed. Economic activity forecasts for Sweden are being downgraded slightly after a period of very high activity, while Europe as a whole continues to have a marginal positive growth rate.

For the Group as a whole, operating revenues are expected to increase slightly. The operational improvement programme and restructuring of the Group pursuant to the strategic plan are continuing apace, and will contribute to increased profitability in the underlying operations.

Early in 2017, key players in Norway’s inland area – including Moelven – signed an agreement with the aim of developing the region as an international power centre of industrial wood construction.

The newly established “Norwegian Wood Cluster” comprises market participants within the forestry, industry and construction value chain as well as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The aim is to be the best in the world in industrial wood construction.

Today, one in ten multi-occupancy dwellings is built in wood. Peter Eriksson, the Swedish Minister for Housing and Digital Development, has told Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter that he wants to see even more wooden houses,

arguing that wood is the most climate-friendly building material. And we’re hearing the same messages from leading politicians and experts in Norway and other countries.

If they are right, it may mean bright times ahead for those of us supplying wooden building materials to the construction industry in Scandinavia, Europe and elsewhere. Opportunities such as these will make Moelven an exciting place to work and an exciting partner.

Morten Kristiansen

President & CEO

Result

Main figures

HSE

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News

Biofuel agreement reduces emissions

Biofuel agreement reduces emissions

Biofuel from Swedish forests is reducing CO2 emissions in Stockholm by around 126,000 tonnes a year. Energy company Fortum Värme is freighting biofuel from Swedish forests by train to its new biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Värtan in Stockholm via Moelven’s new bioterminal in Karlskoga.

‘The new biomass-fired plant was commissioned in 2016 and will reduce global CO2 emissions by around 650,000 tonnes when fossil fuels are phased out,’ says Kjell E. Nilsson, Head of Biomass Trading at Fortum Värme.

Big investment

Fortum has invested SEK 4.5 billion in the new biomass-fired plant, which represents an important step towards developing a sustainable energy supply in Stockholm and Europe.

The new plant, which produces both heat and power at the same time, will exploit the energy contained in residual products from the forestry industry. Each year, the biofuel will generate 750 GWh of power and 1700 GWh of heat, equivalent to heating around 190,000 average-sized flats.

Moelven’s bioterminal in Karlskoga, which was officially opened in January 2016, is a storage and distribution facility for by-products such as sawdust and dry wood chips from Moelven’s sawmill at Valåsen in Karlskoga, as well as chipped branches, stemwood chips and tops of trees from the forest.

‘We at Vänerbränsle AB, in which Moelven is the majority owner, have invested in the bioterminal at Valåsen and will be responsible for operating it. The parties to the contract for supplying biofuel are Moelven Industrier ASA, Vänerbränsle and Fortum Värme. The agreement is an excellent example of the forestry industry’s increasing importance for a cleaner world,’ says Staffan Vilhelmsson, CEO of Vänerbränsle AB.

Guaranteed sales outlet

The agreement sees Stockholm increasing its use of biofuel and reducing emissions, while Moelven benefits from a guaranteed long-term sales outlet for its sawmill by-products.

‘Of course, being paid for by-products is important, and being able to sell them is even more important. Landfilling organic materials isn’t allowed these days, and our sites would come to a halt within a few days if the by-products weren’t freighted away on a continual basis. After all, the by-products make up part of the timber price: 50% of the wood becomes planks and boards, 25% cellulose chips and 25% other by-products,’ Vilhelmsson explains.

Each year, around 25 trains carrying sawdust and other biofuel will make the journey from Karlskoga to Fortum Värme at Värtan. Each train has 27 wagons, each carrying three containers. In total, Moelven will be one of the largest suppliers of biofuel by rail to Fortum Värme.

Increasing capacity with robots

Increasing capacity with robots

Moelven Byggmodul AB’s production unit in Säffle is experiencing increased demand and has invested SEK 72 million in robotised production of modules. Inspiration from the car industry will increase capacity on one production line by 80%.

Johan Samuelsson, CEO of Moelven Byggmodul AB, says the company is taking this step to meet the high demand for temporary buildings in Sweden.

‘First and foremost we’re investing to make sure those of our key customers who build movable or temporary buildings, for example schools, offices and basic accommodation, can get what they need when they need it. The investment also means that the company will be better equipped for increased capacity within the high-quality permanent buildings segment. In general terms, we’re also demonstrating how modular building can be further rationalised and industrialised,’ says Samuelsson.

Expanding in stages

Marcus Johansson, chairman of the board of Moelven Byggmodul AB, says that the expansion will be carried out in six stages with a total investment framework of SEK 72 million. The first four stages, which have a combined framework of SEK 38 million, have now been approved and will be built in the summer.

‘The expansion primarily involves the production line that was built last year being expanded to twice the current length and equipped with robots.’ The production line was one of the factors in Moelven Byggmodul’s factory in Säffle being nominated for “Lean Builder of the Year” alongside industrial products manufacturer PEA and Värmdö Municipality’s department of planning and environmental affairs.

Johan Samuelsson says that the project also includes a unique robotised wall production line with a fully automated station for fitting stanchions and panels to walls. He explains that the line builds walls almost entirely without human intervention and that it has been designed by Moelven’s own experts, who took inspiration from the car industry.

‘What we’re putting into practice here is an industrial approach to building in wood. As far as we know, this way of building walls is completely unique in modern modular production. The panels are positioned by robots, using information from drawings. Insulation, electrical fittings and exterior panels are still installed by hand,’ Samuelsson says.

40 new jobs

Johan Samuelsson says that the investment will create around 40 new jobs in Säffle once the new plant is ready, which should be in March 2017.

‘We’re developing lean-based, effective modular production at our production unit in Säffle in the existing space, which among other things currently houses a warehouse and a football pitch. The football pitch and warehouse will be replaced by a production line, which will be moved from its current location and adapted. But the pay-off for the loss of the football pitch is that Säffle will gain 40 new jobs as a result of the investment,’ says Samuelsson.

Samuelsson goes on to explain that the investment is expected to have a number of extremely positive HSE outcomes for the company.

‘We’re installing production equipment, workstations and various systems that provide benefits such as more ergonomic working positions, fewer manual operations, less use of nailing guns and safer logistics, as truck traffic is reduced on walkways and in production areas. These are some of the outcomes we believe will result in fewer occupational injuries and lower sickness-related absence,’ he says.

Moelven is now the leading modular producer in the Nordic region with total orders on hand of SEK 1.5 billion.

The world’s tallest wooden building

The world’s tallest wooden building

Close to both the sea and the city, the world’s tallest wooden building rises to a height of 51 metres. A home in “Treet” – the tree – offers airy, high-quality living space based on spruce from deep Norwegian forests.

The Treet residential building in Bergen comprises 14 storeys in wood and is a full four storeys taller than any other wooden building in the world. Not only is it unique, it is also historic.

 ‘It’s been a global race, with many countries voicing their intention to build a tall wooden building. But Norway got there first, putting Bergen on the map among architects and experts the world over,’ says Rune Abrahamsen, graduate engineer and Norway’s leading specialist in glulam and wooden load-bearing constructions. Employed by Sweco at the time, he was the consultant engineer in the building project and one of the brains behind the innovative building.

It’s not just the size but also the building method that makes the building ground-breaking: Using glulam in combination with modules, as has been done in Treet, is something completely new. The building has been constructed by stacking modules to make the first four storeys, followed by a reinforced storey with glulam structures and a concrete slab on the top as the basis for another four storeys, before another supporting platform on the tenth storey.

 ‘This is where the innovation lies. We established a building system for wood that functions for great heights. This hasn’t been done for housing purposes previously, so there wasn’t much to lean on,’ says Abrahamsen, pointing out that the challenge is that wood is a light material and can oscillate significantly at height.

Research-based

The planning group made up of representatives from the main contractor and subcontractors – a dedicated development team – worked with academics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to test and calculate the damping factor.

‘A tall wooden building can be compared to a blade of grass. When it’s windy, there is movement, and it would have been uncomfortable living in the top storeys.’

Physical testing and estimates assessed the damping factor for Treet to be 1.9. After the building was constructed, it was measured at an impressive 1.89.

 ‘It must be said there have been many clever people involved in this work and many high-powered brains behind the various parts of the project,’ says Abrahamsen, who acknowledges he is pleased to have taken part.

 ‘It was an incredibly exciting process that culminated in a successful project – a building containing a lot of wood in which it is pleasant to live and people can enjoy a good quality of life,’ he sums up.

Large span Rune Abrahamsen is now manager of Moelven Limtre, which also made a significant contribution to the process, both in terms of innovation and deliveries. The 45 metre trusses, partly visible both inside and outside, were produced and assembled by Moelven Limtre AS.

 ‘These were enormous frame works, delivered with millimetre precision,’ he states. 

Abrahamsen believes using wood in buildings affects how people experience the building, and gives it distinctive characteristics.

 ‘We Scandinavians have long traditions of building with wood. We’re used to wooden houses: they make us feel comfortable, we like the smell and I think many people find them warm. Quite simply, wood changes the whole atmosphere of a building and the indoor climate,’ he says. 

Special indoor environment

Entrepreneur Bjørn Myreze has bought one of the 62 flats in Treet. As well as the great location and functional living space, he cites the indoor environment as a particular attraction.

 ‘The first thing that struck us as we came into the building was the fresh air,’ says Myreze, who explains that they had originally intended to buy a flat on one of the top storeys.

 ‘Instead, we chose the ground floor. We fell in love with the flat as soon as we walked into it. We’d never imagined it would be possible to live so close to the sea but here we’re almost living on the water, rather like being on a boat,’ he says. 

He thinks the fact that the house has been built in wood makes a big difference in how it is perceived.

 ‘Even outside, the wood is the first thing you are aware of and, with wooden structures and surfaces inside, the whole building seems to breathe. The balance between wood and modern technology has produced a fantastic building that is also environmentally friendly, with a top energy rating of A under Norway’s Energimerke scheme. And you get both sea and city views into the bargain,’ he comments. 

More high wooden buildings in prospect

Rune Abrahamsen believes Treet will just be the starting shot when it comes to constructing high wooden buildings.

 ‘We’re already seeing more and more people moving to the cities, and this trend will only increase in the future. Space in urban areas is in short supply, and one way of using the space better is to build “up”. High wooden buildings in cities are the ultimate answer to meeting the environmental requirements of the future and being able to build sustainably,’ he states, adding that the problems are even more acute in countries with higher population densities.

Treet has provided much valuable experience, and every week Abrahamsen receives enquiries about the building from all over the world – from students, publications and industry insiders wanting more information and a guided tour.

 ‘I can’t accommodate every request, but there have been a number of guided tours of the building, most recently with a delegation from France,’ he relates. 

Being involved in innovative development projects is a high priority for Moelven Limtre.

 ‘In terms of both hours and expertise, we devote quite a lot of resources and people to being innovative in projects. We want to be out in front all the way, and not just in Norway, but internationally too,’ he states. 

A new, ground-breaking landmark building in wood is now ready on the drawing board. Flats in the 18-storey Mjøstårnet building in Brumunddal near Moelven, which will rise to more than 70 metres, are now up for sale.

The Company

Moelven is one of Scandinavia's leading suppliers of products and services for the construction industry, and comprises 43 production units and 32 offices for sales, service and installation. The Moelven Group's head office is in Moelv, Norway.

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