Roman Senecký, MD of Mondi’s Štětí operation, gives us his insights on the day…
What was the highlight for you from the recent investor site visit to Mondi Štětí?
It was exciting to have the opportunity to give investors and analysts a sense of how passionate we are about manufacturing excellence at Štětí, and an overview of the range of sustainable paper packaging solutions that we create for Mondi’s customers.
We talked about the benefits of being an integrated cost-advantaged pulp and paper mill, and gave an update on our recent €376 million woodyard and mill infrastructure modernisation project. I am proud that since Mondi acquired the mill in 2000, we have increased production by 50% and more than doubled productivity and profitability, while greenhouse gas emissions have been halved and employee injuries reduced by almost 90%.
Tell us about your priorities at Štětí?
People are always our top priority and this means a culture where we keep each other safe, embrace our passion for performance and contribute to the success of our community and our customers.
A key area of focus over the last few years has been our investment programme. This has resulted in significant benefits in terms of scale, efficiency and quality. With our recent modernisation we have increased saleable production by 145ktpa, reduced energy costs and enabled 100% electricity self-sufficiency. To maximise the impact of these improvements we continue to focus on developing our strong leadership team and engaging people to drive performance.
We are looking forward to unlocking future growth opportunities in 2020, including the conversion of PM1 into a fully dedicated speciality kraft paper machine with a mix of recycled and virgin fibre for paper shopping bags that are sustainably by design.
The presentations included a lot about sustainable growth and digitalisation, what does this mean for a mill like Štětí?
It was great to hear Peter Oswald, Mondi’s Group CEO, talking about the role sustainability and digitalisation play in accelerating progress across the group’s strategic value drivers. Sustainability has always been central to Mondi’s success and as the MD of one of our largest mills I see first-hand what this means from a manufacturing perspective. An important point for me is that sustainability and good business go hand-in-hand. Our recent modernisation project is a great example as we’ve been able to increase production and decrease energy costs while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint and dust emissions.
In terms of digitalisation, the efficiency improvements in our operations are a clear illustration the value of digital in our industry. A number of our investor guests mentioned being impressed by just how automated, technologically invested and data intensive our processes are – from using acoustics to monitor the sharpness of our chipping blades, to predicting the quality of our paper and optimising the running speeds of our paper bags machines.
You’ve mentioned Štětí’s scale, can you give a flavour of what this means?
There are so many interesting stats to share but I will give you just a few that I am proud of. This year Mondi Štětí celebrated 70 years of paper-making. We are the biggest paper mill in the Czech Republic and one of the largest employers in the Ústí region. We are home to the world’s fastest sack kraft paper machine and we have the capacity to make more white sack kraft paper than anyone else. We procure 3 million m3 of wood each year, generate enough electricity to power a town of 200,000 inhabitants and can produce 150 million bags each year. Put simply, we love to break records at Mondi Štětí!
Today Peter Oswald, CEO Mondi Group, spoke at the FT Future of Manufacturing Summit in London on whether digitalisation will be the rebirth or death knell of UK Manufacturing?