09 Oct 2003

Norske Skog will expand in South America

Royal couple visits Brazil paper mill

"Norske Skog has come to Brazil to stay.  It is part of our long-term strategy to continue growing in this region.  We aim to strengthen our position as South America's leading newsprint supplier," said CEO Jan Reinås when King Harald, Queen Sonja and representatives of the Brazilian government and industry visited the Norske Skog Pisa paper mill today.
Norske Skog is the only newsprint producer in Brazil, and the largest in South America.  Investment in a new paper machine at Norske Skog Pisa is a natural next step.  South America is, in addition to Asia, the most promising growth area for newsprint in the world today.  Brazil alone accounts for more than half of South America's consumption, and has to import about two thirds of its requirements.
The Brazilian newsprint market takes 500,000 tonnes annually, and the whole of South America, 900,000 tonnes.  Norske Skog also owns a newsprint mill in Chile.
Norske Skog Pisa is a modern paper mill, founded in 1984 in the local community of Jaguariaiva (32,000 inhabitants) in the state of Parana.  As regards efficiency and health and safety performance, the mill is one of the best of Norske Skog's 14 wholly-owned mills.  It has 350 employees.
All raw material comes from conifer plantations in the region.
Ninety per cent of energy consumption comes from hydro power.  Norske Skog Pisa is the largest consumer of energy in the state of Parana.
Key supporting player
Norske Skog Pisa is conscious of its social responsibility as the largest firm in Jaguariaiva.  The company accounts for more than 50% of the local community's income, and has created about 3,000 jobs in plantation forestry and transport.
Education is one of the most important benefits that a company can offer its employees and the local community.  Norske Skog Pisa has done much to improve the educational opportunities in Jaguariaiva, which include secondary education and technical training in cooperation with the most prestigious technical school in Brazil (SENAI).  These are also available to the local population, either free of charge or heavily subsidised.  For years, Norske Skog Pisa has been investing in these educational facilities. In addition, the company is involved in many local social projects.
Among the best
Norske Skog Pisa has distinguished itself in several connections.  Among other things, the mill received Norske Skog's Heath and Safety Award 2001.  This is an award made every year by the CEO to the unit which has made the greatest progress in the health and safety area.
Four times, the Brazilian company has received distinctions from the Brazilian Cancer Institute (INCA) for its efforts to make the mill a smoke-free area.  Since 1997, smoking among employees has dropped by more than 80%.
Norske Skog Pisa has also been named one of the 100 best Brazilian firms to work for.
Employees at Norske Skog Pisa proudly showed their mill to the royal couple.  Queen Sonja took the opportunity to visit a rehabilitation centre in Jaguariaiva - supported by Norske Skog - for disabled children and young people, while King Harald was being informed about the mill's operations.


October 9, 2003

Hanne Aaberg
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communication,
Mob: +47 91 35 16 81
Mob: +55 43 9979 0623

For additional information in Brazil:
Senior Vice President Hanne Aaberg
Executive Vice President Vidar Lerstad, Tel: +55 41 340 2010 / Mob: +55 41 9995 0612

For additional information in Norway:
Senior Vice President and Deputy CEO Jan Oksum, Tel: +47 67 59 93 69 / Mob: +47 91 22 81 26

Chief information officer Pål Stensaas, Tel: +47 67 59 93 47 / Mob: +47 95 28 60 06