Factory making sustainable construction components opens its doors at Akmenė FEZ

A sustainable construction components factory began operations this week at Akmenė FEZ. What makes these sustainable wooden components special, and what are they used for, what makes this factory different from any other, how will it contribute to sustainable growth, and why is this a significant event for Lithuania?

Sustainable wood products for construction, or engineered structural wood, includes laminated veneer lumber, used for strong, compression-resistant joists, columns, facades, and other industrialised construction and renovation elements. Such lumber can replace highly-polluting materials used in the construction industry, such as cement, concrete, and reinforced concrete. More than 30 per cent of new buildings in Western Europe and Scandinavia are built using such sustainable, environmentally-friendly components.

The sustainable construction components factory that has begun to operate at the Akmenė FEZ is the first such factory in Lithuania and the third in Europe. Until now, there were only two such factories; both of them are in Norway. The owners of the factory at Akmenė FEZ is the global investment company VMG Group. The factory was built by AB Hanner and the UAB BRAITIN-owned fund Baltic Industrial Fund II. These companies’ extensive experience in their respective fields (industry, construction, and finance) created synergies and allowed them to efficiently implement the project, the value of which is €10 million.

The factory will start by producing laminated veneer lumber, two-ply joists, and construction chipboard, and later the product assortment will expand. The factory’s annual production capacity is 120,000 m3 of laminated veneer lumber, 15 million metres of two-ply joists, and 200,000 m3 of construction chipboard. Turnover is estimated to be up to €150 million. The factory will create 200 jobs.

Products made at the factory will supply the market in Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Lithuania. One of the advantages of engineered structural wood is the ease with which it can be transported, so export is planned to North America and Australia. Until recently, Australia imported such wood from Russia, but due to the changing political environment, agreements have been signed with producers in Lithuania. At present, negotiations are proceeding regarding export to the USA; there, production of structural lumber is concentrated on the West Coast, so for companies located on the East Coast it is cheaper to import such wood from Europe.

The new factory will contribute to environmentally-friendly construction in various ways, by supplying to the market natural, less-polluting products and by producing in an environmentally-friendly way. It is expected that the sustainable construction components made here will gradually replace the polluting materials in use until now, such as cement, concrete, and reinforced concrete.

© LAFEZ visos teisės saugomos 2021