The European Investment Bank is extending a EUR 200 million to Stora Enso Corporation, Helsinki, Finland, for the installation and operation of a new uncoated magazine paper machine at Kvarsveden Mill, an existing pulp and paper production site in Borlänge in the Norra region of Central Sweden. EIB funds will also part-finance directly related infrastructure, including a new boiler, and vocational training at the mill.

The project will stabilise existing employment levels at the Kvarsveden Mill and should, moreover, create additional indirect employment opportunities in related activities (in particular transport). The promoter's presence in the Borlänge region for more than 100 years has been of particular significance for the community, many of today's 900 employees coming from families that have been connected to the mill for several generations.

The loan was signed in Luxembourg by Sauli Niinistö, EIB VP responsible for operations in the Nordic and Baltic states. Mr Niinistö highlighted the commitment of the European Investment Bank to the funding of projects in EU priority areas in need of regional assistance. We are delighted to further our cooperation with Stora Enso with this, our fifth operation with them. I feel strongly that the implementation of this project will bring significant tangible benefits to the Norra region, providing training and employment opportunities to the local community, as well as optimizing the competitive advantage of Stora Enso.

Sweden is one of the key global players in the paper, packaging and forest products industry and through this project the EIB is supporting the growth strategy of one of the leading names in the field - Stora Enso. The project forms an integral part of the promoter's wider magazine paper restructuring programme in the uncoated paper segment.

The EIB, as the long term financing arm of the expanded European Union, has been active in Sweden since end-1994, with cumulative financing in the country standing at EUR 7.2 bn. Lending priorities in Sweden cover transport, energy, telecommunications infrastructure and industry.