The Uelzen site turns 30: Pfeifer celebrates its anniversary with massive investments

At the northernmost of its eight sites, the Pfeifer Group is tackling a massive expansion and modernisation programme to celebrate its anniversary. This includes, among other things, new facilities for waste wood recycling and pellet production. Implementation will take place in phases until 2024. The aim is to secure the long-term future of the specialist site for packaging, pallet blocks and packaging lumber made of pine.

After extensive investments at the other sites, Pfeifer is currently focusing on its “Northern Light” at the port of the Hanseatic city of Uelzen. The expansion offensive will begin in 2022 with the construction of a waste wood recycling plant to diversify the raw material base in addition to fresh chips from the company's own sawmill. This will be accompanied by modernisation efforts and a capacity expansion in pallet block production to 350,000 m³ anually. Michael Pfeifer, Managing Director of Pfeifer Holding GmbH, on the project’s background: “The order of the day is to boost a circular economy. Of the 7 million tons of recycled wood produced annually in Germany alone, only one seventh is currently recycled. We want to actively contribute to the efficient use of this valuable raw material in as many cascades as possible.”

In 2022 Pfeifer starts an expansion offensive in Uelzen – one that will take several years to complete. The Uelzen site currently employs 196 employees. Among others, new waste wood recycling and pellet production systems will be set up until 2024. This will allow the site to use this valuable raw material even more efficiently.

Sawmill and pellet production plant will also grow

Additionally, the sawmill dating back to the site's establishment in 1992 as well as its log yard will be thoroughly modernised, increasing its cutting capacity to some 800,000 cubic metres. As a consequence, Pfeifer will also build a new pellet production plant with a capacity of 120,000 tons/year, allowing the Uelzen site to process the increased future chip volumes. This is in line with Pfeifer’s principle of utilising 100 % of wood at all its sites. “This investment will secure the Uelzen plant in the long run and adapt it to new requirement and market trends,” Pfeifer explains. The additional volumes of packaging timber and pressboard pallet blocks support the growth of the packaging division at Pfeifer, which operates under the name Euroblock. With the additional pellet plant, Pfeifer is boasting its leading role in the rapidly growing biofuels market and making an important contribution to the energy turnaround in Germany.

Thanks to the expansion, additional volumes of packaging timber and pressboard pallet blocks can be produced.

30 years of passion for maritime pine

Sawing, chipping and pressing tasks were carried out for the first time at the former Heggenstaller timber factory in Uelzen in 1992. In 2005, Pfeifer took over the company which spelled the beginning of the most successful years for the employees and the Uelzen site under the umbrella of the traditional company. Continuous further development enabled ever new record performances in the sawmill and block mill. Pfeifer also stands for consistency as an employer: Of the 60 men and women from the early days, 14 are still working at the site today. Pfeifer currently employs a total of 196 people in Uelzen.

About the Pfeifer Group

The Pfeifer Group is one of the most venerable and competitive companies in the European timber industry, employing some 2,100 employees at 8 locations in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. The family-run company is based in Imst (Tyrol/Austria). At the Group’s fully integrated saw mills, some 4 million cubic metres of timber are processed into sawn timber and profiled timber, concrete formwork panels, formwork beams, cross laminated timber (CLT), glulam, glued solid timber boards as well as pallet blocks, briquettes, pellets and bio power. Customers are served in 90 countries around the world. However, Pfeifer generates some 90 % of its turnover in its European core markets.