28 september 2010

During a working visit to the Komi Republic, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tours the Mondi Syktyvkarsky Paper Plant


During his tour of the plant, the prime minister saw the plant's timber processing floor and learned how its control panel works. Floor manager Andrei Pozdnyakov told Vladimir Putin that production is fully automated. Mr Putin asked about the manager's salary. "It's good," replied Mr Pozdnyakov, without giving a concrete number. "Is it a secret?" asked the prime minister. "Are you afraid that your wife might find out what you make?" Mr Pozdnyakov finally admitted that his salary was 70,000 roubles. Mr Putin translated his exchange into German for the plant's director, Mr Kornfeld. (The plant is owned by Neusiedle, an Austrian international group of companies, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mondi Europe, which is, in turn, part of the transnational corporation Anglo American.)

The director told the prime minister that since 2008 the plant has been implementing an investment project to build and upgrade timber processing infrastructure. The project, whose symbolic launch took place on September 28, is aimed at increasing the volume of timber processed by one million cubic metres a year. The project is also intended to increase the output of pulp, paper products and electricity, while reducing the amount of water taken from the Vychegda River and emissions of sulfuric compounds (by 90%). "In two years we have increased wood consumption by 25% and pulp boiling by 20%," said Mr Kornfeld. Responding to the prime minister's question about the project's cost, Mr Kornfeld said it cost 545 million euros.