OREANDA-NEWS. During a recent U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) in New York, Mark Sutton, Chairman of the Board of USRBC and Chairman and CEO of International Paper, with Zakhar Smushkin, Chairman of the Board of ILIM, reflected on the results of their successful 10-year strategic partnership in Russia.

The Joint Venture has successfully carried out what represents the largest foreign investment program to date in Russia’s pulp and paper industry. Over $3.2 billion dollars has been invested in modernizing existing facilities, and building state of the art infrastructure including the world's largest bleached softwood kraft pulp mill in Siberia using innovative equipment as well as a state-of-the-art paper machine in Arkhangelsk region producing premium class products.

The secret to success has been underpinned by both parties’ commitment to commercial and operational excellence while at the same time contributing to the sustainable development of Russia’s forestry industry. All six million hectares of forestland leased by the Group are certified in accordance with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards, and the Group’s mills are among the country’s largest and most efficient forestry enterprises.

Over the decade, ILIM Group have remained dedicated to supporting the development of the local communities where they operate. During this time, the Group has invested over $65 million dollars in supporting educational, medical and cultural programs, and has created thousands of jobs. 

Mark Sutton commented:

«We are extremely proud of our partnership with the ILIM Group. This is a strategically important partnership for us in a strategically important market. Our joint success over the decade is reflected in our steadfast commitment to cooperate together and provide an unrivalled product and experience for our customers.»