Ranheim Cellulose factory
Ranheim Cellulose factory was established on 13 March 1884. Manufacturer Lauritz Jenssen was educated in Karlsruhe, Germany as a machine engineer, and was always looking at new ways of using the natural power generated by the river Vik. This had been used for several years for various purposes.
- copperplate works
- potato flour factory etc.
Opening of the rail link to Meråker
When the rail link was opened in 1881 opportunities for large scale industy arose. Timber could now be collected from forests in Trøndelag and Sweden and the factory's products could be sent by rail to the ports. For the first few years most of the production was sent to England.
1891 After 7 years of cellulose production the first paper machine is installed. This first period is not very profitable.
1892 Lauritz Jenssen is struggling with large debts and sells his shares in the factory to Christian Christoffersen, an agent in Christiania (Oslo).
1897 Lauritz Jenssen also has to sell the farm at Ranheim and more importantly the surrounding land with the water rights to the river Vik to the same Mr Christoffersen.
1899 Mr Christoffersen, and the factory go bankrupt in the 1890s. The Bank of Norway runs the factory while they wait for business to improve so that they can sell it.
1902 Gustav Oscar Örn from Värmland in Sweden buys the farm and water rights and cancels the contract with the factory. This renders it virtually worthless. He then buys the factory at a very reduced price.
A/S Meraker Brug
1907 Örn runs the factory well and starts to make money. A company from down south, the Kiær- company had bought extensive areas of forestland in Trøndelag and established the Meråker company. They were interested in cellulose and paper production at Ranheim so that they could utilize their timber. Örn was not keen to sell initially.
In 1907 business is good and the Meråker company are planning to build a new factory in Hommelvik when Örn finally agrees to sell. He sells the factory for 1.5 million.
Kiær-company establish Ranheim Paper factory as a private limited company.
1907-29 Business thrives and a third paper machine is built.
1930-39 Investments are made in smaller machines to be able to convert paper into various products, thus expanding the overall range available.
During the war
1940-49 Production of Isbjørn and Ranit is started during this period.
Lack of coal and other raw materials at the outbreak of war makes it difficult to continue production. In order to secure workplaces for the population of Ranheim, agreements are made to sell paper to the Germans.
In the post war years there is an insatiable demand for the company's products, particularly those used in the building trade. Production equipment is improved and workers receive bonuses to try to keep up with the increased demand.
Post war years
1950-59 Business continues to boom and the first half of the fifties is the best period in the company's history. Foundations are laid for the extensions and investments that turn the company into a modern cellulose and paper mill which can also convert paper into sacks, board and boxes. In 1954 a fourth paper machine is installed and in 1960, a fifth. The 75th anniversary is celebrated in style at Prinsen hotel.
1961 Back in 1928 bishop Arne Fjellbu started production of jute sacks as a means of getting ex-prisoners back into employment. This factory was called "Nordenfjeldske Sekkesentral". The first sack machines used at Ranheim came from this company originally.
100 years old and 789 employees
1966 Paper machine 6 starts up and also the production of cores.
1970 The first part of the corrugated board packaging department is finished.
1971 Norske Skog buys A/S Ranheim Papirfabrik, including the farmlands and all properties belonging to these. The Kiær/Fearnley/Solberg/Astrup-period is over. The name is changed to "Norske Skogindustrier AS, Divisjon Ranheim Papirfabrikk".
1976 On 31.12.76 the official number of employees reaches its highest ever - 789.
1978 A new solid board machine is installed.
1981 The cellulose factory is closed down on 12 July, and the well-known Ranheim odour disappears.
1983 On 1 October M. Peterson & Søn AS from Moss buys the paper mill. All other buildings remain in the possession of "Norske Skogindustrier". The name is changed back to "Ranheim Papirfabrikk AS" and will keep this name for a few years.
1984 The 100th anniversary is also celebrated at Prinsen hotel and an anniversary book is published.
1986 The raw material plant is developed to be one of the most advanced of its kind in the world for dealing with waste paper. From now on the mill only uses recycled paper as a raw material. Production on PM 4 ceases.
1987 The main farm building at Ranheim and its surrounding land is bought back and once again owned by the mill.
1994 The name is changed to Peterson Ranheim AS.
1995 The core factory is sold to the Finnish Ahlström group, and they move the employees and the machinery to a brand new factory at Sveberg in Malvik. In 1995 profits are the best ever - 40 million NOK.
1996 The sacking factory is closed down. The machinery is disassembled and sold off. The company now consists of a paper mill with an annual capacity of 80.000 tons spread over 2 machines, and the counter reels department, as well as a packaging company with an annual capacity of 40.000 tons of corrugated and solid board. The company has 380 employees and a turnover of about 450 million NOK.
1997 The Peterson group re-structures from 1 September and Ranheim is split three ways. The paper mill at Ranheim and the paper mill at Moss join to become Peterson Linerboard AS, while the packaging division and the factory at Sarpsborg become Peterson Emballasje AS. Peterson Ranheim AS is kept as an property company which leases the buildings and grounds to the two production companies.
In addition Peterson Ranheim AS keeps the traditional contact with the local community by providing financial support to local sports teams and organisations.
New source of energy
2000 Oil is replaced by LNG (Liquified Natural Gas). The main building "Ranheim Vestre" is put up for sale in September for 7,9 million but there are no bids. The whole Peterson group is put up for sale this autumn but nothing comes out of it. The timing is not good as another Nordic group has put up its packaging division for sale at the same time. Peterson stops the sales process and go on to set a production record of 92.000 tons with a profit of 22,5 million NOK.
2001 "Ranheim Vestre" is sold to Grunnarbeid AS for 6,1 million NOK. On 27 March it is decided to transfer all production and converting of corrugated board from Ranheim to Sarpsborg. Production of solid board at Ranheim is to be increased. 44 jobs are lost.
2006 The Peterson group is sold to investors Terje Haglund og Roar Paulsrud, and AT Skog in March. Høegh Eiendom AS buys the main office with 4 acres of land and is given the option of a further 4 acres north of the main office.
2007 The "Sodahuset" is demolished.
2008 Works starts on a pipeline to Trondheim fjord for emissions. This is in use the following year.
2009 The 125th anniversary is celebrated in the canteen. Work on the new offices on the second floor starts in August.
PEMCO og Peterson Packaging AS
2012 Peterson Linerboard AS i Moss goes bankrupt. The new owners are Lord Eiendom v/Øyvind Antonsen and Francis Stuckrath Hay. Linerboard Ranheim is purchased by Peterson Packaging AS. The PEMCO group buy 100 % of the shares in Peterson AS. Pemco is a Norwegian group in chemicals and renewable energy. The company is a key player in the production and sale of environmentally friendly renewable energy based on pellets. - Read more about Pemco
New Ranheim Paper & Board
2016 The Peterson group restructures. The corrugated business in Norway, Sweden and Denmark is sold to Belgian VPK. Paper and solid board change their name to Ranheim Paper & Board AS.