Thomesto, Finland, plans to construct a sawmill in the Podporozhsk area of the Leningrad Region. This was announced by the head of the committee for economic development and management of municipal property of the administration of the Podporozhsk area, Elena Teroyeva. According to her, the committee plans to finish to first stage of construction by 2005, which will have an estimated capacity of 300-400 thousand cubic metres per year. The Moscow branch of Thomesto and the committee for the timber industrial complex of the administration of the Leningrad Region declined to comment on the current project.
The Thomesto group is part of the Finnish company Metsaliitto, a producer of timber materials, paper and cellulose. The annual turnover of Metsaliittoi in 2001 comprised EUR 8.7 billion (compared to EUR 7.5 billion in 2000 and EUR 5.6 in 1999). Thomesto sells raw timber goods on the Finnish market, in Scandinavia, in western and central Europe, Japan, China and Turkey, and is the main supplier of lumbering equipment to the Baltic States and Russia. The firm was founded on May 1, 1911. Trade in timber materials began with the USSR in the 1960s.
According to the leader of the forest programmes of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Russia, Andrei Ptichnikov, Thomesto Terminal (St. Petersburg) and its subsidiary Thomesto are among the ten main foreign timber-importing companies, each of which carried timber to Sweden from Russia to the value of more than USD 1.5 million in 2001. The WWF in Sweden and the WWF in Russia consider Thomesto Terminal to be among the 'non-transparent firms' who buy up timber of 'unclear origin'.