Prospects of Timber Industry Development in the Far East of Russia
Russian Federation inherited a wide and well-developed timber harvesting infrastructure from the Soviet Union. It also inherited relatively strong timber processing industry, especially a network of giant pulp-and-paper plants with access to abundant water supply and cheap electricity. However, a number of factors deteriorate Russia's timber processing competitiveness. First, military security reasons made Soviet Union locate its processing industry, including timber processing, deep within the continent. Therefore, major Russian pulp-and-paper plants, as well as sawmills, panels and plywood plants face higher transportation costs when exporting their production than their counterparts in the United States and Finland. Second, major timber processing plants had been technologically advanced in time of deployment (1970-1980-s), but their technology and machinery has become quite backward over the decades, while investment in the production has nearly stopped altogether in 1990-s and was scarce in 2000-s.