The Austrian Pulp and Paper Industry?s Interaction with the River Mur 1945-1960
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
ESEH 2022 Bristol
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In my PhD project, I am analyzing the impact of the Marshall Plan on the Austrian wood-paper commodity chain, focusing on several case studies along the river Mur in the southern part of Austria. The pulp and paper industry?s specific set of requirements often places it in rural areas utilizing rivers and nearby wood resources, making the industry dependent on the seasonality of the water flow as well as century-long production cycles of wood. Along the river Mur and its tributaries in Styria, the pulp and paper industry had flourished during the late 19th and early 20th century. Several companies had established complex networks of energy and material supply in which the river played a central role. After disruptions of these networks during the economic crisis during the 1930s and the Second World War, the industry had to find short- and long-term solutions adapting to a new global economic situation. Although being called a ?Recovery Program? the Marshall Plan (1948-1952) mostly assisted in modernizing the industry. Additionally to financial aid, the Marshall Plan also facilitated knowledge exchange and provided a North Atlantic framework for investment decisions. In my presentation, I will focus, on how these investments and knowledge exchange changed the pulp and paper industry's interaction with the river. The factories changed their energy supply to become independent from seasonal changes in water flow, water cycles were modified, and through new production technology and processes, the emissions of the factories into the river became more toxic.