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Jerker Jäder appointed SCAs R&D Director

Jerker Jäder has been appointed new Director of SCA R&D Centre. Jerker is presently SCA’s Patent Manager.

SCA R&D Centre supports current operations, product renewal and drives innovation in order to develop future business. The organization comprises specialist competence ensuring best available knowledge within key areas.

2018-05-17  READ MORE...
Södra - More green electricity and heat from forests


In 2017, Södra delivered more green electricity to the national electricity grid than ever before, and six times more compared with 2010. In the same year, Södra delivered heat equivalent to the district heating requirements of 25,000 homes. The increase in energy deliveries was enabled by Södra’s investments in its pulp mills over the past few years.

Since 2010, Södra has transformed from an electricity purchaser to becoming self-sufficient and, now, is also a major supplier of green electricity to the national electricity grid. The electricity is generated from the forest biomass processed at Södra’s mills. In 2017, a total of 335 gigawatt hours (GWh1) of electricity was delivered, equivalent to the annual consumption of 130,000 electric cars2. This represents Södra’s largest-ever electricity delivery.

“These deliveries are very positive. Over the past few years, we have invested SEK 6 billion in our pulp mills to increase production, which has also led to higher generation of green electricity. Sweden’s objective for 2030 is to increase the number of electric cars from 50,000 to 1,000,000, thereby increasing the amount of electricity required for road transport from approximately 100 GWh to 2,500-3,000 GWh. The forest industry can make a contribution here, and this is one of many examples of how forests can play a key role in the transition to a bioeconomy,” said Henric Dernegård, Energy Co-ordinator, Södra.

In addition to green electricity, Södra also delivered 414 GWh of heating to district heating networks in 2017, equivalent to the heating requirements of 25,000 homes3. The heating is delivered to nearby communities from Södra’s sawmills at Kinda and Torsås, and to Varberg, Karlshamn and Mönsterås from Södra’s three pulp mills.

“Deliveries to district heating networks mainly comprise excess heat from production processes. Our goal is to achieve resource efficiency and create social value by using every part of the tree,” said Henric Dernegård.

While Södra has been self-sufficient in green electricity since 2010, efforts are also under way to reduce Södra’s electricity consumption. One of Södra’s sustainability targets is resource efficiency – to reduce electricity and heating consumption by at least 10 percent by 2025.

1) 1 GWh = 1,000 MWh = 1,000,000 kWh = 1,000,000,000 Wh.

2) A typical electric car model consumes 2 kWh of electricity per 10 kilometres and the average distance travelled by a passenger car is 12,240 kilometres per year. (https://www.elbilsstatistik.se/elbilsstatistik)

(https://www.trafa.se/vagtrafik/korstrackor/)

3) According to the Swedish Energy Agency’s report “Energy statistics for one and two-dwelling buildings in 2016” (ES 2017:03) the average energy consumption for heating and hot water was 16,200 kWh per dwelling in Sweden in 2016.

2018-05-17  READ MORE...
OptiGroup to acquire the hygiene and cleaning business of Grande Sp. z o.o. Sp.k.

Papyrus Sp. z o.o., OptiGroup’s company for distribution of paper and business essentials in Poland, has signed an agreement to acquire the hygiene and cleaning business of Grande Sp. z o.o. Sp.k. Through the agreement, Papyrus in Poland will broaden its customer offering to include product and services to the facility management sector.

2018-05-17  READ MORE...
International Paper Supports Irish Takeover Panel Timeline

Today, the Irish Takeover Panel announced that International Paper Company has until 7:00 am on June 6, 2018 to announce whether it will or will not make a binding offer for Smurfit Kappa Group plc  under Rule 2.5 of the Irish Takeover Rules. IP supports the Panel’s decision and favors a prompt resolution.

International Paper believes its current proposal represents a compelling strategic and financial rationale for a combination with Smurfit Kappa. From the outset, IP has stressed the importance of proceeding on an agreed basis. To that end, IP confirms that it will not proceed with a binding offer unless it is recommended by Smurfit Kappa’s Board of Directors.

Furthermore, International Paper confirms that it would seek a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange to enable Smurfit Kappa shareholders to share in the potential value created by a transaction. IP would also provide Smurfit Kappa shareholders with a "mix and match" facility, which would allow Smurfit Kappa shareholders to elect, subject to other shareholders making countervailing elections, to receive a greater or lesser proportion of cash or International Paper shares.

International Paper believes both companies should meet to discuss the synergy potential of the combined company and gain a better understanding of each company’s current outlook, in order to explore a path forward to a recommended transaction.

2018-05-16  READ MORE...
ANDRITZ to optimize plant operations at Zellstoff Pöls pulp mill with Metris OPP

ANDRITZ has been awarded an order by Zellstoff Pöls to optimize operations at its pulp mill in Pöls, Austria. The goal is to increase production, while stabilizing the pulp mill’s production process and optimizing chemical use at the same time. The tried-and-tested Metris OPP system (OPP : Optimization of Process Performance) from ANDRITZ, which has been used successfully in reference plants all around the world, will be used here.

Metris OPP is an IIoT system developed by ANDRITZ and comprises a range of digitally supported tools based on big data analysis to improve industrial processes. The system has been modernized continuously in recent years, and new tools such as artificial intelligence, apps, and so on, have been added. More than 50 international groups are already working with Metris OPP successfully, many of which only began using it in the past two years. The overall net benefit generated by these companies so far with Metris OPP amounts to over 150 million euros.The OPP system, which is used above all in pulp and paper production, detects anomalies and deviations at an early stage by analyzing production data. As a result, countermeasures can be implemented in good time, guaranteeing reliable production and also optimizing operations, including the use of resources.

2018-05-16  READ MORE...
Progroup consistently pursues Two Twentyfive growth strategy

Having announced back in mid-February that active preparations for the construction of another paper factory were underway, Progroup has now decided on its location. Progroup will be constructing the new state-of-the-art paper factory in Germany in the town of Sandersdorf-Brehna near Bitterfeld (Saxony-Anhalt). As things stand today, construction work is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2019 and the current plan is for the project to be completed in the second half of 2020.

Under the Progroup umbrella, the production facilities of Propapier and Prowell form a corresponding system with the aim of balancing out the production capacities of both divisions of the business in an optimum way. Following the announcement of the construction of up to four more corrugated sheetboard plants by 2021 and the decision on the location for the third paper factory, Progroup is now embarking on the intensive implementation phase for its Two Twentyfive strategy period.

2018-05-16  READ MORE...
Pöyry research - Zero carbon gas could fully decarbonise Europe's energy system by 2050 and save consumers €1,150bn

International management consulting and engineering firm, Pöyry has produced detailed analysis concluding that full decarbonisation of Europe’s energy system by 2050 is achievable.
Decarbonising Europe’s transport, heat and power systems at this pace would help Europe to meet the Paris climate change agreement’s 1.5 degrees temperature limit.
Utilising zero carbon gas options as part of the energy mix could save €1,150bn by 2050 compared to an ’all-electric’ world, especially in transforming heat.

Pöyry has today published a study "Fully decarbonising Europe’s energy system by 2050", which highlights the changes required to energy use in order to achieve full decarbonisation of Europe’s energy system by 2050.

This includes :

  • greater utilisation of demand-responsive technology to balance intermittent supply ;
  • use of hydrogen to decarbonise larger vehicles and as part of the fuel mix in heating ; and
  •  deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.

The study investigates two potential pathways : firstly a ’Zero Carbon Gas’ pathway, where biomethane, hydrogen and CCS are part of the solution, and secondly an ’All-Electric’ future, where only electrification of all transport and heat is allowed. Pöyry has extended its sophisticated modelling suite to include the heat and transport sectors.

The study concludes that utilising zero carbon gas as part of a balanced energy mix, especially in transforming heat, delivers a saving of over €1,150bn compared to an ’all-electric’ world only. Excluding these options would mean adding significant amounts of new nuclear generation. It also argues that mass-deployment of smart-grid connected electric vehicles will limit the deployment of new battery storage and power-to-gas technologies.

Lead author Richard Sarsfield-Hall says :

"Our research is good news for those who want a carbon-free future but a reality check for governments and stakeholders about the hurdles that need to be overcome. It is important that policy makers keep all options on the table if they want to collectively achieve the Paris climate change targets by minimising risks and costs for consumers."

2018-05-16  READ MORE...
Veolia joins the Toilet Board Coalition, the first global platform dedicated to accelerating the sanitation economy.

Veolia becomes the first water, waste and energy management group to join the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), alongside the founding companies Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Lixil, Firmenich and Tata.

For Charlie Beevor, Chairman of the TBC and Unilever Global Vice-President Household Cleaning Brands, “Veolia fills an important role within the TBC as a leader in circular economy waste management and smart city solutions : sanitation needs innovations to improve and transform existing systems."

Laurent Auguste"Veolia is honored to join the Toilet Board Coalition that we recognize as a true pioneer in creating a very innovative dynamic to address the major social and environmental challenge of sanitation by facilitating the emergence of local entrepreneurial initiatives. We are committed to fully leverage our skills, know-how and business network to lead to the needed scaling up of these initiatives to reach the shared ambition of bringing a major contribution in tackling the sanitation crisis," says Laurent Auguste, Veolia Senior Executive Vice President Development, Innovation & Markets.

The Toilet Board Coalition

This public-private partnership brings together multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and social investors around a common goal : "sanitation for all". Access to sanitation is indeed a major issue : according to a joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF released in 2017, 4.4 billion people – i.e. 60% of the global population - do not have safe sanitation services.

“The Circular Sanitation Economy is an enormous opportunity to drive value from sanitation systems and to provide solutions for the world’s resource constraints such as water and nutrients. We are so pleased to welcome Veolia, a global expert and leader, with the joint goal to accelerate these opportunities which we believe hold significant benefits for business and society,” Cheryl Hicks, Toilet Board Coalition Executive Director & CEO.

2018-05-16  READ MORE...
Smurfit Kappa has achieved a 26% reduction in CO2 emissions 3 years ahead of time, according to its annual Sustainable Development Report.

The packaging leader had set an ambitious target to reduce the relative total fossil CO2 emissions in its mill system by 25%. In today’s report, the packaging leader confirmed that it had surpassed the target, which had a 2020 deadline, at the end of 2017.

While Smurfit Kappa’s paper-based packaging is renewable and recyclable, the paper production process itself is energy intensive. Reaching the climate change goal further reinforces the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by focusing on energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of fuel such as biomass, where feasible.

Climate change is one of Smurfit Kappa’s five strategic areas of focus for sustainability along with Forest, Water, Waste and People. The 2017 Sustainable Development Report announces several other key achievements including reaching two other targets in 2017. The first was a reduction in the chemical oxygen demand in its water, also reached three years early, and the second was in the area of health and safety with a 9% reduction year-on-year in lost time accident frequency rate over the five year period of 2013-2017, exceeding the targeted decrease of 5% year-on-year for the same period. Smurfit Kappa continues to provide Chain of Custody certified deliveries to packaging customers across Europe and the Americas approaching the target level of 90% certification. This is unique to the packaging industry for a company of Smurfit Kappa’s size.

Other highlights include Smurfit Kappa’s ranking in the top 1% of the EcoVadis Sustainability ratings and its listing on the FTSE4Good, Euronext Vigeo Europe 120, Ethibel and STOXX Global ESG Leaders investor rating systems.

Smurfit Kappa’s commitment to investing in social and scientific projects to benefit the communities in which the company operates amounted to approximately €5 million with an emphasis on the area of childhood education. 

Tony Smurfit, Group CEO said : "2017 was yet another year with a strong performance on sustainability metrics for Smurfit Kappa and I am confident this will continue into the future. In the next five years we plan to allocate significant capital to projects that will contribute further towards lowering our environmental footprint and we will continue to invest significant resources in the development, safety and wellbeing of our people.

“This report is also evidence of our industry-leading transparency and demonstrates how Smurfit Kappa is making progress in supporting the UN’s 2030 Sustainability Development Goals.”

Steven Stoffer, Group VP Development at Smurfit Kappa, added : “For Smurfit Kappa, sustainability is not only about mitigating climate change and reducing inefficiency. For packaging to be truly sustainable, it must be produced and designed in a sustainable fashion and be biodegradable within a relatively short time after multiple usages. This results in minimal impact on the planet.

“Paper-based packaging is uniquely positioned to do this, and we strongly support the growing concern and efforts to put an end to the increasing mass of non-biodegradable, primarily plastic packaging floating in our oceans. This is why we believe that paper is the future of packaging.”

2018-05-16  READ MORE...
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has launched a prefeasibility study on renewal of Kemi pulp mill.

In the prefeasibility study Metsä Fibre is investigating two options :

Replacing completely the current pulp mill with a new bioproduct mill. Compared to the current mill, the new mill would be clearly larger in terms of production capacity, consumption of wood raw material and impact on employment. The self-sufficiency in electricity would be considerably raised and the bioproduct range would be expanded.
Extending the life cycle of the current mill by modernising several departments and maintaining production capacity and wood consumption largely unchanged.
"The shift from fossil-based economy towards sustainable bioeconomy is accelerating. The forest industry and Metsä Group have a significant role in this development. In the launched study, we will evaluate the preconditions for a very significant investment in Kemi, Finland,” says Metsä Group’s President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä.

The prefeasibility study examines in particular the availability of wood raw material and the development potential of Kemi’s industrial infrastructure and logistic connections. The study phase is expected to continue until the summer 2019, when decisions on a possible launch of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental permit procedures would be made. The prefeasibility study is led by Timo Merikallio, M.Sc. (Eng.) who was responsible for the planning and construction of Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill, the largest forest industry investment in Europe, which started up in August 2017 in Äänekoski, Finland.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
Stora Enso launches a Green Bond Framework

Stora Enso is integrating its sustainability agenda into funding and financial services to increase transparency and to highlight the positive environmental impact of its business.

Stora Enso today launches its Green Bond Framework as part of its Sustainable Finance approach. The ambition is to offer a loan-format to support sustainability-focused fixed income investors and to report the direct environmental impacts of some its investments and business activities. The Group will use this bond format to complement its other funding sources.

Stora Enso’s strategy on Sustainable Finance is a natural part of its overall agenda on sustainability and an integral part of its focus on being the world’s leading renewable materials company. Stora Enso’s goal is to work with funding partners for whom sustainability is a key part of their lending agenda.

Stora Enso’s aim is to have all its suppliers, including those for financial services join the Stora Enso Supplier Code of Conduct. We see this as generating competitive advantage and thus prefer to partner with banks and financial service providers that make sustainability a leading issue in their respective eco-systems.

“We want to contribute to a scenario where the sustainability of business is a key metric for credit risk assessment. Key aspects of our strategy for sustainable finance are to increase transparency for our investors and to highlight the positive environmental impact of our business and related investments,” says SVP Treasurer Martin Ros.

During December 2017 Stora Enso signed a sustainability linked EUR 600 million revolving credit facility with a syndicate of 13 banks. The loan and the agreement have a direct link to our ambitious science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the group’s value chain. The pricing of the loan is partly connected to our achievement of the science-based targets.

In developing these models for funding, we have carefully considered the relevant initiatives and best practices already in use today, such as Green Bond Principles, Science Based Targets, UN Sustainable Development Goals and the final report from the EU High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

The Green Bond Framework and the overall Sustainable Finance strategy have been developed together with Nordea while Sustainalytics has provided a second party opinion on the framework.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
Stora Enso launches biocomposites as a renewable replacement for plastics

Stora Enso is launching its wood-based biocomposites, DuraSense™ by Stora Enso. This is another major step on the group’s journey to replacing fossil-based materials with renewable solutions. DuraSense is available to companies seeking high performance and a sustainable, bio-based alternative to plastics.

DuraSense enables the use of renewable fibres, such as wood, to substitute for a large portion of fossil-based plastic. The production of biocomposites began in 2018 at Stora Enso’s Hylte Mill in Sweden, following the EUR 12 million investment announced in 2017. At full production, the mill’s annual production capacity is 15 000 tonnes, which is the largest capacity in Europe dedicated to wood fibre composites.

“Reducing the amount of plastic and replacing it with renewable and traceable materials is a gradual process. With DuraSense, we can offer customers a wood fibre-based alternative which improves sustainability performance and, depending on the product, significantly reduces the carbon footprint – all the way up to 80%,” says Jari Suominen, Head of Wood Products at Stora Enso.

The DuraSense product family is suitable for a wide range of applications from consumer goods to industrial applications. Typical applications include, for example, furniture, pallets, hand tools, automotive parts, beauty and lifestyle products, toys and items, such as kitchen utensils and bottle caps, among other uses.

The DuraSense granules are a combination of natural wood fibres, polymers and additives offering the mouldability of plastic with the sustainability and workability of wood. With DuraSense, it is also possible to combine fibres with recycled or bio-based polymers to further enhance environmental values. For example, DuraSense™ Eco100, which is one of the product grades and based on wood fibres and biopolymers, is a cost-competitive way to fully replace fossil-based plastics.

“Affordable sustainability and the environment are climbing upwards on consumer agendas,” says Patricia Oddshammar, Head of Biocomposites at Stora Enso. “DuraSense can reduce the consumption of plastic materials by up to 60%, ensuring less microplastics end up in the environment. Stora Enso’s biocomposites can be reused as a material up to seven times or recycled along with other plastic materials or, alternatively, used for energy recovery at their end of life.”

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
BillerudKorsnäs initiates negotiations on new organisation

BillerudKorsnäs today announces that negotiations with labour unions over a proposal for new organisation will be initiated within short. The proposal contains a full profit and loss responsibility in three divisions.

“During my first months with BillerudKorsnäs, it has become clear to me that we have great conditions for profitable growth. In order for us to take maximum advantage out of these conditions, we need to become faster and clarify accountability within the company. This we now want to accomplish through a new organisation in three divisions with full profit and loss responsibility”, says Petra Einarsson, President and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs.
The current organisation of BillerudKorsnäs is a matrix with three business areas, a production organisation and a number of supporting functions. The proposal for a new organisation, which will be subject to negotiations, contains an organisation in three divisions : sack and kraft papers, board and corrugated materials, and packaging solutions. The production units will be included in the division for sack and kraft papers and in the division for board and corrugated materials. All the details of the future organisation are not yet decided and will be worked out and negotiated going forward.

In parallel to this process, a review of the roles and composition of the senior management team of the company will also be carried out.
After finalised negotiations, the ambition is to staff the new organisation and fully implement it during the latter part of 2018. The external financial reporting of the company will be changed according to the new organisation by January 1st, 2019.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
SCA issues bonds for SEK 1.2 billion

Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA has today issued bonds with a total amount of SEK 1.2 billion under the company’s newly established Medium Term Note programme. The bonds are divided into two tranches, SEK 550 million of which has floating interest rates and SEK 650 million has fixed interest rates. The bonds have a tenor of 3 years and the interest rate margin was set to 0.36% per annum.
Danske Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken are Joint Bookrunners for the issue. The bonds will be listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
Two Toscotec’s TT SYD start up at Bataan 2020, Inc. in the Philippines.

On March 16 and April 24, the Philippine paper and tissue producer Bataan 2020, Inc. has fired up two Toscotec’s steel Yankee dryers TT SYD-3600MM at its Samal mill in Bataan province, Philippines. Toscotec’s second generation TT SYD replaced previous installations of cast iron Yankees on PM2 and PM5.
The scope of supply also includes erection supervision, commissioning and start-up assistance, as well as onsite training programs on operation and maintenance.
With this new double reference, Toscotec enters the growing Philippine market and strengthens its undiscussed leadership as global manufacturer of steel Yankee dryers. In Asia alone, Toscotec has sold over one hundred TT SYD, out of more than 200 units worldwide. Particularly in the segment of replacing cast iron Yankee with steel Yankee dryers, Toscotec is very far ahead of the game, with over 80 TT SYD replacements in five continents around the world.
Mr. Emmanuel Gaspar, Executive Vice President of Bataan 2020, Inc. declared, “At Bataan 2020, we are committed to responsible industrial production to protect the environment. Among other projects, we produce steam from renewable power sources. Toscotec’s TT SYD make it possible for us to actually reduce steam consumption and keep up the highest standard of efficiency on our operations. We are happy to say that the two TT SYD have been performing extremely well since start-up”.
Gabriele Martinelli, Toscotec’s Area Sales Manager Asia & Pacific replied, “We are very proud to see Toscotec’s cutting edge technology applied to a green project, such as Bataan 2020’s. The market is definitely moving toward the most efficient drying solutions, which deliver the best performances with the lowest ecological footprint. This is why we are confident that TT SYD and its continuous evolutions will play an increasingly important role in the years to come”.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
Valmet to supply a containerboard making line for a customer in China


Valmet will supply a high-speed containerboard making line for a customer in Zhejiang province, China. The board production line is designed to produce high-quality recycled fluting grades and the start-up is scheduled for the end of year 2019.

The order is included in Valmet’s second quarter of 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The total value of an order of this type and scope is typically around EUR 25-35 million.

The customer’s goal for the project is to increase its capacity and market share. "The customer is growing strongly and wants to achieve larger market share with more production capacity and a bigger production machinery. Valmet’s strong references convinced the customer to choose our reliable and high-performing technology. One differentiating and decisive factor was Valmet’s new type of a spray sizer," says Fan Ze, Vice President, Capital Sales, China, Valmet.

Technical details about the delivery

Valmet’s delivery includes a complete containerboard making line with broke collection, approach flow system, an OptiFlo Foudrinier headbox, an OptiFormer Hybrid forming section with shoe and blade technology, an OptiPress Center press section, an OptiRun dryer section, OptiAir Hood high humidity hood, an OptiSizer Spray sizer with related supply system and surface size preparation system, ventilation equipment for board machine, and an OptiReel Pope reel. The delivery includes also Valmet IQ quality measurement system (QMS).

The 7,250-mm-wide (wire) board machine will produce recycled fluting grades with the basis weight range of 60-40 g/m2. The design speed of the machine will be 1,400 m/min.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
Calling all heroes: Södra launches new ad campaign


Södra’s next major ad campaign will show that being a hero doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as actively choosing products from sustainably-managed forests - because consumers who make sustainable choices are heroes. Like previous campaigns, this latest initiative from Södra, recently nominated for the marketing award “100 Wattaren” in Sweden, seeks to be different and to make people sit up and think.

By highlighting that products and services from the forest are environmentally sustainable, the “Act of a hero” campaign (#actofahero) is a counter message to those who try to make paper consumers feel guilty (“don’t print this e-mail” etc). This campaign applauds good behaviour and turns informed consumers into heroes.

“The campaign doesn’t put fibre-based products up against other materials. Its core message is simple : When (not if) you consume, choose a product based on a sustainably-managed forest raw material – that’s an act of a hero !” says Linda Ottosson, Communication Manager at Södra Cell.

Södra recognises the need to communicate the environmental credentials of pulp and paper further downstream in the value chain. That’s why the principal aim of #actofahero is not only to market Södra’s offering to its customers but also to reach its customers’ customers, and to some extent consumers.

“Communicating downstream in the value chain is new and exciting, and to ensure that the message hits home we have chosen to work with two important customers in the tissue and specialty paper segments, respectively. They connect us with their key stakeholders, who are brought in as additional target groups in the campaign,” explains Marcus Hellberg, Marketing Director at Södra Cell.

“The main channels for the campaign will be Södra’s own website and social media channels. But we are asking everybody – customers, colleagues and members – to be part of the campaign by helping to spread and share our material,” adds Ottosson.

2018-05-15  READ MORE...
Klabin’s Monte Alegre Unit begins Maintenance Shutdown on May 14

Maintenance period will bring together around 150 companies to perform over 4,000 services

Between May 14 and 24, Klabin’s Monte Alegre Unit in Telêmaco Borba will perform its annual Maintenance Shutdown. More than 4,000 services will be executed over 11 days on the equipment at the unit to ensure the safety and continuity of the operation.

The Maintenance Shutdown is compulsory for companies that have machinery such as boilers and digesters. Completing the tasks on schedule requires a large number of workers, many of whom work exclusively in pulp and paper mill shutdowns. “In this short time span, complex maintenance tasks will be carried out, which require specialized manpower. These are very specific jobs which require intensive training specifically for the tasks and hence many of these companies work only on maintenance shutdowns and travel across the country performing this activity,” explains Luiz Francisco Barbosa de Almeida, Manager of Maintenance Engineering and Planning at the Monte Alegre Unit.

During the maintenance period, people might sense odors or hear noises in the vicinity of the plant. According to the Environment coordinator at the Monte Alegre Unit, Henrique Luvison Gomes da Silva, various preventive measures were taken jointly with the maintenance planning teams to reduce the impact, including monitoring noise levels in the city. “We carried out tests to measure how much impact would the equipment restart have on the community. With that, we reorganized a few services so that the population is not inconvenienced at night or early morning,” said Henrique.

Booming economy

The Maintenance Shutdown period is reflected in healthy economic indicators for the community of Telêmaco Borba and the region, with retail sales picking up and temporary jobs created. According to data from the Employment Agency and recruiting firms in the city, 330 temporary jobs were created in 2018 to meet the demand from the Maintenance Shutdown in Monte Alegre. Among the functions with most hires are security personnel for confined spaces, scaffolders, firefighters and nursing technicians.

With the increase in the circulation of people, commerce in the region also heats up. According to Marcelo Diniz, chairman of the Commercial and Business Association of Telêmaco Borba (Acitel), this is a period of good business. “Store owners prepare for this moment. It is the ideal opportunity to sell more, as workers who come for the Shutdown consume local products and services,” he noted.

2018-05-14  READ MORE...
Sappi second quarter beats expectations on the back of higher selling prices and sales volumes

Sappi second quarter beats expectations on the back of higher selling prices and sales volumes

Commenting on the results, Sappi Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie said : “I am very satisfied with our performance for this quarter as reflected by increased sales, EBITDA and net profit. I’m particularly pleased that all regions were able to deliver higher sales volumes despite the short-term impact of the expansion and conversion projects. We faced higher raw material costs, in particular pulp, for our paper businesses but were able to increase selling prices to offset most of this impact. The acquisition of the Cham speciality paper business was completed during the quarter and the integration into Sappi is moving ahead smoothly.”

Turning to the next quarter, Binnie stated : “Our operating performance for the third quarter is expected to be in line with that of the prior year as the impact of the stronger Rand and the various capital projects underway will offset the improved paper markets.”

Financial summary for the quarter

· EBITDA excluding special items US$211 million (Q2 2017 US$208 million).

· Profit for the period US$102 million (Q2 2017 US$88 million).

· EPS excluding special items 17 US cents (Q2 2017 17 US cents).

· Acquisition of Cham speciality paper business completed.

· Net debt US$1,632 million (Q2 2017 US$1,329 million).

The major factors which influenced the second quarter’s results include :

· Dissolving wood pulp (DWP) demand remained strong with pricing improving steadily during the quarter

· Demand for specialities and packaging papers continued to grow across all regions and all major product segments, only constrained by our current production capacity. EBITDA margins improved to 15%

· European and export printing and writing papers markets were stable, allowing for the implementation of coated paper price increases that have offset much of the rise in paper pulp costs. In the US, sales volumes increased in all product categories and higher graphic paper prices were achieved

· Paper pulp costs continued to rise throughout the quarter, and

· A stronger Rand/US Dollar exchange rate lowered the profitability of the South African businesses.

Update on investments for growth

· Acquisition of the Cham speciality paper business has been concluded. Positive earnings impact achieved.

· Rockwell Solutions barrier coating technology is enabling new paper-based packaging solutions for key FMCG customers.

· Projects in North America and Europe at Somerset, Maastricht, Alfeld, Ehingen and Lanaken Mills will boost higher margin, high growth specialities and packaging volumes.

· Debottlenecking projects in Southern Africa and North America at Ngodwana, Saiccor and Cloquet Mills to maintain market share in DWP.

· Regulatory approval process underway for the 110,000tpa expansion of Saiccor Mill in response to satisfy strong demand and positive DWP markets.

· Investigations continue to identify further DWP capacity increase opportunities.

Commenting on investments to enhance the competitive advantage and increase speciality packaging and DWP capacity, Binnie said : “Our acquisitions, conversions and expansion projects are positioning us to take advantage of the move from plastics to natural fibre, biobased products and paper-based packaging alternatives. Sappi’s strategy of securing its leadership position in high quality printing and writing papers while expanding its footprint in higher growth and higher margins market segments has begun to deliver real value and this will only increase into the future.”

Outlook
Demand for DWP remains good, and Chinese market prices have remained relatively stable. VSF prices currently remain under pressure due to low industry operating rates following significant capacity additions in the last few years. Third quarter average realised DWP prices should be in line with those of the second quarter, while volumes will be lower due to scheduled annual maintenance shuts at Cloquet, Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills.

Graphic paper operating rates remain healthy in Europe, and further price increases have been implemented since quarter end to mitigate the impact of the continuing rise in paper pulp prices. The ongoing integration of the mills acquired from the Cham Paper Group is expected to deliver the anticipated synergies.

In the United States we will continue with the downtime on PM1 at Somerset Mill in order to complete the conversion project at the mill. Further coated paper price increases implemented since January will be realised in the third quarter and this will help negate the aforementioned impact as well as anticipated higher pricing for purchased pulp and chemicals.

Speciality and packaging paper demand continues to grow as customers and consumers switch to paper based packaging rather than plastics. The acquisition of the specialities business of the Cham paper group and the technology acquired with the purchase of Rockwell Solutions in 2017 positions us well for growth in this market.

Capital expenditure in 2018 is expected to be approximately US$500 million as currency movements and the acceleration of various conversion and debottlenecking projects will inflate the total expenditure for the year. The conversions at Maastricht and Somerset Mills, the Saiccor, Ngodwana and Cloquet Mills DWP debottlenecking projects and the expansion of Saiccor Mill are projects focused on higher margin growth segments including dissolving wood pulp and speciality packaging.

The group’s third quarter operating performance is expected to be in line with that of the prior year as the impact of the stronger Rand and the various capital projects underway offset the improved graphic paper markets.

2018-05-14  READ MORE...
Kimberly-Clark Announces Executive Leadership Changes

Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) today announced executive leadership changes to sharpen its focus on executing its global business plan.

Kim Underhill, President of Kimberly-Clark Professional, has been named Group President Kimberly-Clark North America. In her new role, Underhill will lead Kimberly-Clark’s nearly $8 billion North American consumer business, with trusted brands such as Huggies, Kleenex, Cottonelle, and Depend. Underhill is succeeding Larry Allgaier who has announced his intent to pursue opportunities outside of the company.

Aaron Powell, President, Kimberly-Clark Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has been named President of K-C Professional. A successor to Powell in EMEA will be named in the near future.

Both Underhill and Powell will report to Mike Hsu, President and Chief Operating Officer of Kimberly-Clark. The moves are effective immediately.

"We have a deep bench of talented leaders to drive our global business plan," said Hsu. "Kim and Aaron are both seasoned executives with proven strategic, operational and innovation experience. These changes will help us further build our already strong consumer and professional businesses."

Underhill has led K-C Professional since 2014. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Underhill served as President of Kimberly-Clark’s consumer business in Europe. She joined Kimberly-Clark in 1988 and has held positions with increasing responsibilities within research and engineering, supply chain and marketing. She also held leadership positions in Consumer Tissue and Personal Care in the North American consumer business. In addition to her role at Kimberly-Clark, Ms. Underhill serves on the board of directors for Foot Locker, Inc. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and her master’s degree in engineering management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Powell returns to K-C Professional from Kimberly-Clark’s consumer business in EMEA. Powell previously served as President for Kimberly-Clark Professional in North America, where he led a multibillion dollar business focused on creating exceptional workplaces for business customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Since joining the company in 2007, he has held a series of roles with increasing responsibility including Vice President and Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark’s consumer business in Central and Eastern Europe. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington University, and his MBA with honors from the Wharton School of Business.

2018-05-14  READ MORE...
Recard for iT's Tissue: a Next Generation of Tissue Machines


During Recard for iT’s Tissue 2018 you will meet our management team who will introduce you to the Recard innovations.

In fact, for iT’s Tissue 2018, Recard has outdone itself, improving on already excellent performance and surpassing all pre-existing limits …

Green Easy Crescent is a production system for 80 t/gg tissue paper equipped with a state-of-the-art gas turbine capable of producing most of the electrical energy required for production and simultaneously, with the residual exhaust gas, supplying all the thermal energy needed to dry the paper.

Add to Easy Crescent, the design developed by Recard to install a tissue machine in an easy, economic and modern manner, an innovative technology that allows reducing energy costs to a minimum and lowering atmospheric emissions significantly.

2018-05-14  READ MORE...
Södra enters unique partnership for greener air travel


Södra has signed a letter of intent with KLM to conduct a joint feasibility study to examine the possibility of producing green jet fuel. At the same time, Södra will become the first company in Sweden to join KLM’s Corporate Biofuel Programme, with the aim of supporting growth in demand for fossil-fuel-free alternatives in the aviation sector.

“Air travel accounts for some 2 percent of global CO₂ emissions. We are now taking two key steps forward to create sustainable alternatives to fossil-based jet fuel. The current supply of biofuel is too low and this is something we want to change,” said Maria Baldin, Director of Communications and Sustainability at Södra.

KLM’s Biofuel Programme enables companies to ensure that sustainable biojet fuel is used for their air travel by paying a surcharge that covers the difference in price between sustainable biofuel and regular jet fuel.

“Helping to reduce CO₂ emissions is in line with our sustainability targets. Our goal is to be fossil-fuel free by 2030. We will now shoulder an even greater responsibility for our air travel,” commented Maria Baldin.

“KLM is proud to offer Sweden’s most sustainable European air routes viewed over time. We are grateful to have local partners that want to play a part in this,” says Paul Terstegge, General Manager North Europe, Air France and KLM.

Letter of intent and development of biojet fuel
On Monday, a press conference was held at Växjo Småland Airport where a letter of intent covering the development of biojet fuel was signed. The collaboration aims to promote growth in supply and demand and development of the appropriate policy instruments for more sustainable air travel.

“The greatest challenge is the absence of policy measures. Since production costs for biojet fuel are high compared with fossil fuels, there is very limited scope for growth in demand, which is needed to reduce costs. There must be a clear political strategy to address this issue,” said Henrik Brodin, Strategic Business Developer, Energy, at Södra.

The collaboration contains a feasibility study to examine the prerequisites for producing biojet fuel from forest biomass. While Södra and KLM are the main partners in the collaboration, many other players are also participating.

“It’s about working together to examine the entire chain – from production to combustion – and creating a business model that enables a change in air travel,” said Henrik Brodin.

2018-05-14  READ MORE...
Resolute to Invest Over $52 million in its Saint-Félicien Pulp Mill in Quebec

Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced a $52.3 million strategic investment plan for its Saint-Félicien pulp mill, located in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. The announcement was made at a press conference attended by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and many dignitaries and company employees.

"The significant investments at Saint-Félicien are expected to improve several areas of the operation, increasing the average daily production capacity by 76 metric tons and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels by 20%," said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer.

On April 30, 2018, Resolute announced a $13 million investment in its La Doré (Quebec) wood products facilities, also located in Lac-Saint-Jean. In 2016, the company inaugurated Toundra Greenhouse, located adjacent to the Saint-Félicien pulp mill, a $100 million joint venture project with local investors.

During today’s press conference, Yves Laflamme thanked local employees, government officials, as well as regional academic and economic development organizations for their continued support and advocacy.

Resolute employs close to 240 workers at the pulp mill, and more than 2,000 in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

2018-05-14  READ MORE...
C.A.RE. Lab opens in Lucca. A new space for PCMC.

A new space for PCMC : the future, digitalization and FourPointZero ideas

PCMC, People Care Moves Our Company : in our name is our direction.

We are speaking about care. And have been for some time. Convinced that people are the cornerstone of our company and of our results.

And all this developed under our concept of Carevolution.

Our evolution began and advances concretely with the innovative products already present on the market and with other incredible novelties on the way.

And it is precisely for this reason that now the time has come to push ourselves one step further, to open a new door.

PCMC has created a new space for the world of converting : shortly, Lucca will see the inception of C.A.RE. Lab – Converting Area REsearch – a center dedicated to the future.

Our goal is to intensify the company’s focus on innovation, research and the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0, in particular connected to the positive impacts that they can have for managing health & safety in the workplace.
And we will do so in a functional and easily accessible location, not far from the historic City Walls, where we will open the minds to study and the doors to excellence.

A lively, dynamic site to discover new possibilities, a meeting place between our competences and the talents that are out there, and a reception center for all our partners.

A new area for PCMC where we will put thoughts and knowledge in circulation and take care of your and our ideas.

Soon we will welcome you to visit C.A.RE. Lab and access our new spaces to discover together the novelties that lie ahead.

2018-05-09  READ MORE...

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