Breaking News
Arjowiggins plans to file petitions to open receivership proceedings for some of its subsidiaries in France

In a highly deteriorated market environment and further to the termination by Fineska BV of the planned acquisition of its Graphic and Creative Papers businesses (cf. press release on 27 December 2018), Arjowiggins and the French companies Arjowiggins Papers and Arjowiggins Creative Papers plan to petition the Commercial Court of Nanterre to open a preventive Safeguard procedure (Sauvegarde) in their favour to protect their interests. Some of Arjowiggins’ French subsidiaries will file a petition to open Receivership proceedings (Redressement judiciaire). These petitions will be reviewed by the Commercial Court at a hearing on 8 January 2019.

  •  The Priplak and Arjobex subsidiaries are unaffected by these procedures.
  •  The Arjowiggins subsidiaries affected by these procedures operate the mills of Bessé-sur-Braye, Le Bourray and Greenfield.

These projects are part of an information/consultation process with the various relevant Works Councils representing the personnel.
Regarding the subsidiaries outside France, the Group is reviewing its various strategic options jointly with the local managers, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the impact of the French procedures.
Under the aegis of Receivers appointed by the Commercial Court, the Safeguard or Receivership procedure would enable Arjowiggins to seek all potential solutions likely to secure the continuity of business of Arjowiggins’ Graphic and Creative Papers divisions in the context of a sustainably viable takeover plan, while preserving the interests of its employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
The French public authorities have been informed of the Group’s situation and have already indicated that they would support the various processes undertaken to find buyers for the different Arjowiggins businesses and thus preserve jobs.
After conducting a major restructuring of its printing & writing paper businesses in 2014, Arjowiggins had refocused on technical and specialty papers, and demonstrated its ability to generate positive cash-flows, particularly in 2017. However, since July 2017, Arjowiggins has suffered an unprecedented and steady increase of its external costs, particularly for paper pulp that has reached a record historical high in the past few months, in an environment of structurally declining volumes of printing and writing papers. Despite selling price increases that were significant but insufficient in a market with excess capacity, the Group was unable to offset the rise of its variable costs.
Furthermore, the litigation involving Sequana versus British American Tobacco (BAT), pending since 2013, has caused major mistrust from the Group’s business partners, in particular its credit insurers who have scaled down their exposure to Arjowiggins, leading to tensions on working capital requirements.

Under the circumstances, Arjowiggins has therefore been forced to initiate the required measures to continue operating its business under the best possible conditions.
The Group is confident in its ability to find buyers for these businesses that enjoy highly skilled staff whose expertise and professionalism are acknowledged across their markets, renowned brands in premium fine papers and recycled graphic papers, solid market positions in technical and speciality papers, and a unique industrial asset to produce 100% recycled paper pulp.

2019-01-07 
Kadant Completes Acquisition of Syntron Material Handling

Kadant Inc. today announced the completion of its acquisition of Syntron Material Handling Group, LLC and certain of its affiliates, a leading provider of material handling equipment and systems to various process industries, from entities affiliated with Levine Leichtman Capital Partners for approximately $179 million, subject to certain customary adjustments. The transaction was financed through borrowings under the Company’s revolving credit facility.

“We are excited to welcome Syntron to the Kadant family and look forward to the new opportunities this combination will bring to our business,” said Jonathan Painter, president and chief executive officer of Kadant. “Syntron not only extends our breadth of premier offerings to process industries, but also gives us access to new industries that offer potential avenues for growth.”

Syntron is based in Tupelo, Mississippi with approximately 250 employees worldwide and revenue of approximately $89 million for the trailing twelve months ended October 31, 2018.

2019-01-03 
Termination of the planned sale of Arjowiggins ’ Graphic and Creative Papers businesses

The negotiations initiated in July 2018 with Fineska BV (the Andlinger & Company Group) for the sale of Arjowiggins’ Graphic and Creative Papers businesses continued in an extremely deteriorated market conditions context, notably hit by significant and successive price increases in pulp, and to a lesser extent in energy.
In this context and considering the lack of visibility for FY 2019, Fineska BV has stopped the sale process.
Because of this decision, Sequana is reviewing the different strategic options to be implemented.

2019-01-02 
Resolute Completes Sale of Catawba, SC, Paper and Pulp Mill

Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced that, on December 31, 2018, it completed the previously disclosed sale of the Catawba, South Carolina, paper and pulp mill to New-Indy Containerboard, LLC, pursuant to the terms of the asset purchase agreement dated October 2, 2018. The total purchase price of about $300 million consists of $260 million in cash, before customary closing adjustments, and the assumption of approximately $40 million of balance sheet liabilities, largely net pension benefit obligations.

"We are pleased to have completed the sale of the Catawba mill to New-Indy and wish the new team every success with its investment in the diversification of the mill’s operations," stated Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer of Resolute. "We want to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication toward this successful outcome, and are pleased that the community will continue to benefit from the mill’s economic and social impact."

As previously disclosed, Resolute has agreed to use the majority of the proceeds from the asset sale to repurchase $225 million of its 5.875% Senior Notes due in 2023, thereby improving financial flexibility.

TM Capital Corp. acted as Resolute’s financial advisor on the transaction, while Akerman LLP and Troutman Sanders LLP acted as Resolute’s legal counsels.

2019-01-02 
Announcement of obtaining Clearance from the Japan Fair Trade Commission regarding Capital & Business Alliance with Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd

Oji Holdings Corporation plans to own the shares equivalent to 33.0% of the total number of voting rights of Mitsubishi Paper Mills Limited, as announced in “Announcement of Capital and Business Alliance of Oji Holdings Corporation and Mitsubishi Paper Mills Limited ” on February 6, 2018.
Toward the implementation of the Alliance, Oji Holdings and Mitsubishi Paper have been proceeding with procedures for obtaining clearance from domestic and overseas competition authorities, and Oji Holdings is pleased to announce that two companies have obtained an unconditional clearance for the notifications regarding the Alliance from the Japan Fair Trade Commission.Today. Oji Holdings and Mitsubishi Paper will continue with procedures to obtain clearance from overseas competition authorities. In order to realize the Alliance, Oji Holdings and Mitsubishi Paper will advance discussions and deliberations on a more concrete business alliance between the two companies in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

2018-12-27 
Commission clears the creation of joint venture combining Solenis and BASF's global paper and water chemicals business

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over a newly created joint venture combining Solenis and BASF’s global paper and water chemicals business by BASF SE of Germany and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. ("CD&R") of the US. BASF DOM supplies wet-end paper chemicals and water treatment chemicals. Solenis, a portfolio company of CD&R, is a specialty chemical company providing process and water solutions. The joint venture will also be active in these sectors. .Following its market investigation, the Commission concluded that, although the proposed transaction may lead to horizontal and vertical overlaps, it would not give rise to competition concerns. This is because of the number of rivals remaining in the market, the differences in the business models of Solenis and BASF DOM, the existing vertical relationships between BASF and Solenis, and the fact that Solenis represents only a minimal share of the demand for BASF’s products. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8950.

2018-12-21 
Beverage carton companies launch EXTR:ACT platform to boost recycling

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) today announced that it has launched a new platform to drive the industry’s engagement in carton recycling across Europe. The platform, named EXTR:ACT – Driving Value for mulitmaterial recycling, has been set up by ACE members BillerudKorsnäs, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak to foster recycling of beverage cartons, including the non-paper components, such as polymers and aluminium.
With this new platform beverage carton industry takes additional measures to increase recycling of its packages, scale and drive value for recycling solutions and secure their long-term sustainability. It will also coordinate and drive initiatives to enhance beverage carton collection across Europe. Heike Schiffler, President of EXTR:ACT said the new platform reflected the industry’s commitment to the circular economy. “We have come a long way to reach our current recycling rate of 48% in Europe, despite the absence of a specific recycling target for beverage cartons in the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. With this new initiative and partnerships, we are confident we will be
able to achieve a significantly increased collection and recycling rate by 2025,” she said.
Sustainable recycling programmes require collaboration both in and beyond our own industry.
EXTR:ACT aims to work in partnerships with stakeholders with similar needs in recycling of composite packaging.
EXTR:ACT will be based in Frankfurt and complement ACE’s work. Along with Heike Schiffler (President), Tetra Pak’s Circular Economy Director Europe, board members are Ola Svending (Vice-President), Stora Enso’s Director Sustainability, Gatis Mazins (Tetra Pak), Tiina Pursula (Stora Enso), Elisa Gasperini (Elopak), Petra Gerber (SIG), Jannicke Jennsjö, and Malin Ljung-Eiborn (BillerudKorsnäs).

2018-12-21 
Augmented reality supports pump and valve service

On the trade fair Pollutec 2018, focused on water and environment solutions, KSB has presented its new service concept based on augmented reality. It is all about working with data glasses linked with the Internet, or with a smartphone app.

Via these devices users or technicians are guided during their service work by an expert per video and audio. The experts, looking into their screen at their usual service workplace, can assess the situation through the eyes of the person present at the site.

This helps instruct technicians who are not specialised in pumps, for example, to carry out common maintenance measures, step by step. Further, the data glasses can be used to transmit exploded views or screenshots that can then be viewed in the corresponding field.

The required spare parts can be identified and the procurement process started in order to prepare for any work that might need to be performed by a KSB service engineer. You no longer have to wait for the expert to arrive at the site to determine what is required for any repair work.

Saving time benefits the user in many ways. With the pump being returned to service within a short amount of time, production can be resumed quickly. Also, a service expert’s virtual inspection might reveal that a specific action can wait until the next revision.

The data glasses further support commissioning. They can serve to check in advance whether the installations are actually ready for commissioning. Real-life tests of this system have proven very successful.

2018-12-21 
Toscotec delivered a TADVISION® machine to a confidential customer in Latin America.

Toscotec has delivered a TADVISION® machine to a confidential customer in Latin America, as part of a major turnkey supply contract. Toscotec supplied the TAD plant as a turnkey delivery. The TADVISION® machine is equipped with a two-layer TT Headbox ML-T with dilution system, a second generation TT SYD and gas-heated TAD air system, with a high level of energy recovery. It features a trim width of 2,750 mm and has an annual production capacity of over 27,000 tons. 

The supply includes the stock preparation equipment and accessories, Toscotec’s patented TT SAF (Short Approach Flow), the fiber recovery and water system, the dust and mist removal systems, the vacuum system, the electric and control system, the Distribution Control System (DCS) for the complete plant and the Quality Control System (QCS).

The turnkey scope also comprises the compressed air system, the bridge crane, a complete pulp bales handling system, an online shaft puller, the roll handling and wrapping systems and the hall ventilation system.

As part of the service package, Toscotec will also provide the detailed mill engineering, the erection, commissioning and test runs and start-up assistance.

In June, the Italian manufacturer had presented its newly redesigned TADVISION® machine at iT’s Tissue, in Lucca, Italy. With this new design, Toscotec builds on the experience of its TAD machine that came online in the U.S. in 2004 and takes it further to obtain superior bulk and absorbency, higher production and energy efficiency. The TAD section is composed of three coated TAD drums, featuring an optimized airflow, which contributes to cutting consumption down to 4.5-5.5 MWh/ton, from the consumption of current TAD machines estimated in the range of 6.0-7.5 MWh/ton.

Toscotec’s Project Manager Pier Paolo Brunazzi says, “Thanks to the successful cooperation of the two teams, we worked out an erection schedule that could accommodate the requirements of the mill, based on the civil works’ progress. As a rule, on our turnkeys we have the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the mill, in order to advance towards our common goal. One of the main challenges we faced during the engineering phase of the project was the altitude of the mill, which stands at approximately 2,500 m above sea level. Such a high altitude inevitably affects the electric and vacuum plants, because the air is more rarefied. The advanced design of the new TADVISION® significantly reduces the overall consumption and improves efficiency. Starting from that, we had to go the extra mile and optimize the use of energy, because of the altitude factor. We are happy with the outcome of this effort, and expect to see very good results on site.”

Installation of the new plant began in September and will continue into the second quarter of 2019. Start-up is scheduled for June 2019.

2018-12-21 
Valmet to supply a new brown stock washing and screening line to Sappi Saiccor mill in South Africa

Valmet has received an order for the new magnesium oxide (MgO) no 3 brown stock washing and screening line for the Sappi Saiccor mill in South Africa. The delivery is part of the Vulindlela Project which targets to reduce the Saiccor mill’s air emissions and effluents, and to increase its total production from 783,000 ADt/a to 890,000 ADt/a. The capacity of the new MgO no 3 brown stock and screening line will be 720 ADt/d.

The order is included in Valmet’s third quarter of 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. An order with this scope of supply is usually valued in the range of EUR 5-10 million. The new line is scheduled to start up in June 2020.

The agreement is a continuation to the long-term successful cooperation of Sappi and Valmet. Valmet has earlier delivered key processes to other Sappi mills in South Africa.

"Valmet and its TwinRoll press technology was selected due to the ease of access for descaling and maintenance, high washing efficiency, low water consumption and low fugitive emissions to atmosphere," says Wayne Weston, Project Director at Sappi Saiccor projects.

"Valmet’s large reference base for fiberline key equipment, such as the TwinRoll presses for Sulphite pulp/dissolving pulp, gives confidence to our customers that we can handle their special processes. We are happy to be a part of the Vulindlela Project and it is an important breakthrough for Valmet to utilize the TwinRoll presses in the Saiccor mill," says Eva Engelfeldt, Sales Manager, Fiber Processing Business Unit, Valmet.

Valmet’s delivery includes equipment for the deknotting, screening and brown stock washing area, and auxiliaries like centrifugal pumps, field instruments, control valves, tower and tanks. The delivery also includes a service agreement on performance and reliability monitoring for the TwinRoll presses. The monitoring consists of a cloud application on the Valmet platform.

2018-12-21 
The Board of Directors of Valmet Oyj has decided on new share-based incentive plans for key employees and on the acquisition of own shares

The Board of Directors of Valmet Oyj has decided on a long-term share-based incentive plan (LTI Plan) and a new restricted shares pool (Restricted Pool) for Valmet’s key employees. The aim of the plans is to combine the objectives of the shareholders and the key employees in order to increase the value of the Company in the long run, to commit the key employees to the Company, and to offer them a competitive reward plan based on holding the Company’s shares.

The LTI Plan includes three discretionary periods, which are the calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Valmet’s Board of Directors decides on the performance criteria and targets in the beginning of each discretionary period. The potential reward from the discretionary period 2019 is based on Valmet’s Comparable EBITA margin and orders received growth (%) of the stable business, that is, the Services and Automation business lines. The potential reward from the discretionary period 2019 will be paid partly in Company shares and partly in cash in 2020. The proportion to be paid in cash is intended to cover taxes and tax-related costs arising from the reward to the key employee.

The rewarded shares from the LTI Plan may not be transferred during the restriction period, which will end two years from the end of the discretionary period. As a rule, no reward is paid if the key employee’s employment or service at Valmet ends before the reward payment. Should a key employee’s employment or service end during the restriction period, he or she must, as a rule, gratuitously return the shares given as reward to the Company.

The LTI Plan is directed to a maximum of 123 participants, of which 83 are key employees in management positions (including Executive Team members), and 40 are management talents. The rewards to be paid on the basis of the discretionary period 2019 will correspond to a maximum total of approximately 465,000 shares in Valmet Oyj, representing the gross reward before the deduction of taxes and tax-related costs arising from the reward. The estimated maximum total expense of the LTI Plan for the performance period 2019 is EUR 8.8 million.

As part of total remuneration, for example for retention purposes, the Board of Directors has also decided on an additional incentive element for 2019, the Restricted Pool, from which shares can be granted to selected key employees. Restricted pools are intended to be annually commencing, but any future restricted pool is subject to separate approval by the Board of Directors. In 2019 a maximum of 70,000 shares can be allocated to possible participants in the Restricted Pool. As a rule, the restriction period for these shares is 3 years. A precondition for the payment of the share reward based on the Restricted Pool is that the employment relationship of the individual participant with Valmet continues until the payment date of the reward.

Both the LTI Plan and the Restricted Pool include a recommendation that the members of Valmet’s Executive Team own and hold an amount of Company shares equaling to their gross annual base salary (100 percent ownership recommendation).

Acquisition of own shares

The Board of Directors of Valmet has in its meeting on December 20, 2018 decided to use the authorization granted by the General Meeting held on March 21, 2018 to acquire the Company’s own shares. Based on the authorization, the Board has decided to initiate a fixed-term share buy-back program for the purpose of acquiring the Company’s own shares to meet part of the obligations arising from the LTI Plan and the Restricted Pool incentive plans. The share acquisitions will begin at the earliest on February 8, 2019 and will end at the latest on March 4, 2019. The maximum number of shares to be acquired is 278,000, corresponding to a value of approximately EUR 5 million based on the closing share price of the last trading day preceding the date hereof. The shares will be acquired at market price in public trading on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.

2018-12-21 
Stora Enso divests Swedish packaging manufacturer June Emballage

Stora Enso has divested 100% of the shares of its Swedish subsidiary June Emballage AB to its current management team. June Emballage is a manufacturer specialized in small-batch custom-made transport packaging in corrugated board.

“We believe that June Emballage is in a better position to serve its smaller scale markets for custom-made packaging as a stand-alone supplier. Stora Enso will continue to focus on growing our core business and further develop our leading corrugated packaging offering in Sweden,” says David Ekberg, SVP and Head of Corrugated Nordics, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division.

The transaction will not have any significant impact on Stora Enso’s sales, operational EBIT or net debt.

2018-12-21 
Stora Enso partners with H&M group and Inter IKEA group to industrialize TreeToTextile

TreeToTextile AB is a joint venture between H&M group, Inter IKEA group and innovator Lars Stigsson since 2014, with the aim of developing new textile fibers in a sustainable way at attractive cost levels. Today TreeToTextile announces that Stora Enso will join this partnership, and also support the industrialization of TreeToTextile’s production process by setting up a demonstration plant at one of its Nordic facilities.

“We are excited to welcome our new partner, Stora Enso, and to share more of the innovative work that we are doing at TreeToTextile. With the help of our new partner, we will be entering an industrialization phase. The new fiber that we have developed is both sustainable and produced at a lower cost,” says Annica Karlsson, chairman of the board, TreeToTextile AB.

The four partners have an equally big stake in TreeToTextile and share the belief of a strong market for a fiber with good sustainability performance at attractive cost levels.

TreeToTextile’s process takes renewable forest raw material and regenerates the cellulose into a textile fiber. This production process uses less energy and chemicals, allowing for a much more sustainable and cost-efficient process compared to conventional technologies and fibers. 

The technology has been tested in a pilot line in Sweden and is now to be scaled up with the construction of a demonstration plant at one of Stora Enso’s Nordic facilities. Inter IKEA group and H&M group plan to use the fiber in their products, but the aim is that the entire industry should benefit from this sustainable fiber since it can be used in conventional supply chains.

“We’re very happy to join this partnership and contribute to a more sustainable textile production. Stora Enso produces dissolving pulp for textiles based on renewable and fully traceable wood from sustainably managed forests. It will be exciting to participate in the industrialization of this technology at one of our facilities to meet growing demand,” says Markus Mannström, EVP of the Stora Enso Biomaterials division.

“We welcome Stora Enso to this partnership. For us, TreeToTextile is a long-term investment as we strongly believe it will contribute to offering our customers even more sustainably produced products at affordable prices,” says Erik Karlsson, Investment Manager for Sustainable Fashion at H&M group’s investment arm CO:LAB.

“With Stora Enso as a partner we now add industrial knowledge and deep competence within the cellulose field. This together with existing consumer and textile knowledge as well as an entrepreneurial spirit brings us one step closer to our goal of introducing a new sustainable low-cost fiber for the many people,” says Lena Julle, Category Area Manager Textiles at IKEA of Sweden.

“It’s fantastic to see how the idea of utilizing forest resources for a more sustainable textile has developed from lab stage to a commercially viable product in just a few years,” says inventor and entrepreneur Lars Stigsson.

2018-12-21 
ANDRITZ to supply process technology for fiberline modernization to Iggesund Paperboard, Sweden

ANDRITZ has received an order from Holmen’s Iggesund Paperboard to supply fiberline process technology and equipment to their Iggesund mill, Sweden. Start-up is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The technology supplied by ANDRITZ will substantially contribute towards reducing emissions further and result in environmentally friendly, high-quality pulp production.

ANDRITZ’s scope of supply encompasses :
• Modernization of the brownstock washing process, including a new multi-stage DD-Washer with compact layout
• A new oxygen delignification stage for optimizing the kappa level to achieve highest possible yield and minimum chemical consumption
• Relocation of the existing screening process after the oxygen delignification stage in order to minimize fiber losses
• Bleaching plant modernization by changing the existing 5-stage bleaching system to 4-stage bleaching
• Cooler for digester blow temperature control

ANDRITZ has several hundred very successful DD-Washer installations as references around the globe. ANDRITZ DD-Washers are characterized by lowest operating costs and emissions as well as extremely good washing efficiency, based on the required number of displacement washing stages in a single unit. The DD-Washer is also very gentle to fibers, retaining all the bulk, stiffness and strength of the pulp as there is no mechanical pressing during pulp washing.

Iggesund Paperboard produces paperboard for consumer packaging and graphics printing at one mill in Sweden and one in England. The company is Europe’s leading producer of high-quality, virgin-fiber paperboard for use in the premium packaging and graphics sectors.

2018-12-21 
Paper production 4.0 - Paper producer relies on Siemens expertise for security concept and new production line

Paper maker Papierfabrik August Koehler SE (Koehler) is well on the way to becoming a digital enterprise. Its journey towards digital transformation has been supported by Siemens security concepts for the comprehensive protection of its plants and systems. Koehler has now also invested in the launch of a new “Flexible Packaging” business division which will focus on the production of paper-based, flexible and environmentally-friendly packaging solutions. Koehler decided to bring Siemens on board again to provide the power supply, drive and process control technology for its new venture. The modern solutions used have enabled the efficient, future-proof operation of a total of four paper machines and three coaters at Koehler’s Kehl mill.

As part of a series of security measures, Siemens initially drew up a concrete analysis of the current situation as the basis for a security concept designed to improve the mill’s overall security level. This provided Koehler with a clear, impartial and comprehensive picture of its digitalization and security status maturity level. The experts from Siemens then visited the site to assist Koehler with uninterrupted cyber security implementation. The solutions implemented encompassed expansion and segmentation of the company’s networks, alongside perimeter protection of its paper mills including automation firewalls.

Sustainable packaging

One aspect of Koehler’s new “Flexible Packaging” business division is a project by the name of “Green+”, which places the focus firmly on sustainability and waste prevention. With its Flex Pack portfolio, Koehler intends to offer alternative packaging systems using renewable raw materials. Integral to the project are a new paper machine with Yankee cylinder for packaging production, and an offline coater for further processing. The production capacity is planned to reach around 100,000 tons a year.

Comprehensive solution

The power supply to the machine is provided by 53-panel NXAir and 24-panel Sivacon S8 systems. The medium-voltage system is equipped with 800A and 1250A Sion circuit breakers and configured with a 2500A (ampere) busbar trunking system, providing a rated short-time withstand current of 25 kiloamperes per second. The machine is protected by devices from the Siprotec 5 series. The paper machine and offline coater and the two-drum winder involve extensive drive technology : A total of 67 drives for the paper machine with a total output of 8.8 megawatts, 162 drives for the coating machine with 5.5 megawatts, and seven drives for the slitter winder with 0.3 megawatts were installed from the Sinamics and Simotics portfolio. The Simatic PCS 7 with Sivaas visualization system is used for process control, and the total engineering scope encompasses around 5,000 process circuits.

Ideally fixed for the future

With the assurance of an ingeniously devised security concept and state-of-the-art power supply, drive and control technology, Koehler is ideally fixed to pursue its course towards Industrie 4.0 and to achieve sustainable, resource-saving manufacture of its packaging products.

2018-12-19 
Valmet to deliver key pulp mill technology for ARAUCO's new pulp line in Chile

Valmet and ARAUCO have finalized the contract to deliver pulp drying and baling, recovery boiler and biomass boiler for ARAUCO’s MAPA project. The delivery is part of ARAUCO’s major investment to expand current production capacity and build a new pulp production line at the Arauco Mill in the Bio Bío Region, Chile. A letter of award was signed and published in early October.

The order is included in Valmet’s fourth quarter of 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. However, a project of this size and scope is typically valued at EUR 250-300 million.

One of the largest pulp investments in the world

The modernization and extension of Arauco Mill involves a USD 2,350 million investment, which makes it the largest investment in ARAUCO’s history and one of the largest pulp investments in the world. The project includes the construction of a new production line, line 3, with an annual capacity of 1,560,000 tons. The new line is estimated to start operation in 2021.

"In addition to high quality pulp, the expansion project allows us to continue generating clean and renewable energy from forest biomass, due to the construction of a new biomass boiler. The boiler supplies clean energy to the mill and the surplus electricity will be delivered to the National Electrical Grid," explains Franco Bozzalla, Senior VP Pulp and Energy, ARAUCO.

"We have had good cooperation with ARAUCO for over 15 years, and we are happy to deliver key technology for the company’s state-of-the art pulp mill. This delivery is significant also for our project and technology teams globally. The project is lead from Finland and key components are produced in our own workshops. The employment impact in Finland is close to 300 man-years," says Bertel Karlstedt, Business Line President, Pulp and Energy, Valmet.

Valmet’s delivery represents the latest and most modern pulp and energy production technologies designed for productivity with reduced chemical, water, and steam consumption. The proven technology provides high reliability, safe operation and environmental performance.

The pulp drying line will have a daily capacity of 5,000 air dry tons (Adt) and consist of two complete drying machines, including four high capacity baling lines. The pulp drying machines are designed for high availability with production capacity of 2,500 tons/day and a web width of 8 meters for each machine, with a possibility for future capacity increase through debottlenecking.

The pulp drying line includes advanced process control and bale management systems, which allow high quality production continuously. The drying line also includes low energy and heat consumption technologies, contributing to a lower operational cost and minimum environmental impact.

The tailored boiler island consists of a recovery boiler with a daily capacity of 6,300 tons dry solids (tDS) and a fluidized bed power boiler with 160 MW thermal capacity. Valmet also delivers the mill-wide NCG (non-condensable gases) collection and handling solution.

The recovery boiler features Valmet’s advanced high-power features, enabling maximum energy efficiency and high electricity production, and smelt spout cleaning robot for improved safety and operator friendliness. The power boiler is tailored to burn local biomass, such as eucalyptus bark, sawdust, shavings and residues as well as sludge. Both boilers are equipped with Valmet’s ESPs (electrostatic precipitators) for excellent dust particle removal from flue gases.

2018-12-19 
Ahlstrom-Munksjö to improve energy efficiency in Turin

Ahlstrom-Munksjö will invest approximately EUR 15 million to install a new co-generation plant at its Turin site in Italy. The investment allows the combined and efficient generation of power and steam needed for the site processes. The project will begin in the first half of 2019, and is expected to be completed by the first half of 2020.

The cogeneration plant consisting of a new gas turbine and a new heat recovery steam generator will be installed in a new building adjacent to the manufacturing facilities and connected to the existing steam turbine.

“The new installations will allow a significant increase in self-production of energy, enabling the manufacturing site to produce internally almost its entire power need, while the heat recovery steam generator will cover its full steam demand. The project will not have any effects on the production of the plant, as it’s going to be installed in parallel to the existing power plant and will be connected to the process when it will be ready to operate at full capacity,” said Giorgio Mirone, Vice President Engineering & Technology, Industrial Solutions.

Pursuing continuous improvement in environmental performance is an essential part of our work at Ahlstrom-Munksjö. In operations, the company strives to effectively manage resources, developing processes that use energy, water and raw materials more efficiently, to minimize waste and emissions to water and air.

“The investment in Turin fully supports these objectives as it will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the plant and will allow significant reduction of the emissions levels. By almost eliminating purchase of external electricity the investment will strengthen the long term competitiveness of the site,” said Marco Troglia, Vice President Release Liners and Stefano Zenga, Vice President Filtration EMEA.

The Turin plant manufactures filtration and release liner products for Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Filtration and Performance and Industrial Solutions business areas, and is certified according to ISO14001, ISO50001, FSC® and PEFC™ standards for Environmental Management, Energy Management, and Chain of Custody. In 2018, Ahlstrom-Munksjö achieved Gold rating from Eco-Vadis, a collaborative platform that provides sustainability evaluation and rating for global supply chains.

2018-12-18 
Ammega: a new name in belting technology

The two world-leading suppliers in belting technology – Ammeraal Beltech and Megadyne Group – who came together in a merger in September of this year, have taken another important step in their integration. This month, they have announced a new corporate name for their joint operations : AMMEGA. 

The integration of these two companies to effectively create a new belting champion spanning industrial power transmission belting and lightweight conveyor belting is ongoing, and continues apace. The new name of AMMEGA will serve principally to unite all of its employees under a common identity and corporate vision and mission. In view of their well-established reputations in their respective markets and their different channel-to-market strategies, which will remain unchanged, their two strong brand names – Ammeraal Beltech and Megadyne – will remain as is.

“Ensuring continuity, especially in the way we serve our valued customers, is a top priority” explains Marc Maisonneuve, AMMEGA’s Corporate Marketing Director.

Under the AMMEGA umbrella, the two brands will benefit from their synergies, and will combine their knowledge, research and development activities, business systems, and, of course, their people, to enhance their level of customer service and technology. 

A mega presence
‘With over 5000 employees, more than 25 manufacturing facilities, and over 100 commercial and sales centres around the world,’ comments Stijn Vriends, CEO, ‘AMMEGA demonstrably represents a new global leader in belting, dedicated to serving its ever-broadening customer base at a time when there is dramatically-increasing demand for automation in many major industrial sectors in every geographical region. We make your business move !’

2018-12-18 
Italian packaging machinery continues its growth

The Italian packaging machinery manufacturers are expected to see further 6.8% growth this year to a turnover of 7.7 billion euros.

The growth of the Italian packaging machinery manufacturers shows no sign of stopping.

According to the preliminary figures published by the Research Department of Ucima(Italian Automatic Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Association), the sector’s turnover is expected to see further 6.8% growth to 7.7 billion euros in 2018.

Both the Italian and international markets have contributed to these results.

In 2018, export sales surpassed a value of 6 billion euros, 6.6% up on the previous year.

According to the latest available disaggregated data relating to the first eight months of the year, the area showing the best performance is North America with 27.2% growth. The USA in particular has remained the largest market for Italian technologies with record growth of +35.4%.

In second place are Africa and Australia (+15.3%), followed by the European Union(+9.6%) and South America (+2.5%). By contrast, there have been falls in exports to non-EU Europe (-5.8%) and Asia (-2.4%).

As for the rankings of individual countries, the USA is followed by France with growth of +3.1% and Germany (+1.5%).

Italy has continued its strong performance in 2018 with revenues of 1.6 billion euros (+7.5%).

“This is in no small part due to the Industry 4.0 Plan, which has boosted the take-up of our companies’ most innovative technologies by Italian customers, although the recovery of the market is another contributing factor,” said Ucima’s Chairman Enrico Aureli.

“However, we are concerned about the economic and social policies pursued by the current Italian government, which pay scant attention to the world of production and risk marginalising Italy on the European stage,” continued Aureli.

“In 2019 we expect to see a slight slowdown in growth,” he said. “According to data processed by our Research Department, orders are expected to grow at a rate of between 1 and 1.5%.”

2018-12-18 
UPM and United Bankers' forest funds have signed a contract on forest estate transaction and long-term partnership

UPM and United Bankers have today signed a contract on forest estate transaction and long-term partnership. UPM sells over 21,000 hectares of land, located mainly in Kainuu region, to United Bankers forest funds UB Timberland and UB Nordic Forest Fund III. In the long-term partnership UPM commits to manage United Bankers forest property and United Bankers commits to sell a significant amount of wood to UPM annually.

Target of the partnership is to increase the area and yield of forests owned by United Bankers subsidiary UB Fund Management Company Ltd’s forest funds. A long-term wood trade agreement will enhance predictability in the future.

"United Bankers is the fastest growing player in the forest estate market and our target is to grow also in the future. Deepening cooperation with UPM brings synergy to our forest management. As a responsible and competitive actor, UPM is a natural partner for us and the contract is thus also to the benefit of our fund owners," states United Bankers’ CEO Patrick Anderson.

UPM offers high quality forestry and wood trade services to its customers.

"A high proportion of forests owned by United Bankers’ forest funds is managed by UPM based on the long-term partnership. Target is to increase the value of forests by sustainable operations," states UPM’s Forest Director Sauli Brander. "This contract also strengthens our wood sourcing in Finland," Brander continues.

UPM is one of the biggest forest owners in Finland. The group owns 514,000 hectares of forest land in Finland, 75,000 in the US and 225,000 hectares of plantations in Uruguay.

2018-12-18 
Valmet to supply a new baling line and cutter layboy upgrade to Sappi Saiccor pulp mill in South Africa

Valmet has received an order for a new baling line and a cutter layboy rebuild as part of the Vulindlela project at the Sappi Saiccor mill in South Africa. The start-up of the rebuilt cutter and the new baling line is scheduled for the third quarter of 2019.

The order was included in Valmet’s third quarter of 2018 orders received. An order with this scope of supply is usually valued around EUR 4 million.

The overall targets for the Vulindlela project are to reduce the environmental footprint of the mill and to increase its total production from 783 000 ADt/a to 890 000 ADt/a.

"Valmet was selected as the supplier of this equipment for their cost effective and innovative solution that meets the required production rate," says Wayne Weston, Vulindlela Project Director, Sappi.

"We are pleased to receive this order from Sappi and see our long and good cooperation continue along with this project. This time we can also offer automation services close to the customer through our office in Durban, which we hope will add value to the overall project," says Ulf Thorén, Sales Manager, Wood and Pulp Handling Business Unit, Valmet.

Valmet’s delivery includes a new cross cutter roll, new baling line machinery with a bale quality system. In addition, a bale quality system will be installed on the existing baling line. The existing conveyors between the cutter and the new baling line will be upgraded to fit the new production. The capacity of the new baling line will be 1200 ADt/d.

2018-12-18 
Valmet to supply automation technology to Pori Energia's new Aittaluoto biomass power plant in Pori, Finland

Valmet will supply automation technology to Pori Energia Oy’s Aittaluoto biomass power plant in Pori, Finland. The target of the company’s Aittaluoto 2020 project is to replace the outdated low-efficiency power plant processes, decrease the use of fossil fuels in energy production, and meet the operational requirements of the industry in the area. The modernization will decrease the CO2 emissions of the Aittaluoto power plant by 88,000 tons annually. Valmet’s automation will improve plant availability and emissions control.

The order is included in Valmet’s fourth quarter 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. Typically, the value of this kind of automation system deliveries ranges from below EUR one million to EUR three million. The modernized biomass power plant will start its operation in the summer of 2020.

The existing Aittaluoto power plant already uses Valmet’s automation systems, and the two companies have cooperated closely over a longer period of time to develop Pori Energia’s automation level.

"Integrating the automation system of the new biomass power plant seamlessly with our existing system will provide us with significant savings both in operating and maintaining the plant," says Matti Rintanen, Managing Director of Pori Energia.

"I want to thank Pori Energia for their confidence in Valmet with this important project. I am especially happy that we have been selected to supply automation to all major bioenergy projects in Finland this year - in Pori, Lahti and Oulu. Our customers’ trust gives us a solid foundation to further develop our operations in the bioenergy sector in the coming years," states Olli Koivumäki, Sales Director, Automation, Valmet.

In February 2018, Valmet announced an order for a flue gas condensation and heat recovery system for the same plant.

Valmet’s delivery includes a Valmet DNA automation system, a safety system and an information management system with applications for emissions control and boiler performance monitoring. Additionally, the delivery includes system engineering, installation, commissioning and training.

2018-12-17 
Lessebo Paper invests 50 million SEK in pulp mill!

There is a long history of pulp production at Lessebo Paper. Thanks to a 50 Million SEK investment, the pulp will be re-commissioned mid-2019, resulting in 20-25 new jobs.

2018-12-14 
Unique steel belt press for high strength wood-containing paper inaugurated

A new steel belt has been inaugurated at MoRe in which strong packaging material from high yield pulp can be developed. The idea is to create prerequisites for today’s newsprint and magazine paper mills to modify their paper machines and pulp processes into production of packaging material which in several aspects are better than the present based on chemical pulp.

In a common project IPCO, MoRe Research, Mid Sweden University and industrial parties have created a unique steel belt press prototype in order to increase strength characteristics in lignin containing paper. IPCO has designed the steel belt press which is installed at MoRe Research. Pressure, temperature and speed can be varied in this press in order to evaluate and optimize process conditions. The steel belt press simulates industry conditions and will be an important step in commercialization of this technology.

“With our test results we hope that the steel belt technology will be accepted by the forest industry as an effective means of producing new materials based on wood. We believe that there is a potential to develop more applications. The cooperation with MoRe Research and Mid Sweden University is an excellent way of finding a new and exciting usage for our technology,” says Cherryleen Garcia-Lindgren, Global Innovation Manager at IPCO.

A PhD work to optimize the process is one part of this project.
“The goal of my postgraduate project is to develop strong packaging materials with a high wet strength based on high yield pulp,” says Tove Joelsson, PhD student at FORIC, the Mid Sweden University industrial research school, and working at MoRe Research. “Wet strength has a huge potential to replace plastic in many of the current types of packaging. Another important aim is to create prerequisites for production of TMP or CTMP at paper mills and modify paper machines for production of new packaging material.”

“It has been a great pleasure to work with MoRe Research in this research project and we have had great use of their new pilot plant,” says Per Engstrand, Professor Mechanical fibre technology, Mid Sweden University. “Our aim is to develop an environmentally friendly packaging paper from mechanical pulp with high wet strength.”

The steel belt press was inaugurated and demonstrated 13 December in the presence of representatives from MoRe, IPCO and Mid Sweden University as well as from the project group and financiers.

2018-12-14 
Stora Enso makes an environmental investment in Sweden

Stora Enso will invest EUR 22 million (SEK 232 million) at Skoghall Mill in Sweden in an expansion of the existing water treatment plant. Increased capacity and new, modern technology will enhance the water treatment process at the mill. This will reduce the environmental impact of the operations and help to meet future environmental requirements.

In the water used in the production of cartons, small particles of wood fibre remain. By expanding the plant, the separation of sludge is improved, which in turn improves the quality of the water that is returned to the near-by Lake Vänern. The sludge can also be used as biofuel.

“We always strive to use as much of the wood as possible, to find new uses for our by-products, and to minimise our environmental footprint,” says Margareta Sandström, Environmental Manager at the Skoghall Mill.

The project consists of three larger pools for more efficient sedimentation, along with associated process and control systems. Work is due to start immediately and is expected to continue until early 2020.

“This is another example of an environmentally sustainable investment which, even at start-up, has a direct positive impact. It’s also a key element of the continued development of the Skoghall Mill,” says Hans Olsson, Head of Technology and Investments at Skoghall Mill.

2018-12-14 
Valmet's seasonal donation to Save the Children Yemen Response

Valmet continues its holiday season tradition to support selected global humanitarian and conservation organizations. Every year Valmet’s personnel votes for the donation target, and this year the support goes to Save the Children Yemen Response.

With a EUR 20,000 donation Valmet supports Save the Children’s work in Yemen in delivering the needed aid, food and clean water for children and their families. Health clinics of Save the Children provide health care for children suffering from malnutrition and diseases, while those who are at risk of exploitation and abuse are helped to stay safe.

"For Save the Children it is especially important to know, that it has been the Valmet employees who have chosen to support this important cause. As we are doing all we can to help the children in war torn Yemen, with this kind of donations we are able to continue our work in the challenging conditions and bring help to even greater number of children in need. It is not too much to say, that this kind of support coming from corporates is really saving lives," says Anne Haaranen, Director for International Programs at Finnish Save the Children.

With the amount of Valmet’s donation Save the Children ground team in Yemen can for example provide enough nutritious peanut paste to save lives of more than 600 severely malnourished children.

"Supporting global humanitarian and conservation organizations is an important tradition for Valmet’s personnel and an essential part of our sustainability agenda. It is always a pleasure to see how actively people vote for our seasonal donation," says Anu Salonsaari-Posti, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Valmet.

Save the Children is a politically and religiously independent non-governmental organization, which fights for children’s rights in order to immediately and permanently improve children’s lives all over the world. Save the Children operates in over 100 countries to improve children’s lives.

2018-12-13 
Sustainable packaging solution for takeaway food wins Kemira's innovation challenge

Kemira, a global chemicals company serving customers in water intensive industries, is happy to announce the winner of the "Food for Thought" innovation challenge - looking for new business models and alternatives to single use plastics in food packaging.

The winning team of food packaging and behaviour design professionals, represented by Janne Asikainen and Riitta Mettomäki, is called Koepala. At the end of an intensive 2-day camp organized jointly by Kemira and the Industryhack innovation platform, Koepala presented a sustainable and functional packaging solution for takeaway food. The Kemira jury chose the winners among four teams that were invited to participate in the camp.

"Koepala’s proposal is very concrete and responded well to our challenge. It can be piloted in a short time frame and we see potential in it. A great big thanks to all teams for their interest and participation, it is truly inspirational to collaborate with these bright minds," says Sami Puttonen, Senior Manager from Kemira’s Pulp & Paper segment.

2018-12-13 
UPM plans to invest EUR 2 billion in a new mill to be located near the city of Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay.

The new mill would have capacity to produce about 2 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp annually.

A year ago UPM and the government of Uruguay signed an investment agreement which outlines the local prerequisites for a potential pulp mill. The agreement details the roles, commitments and timeline for both parties as well as the relevant items to be agreed prior to the final investment decision. Currently UPM is carrying out technical studies and applying for the necessary permits.

“A pulp mill investment of this scale requires efficient logistics to enable secure wood supply and pulp deliveries from the inland mill to the port of Montevideo. This will require the construction of a modern railway to the port and a modern pulp terminal as well as development of the road network,” says Petri Hakanen, Senior Vice President of the UPM Uruguay Development Project.

The new railway would provide transport opportunities not only for forestry but also for other businesses like grain and wooden products, while also increasing Uruguay’s export competitiveness worldwide.
“We need to ensure that infrastructure development and the permit processes move forward as planned. These are the most significant requirements at this stage,” says Hakanen.
Boost to local economy

The new pulp mill would have various positive impacts on Uruguay, providing the community with jobs, training and improved infrastructure. The mill’s location is in the least developed area of the country, potentially providing a major spur for rapid regional development similar to the earlier example of Fray Bentos.

The new pulp mill is estimated to increase GDP by two per cent. It would boost the local economy and fuel the growth of hundreds of small and medium sized companies throughout the entire value chain. It would also generate a significant number of permanent jobs in industry, plantations, harvesting, port operations and related services.

2018-12-13 
“Ma Learning Fab” : Official Opening in Paris

“Ma Learning Fab”, an e-learning platform dedicated to the French paper branch, was officially inaugurated on December 12 in Paris. The event took place in CNAM (Conservatoire national des Arts & Métiers). Many professionals from the paper industry were present. This platform is the first one launched in France within a whole industrial sector. Among the speakers : Mathieu Dufour, Unidis’ General Delegate, Isabelle Margain, Afifor Director and Carine Chevrier, General Delegate to Employment and General Training (DGEFP, which reports to Labor Ministry).

2018-12-13 
Valmet receives second tissue line order from Century Pulp and Paper in India

Valmet has been chosen to supply a tissue production line to Century Pulp and Paper (CPP) in India. The new Valmet Advantage tissue line will be installed at CPP’s mill in Lalkua, India.

The order is included in Valmet’s fourth quarter 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

The order is Valmet’s second tissue machine delivery to CPP’s Lalkua mill. Cooperation between the companies started in 2008 when CPP’s first Valmet tissue machine was installed.

"We are excited to be the first company in India to install a tissue line equipped with an Advantage ViscoNip press. The combination of the state-of-the-art pressing technology and Advantage ReDry will provide significant energy savings, uniform moisture profile and nip load flexibility up to 150 kN/m," says J.P. Narain, CEO, Century Pulp and Paper. "The new production line will add over 36,000 tonnes of high-quality facial tissue, toilet tissue, kitchen towel and napkin grades to the company’s current annual production capacity."

The tissue paper market in India is growing rapidly in respect of both capacity and quality, and with the new Valmet tissue machine, CPP will strengthen its market position.

"Century Pulp and Paper is moving the region’s tissue business forward, which requires the highest performance and world-leading technologies. We are proud that CPP once again selected Valmet’s Advantage tissue technology, and we look forward to continuously developing our cooperation and contributing to the company’s strong expansion," says Tomas Karlsson, Sales Director, Valmet.

The new tissue Advantage DCT 100HS tissue machine, TM 7, will have a width of 2.85 m and a design speed of 2,000 m/min. The machine will be equipped with an OptiFlo headbox and a 16-foot Yankee cylinder. It will also feature the Advantage tissue technologies AirCap and Hot Air system, as well as a SoftReel A reel. It also features the new ReDry technology, a novel way to recover energy from hood exhaust air to heat the web before drying. In combination with the ViscoNip press, it has proven to provide significant energy savings and quality improvements. The raw material is virgin fiber, and the production line is optimized to save energy and enhance the quality of the final product.

2018-12-13 
Moody’s lowers outlook for global & European paper, packaging and forest products industries on lower-than-expected earnings

Moody’s : Outlook for global paper, packaging and forest products industry revised to stable on lower-than-expected earnings

 Outlook for global paper, packaging and forest products industry changed to stable from positive
 Aggregate operating income forecast revised to 2%-4% from 4%-6%

The outlook for the global paper, packaging and forest products industry has been changed to stable from positive, Moody’s Investors Service said today. In the new report, Moody’s notes that the consolidated operating income of the 44 rated paper and forest product companies will be lower than originally expected in the coming 12 to 18 months, while global GDP growth will also slow.

“The stable outlook for the global paper, packaging and forest products industry reflects operating income in the 2%-4% range over the next one to two years and is driven by lower prices and weaker demand, as well as higher input costs across most subsectors in most regions,” said Ed Sustar, a Moody’s Senior Vice President.

The outlooks for the North American and European paper, packaging and forest products industries likewise have been revised to stable from positive. Operating income for rated North American firms is expected to grow 1%-3% over the next 12-18 months, and these firms represent about 55% of the global rated industry’s operating earnings. European companies’ operating income is expected to grow 2%-4% over the same period, with these firms accounting for around 25% of the global total.

Meanwhile, the outlook for the Latin American paper, packaging and forest products industry remains positive. Moody’s projects that the earnings of rated Latin American firms will grow 6%-8% in the next year or so on the back of increased production volumes from the ramp-up of capacity additions and productivity improvements. Latin American producers represent about 20% of the global rated industry’s operating income.

2018-12-12 
Valmet to supply a web monitoring system to Mayr-Melnhof Karton in Frohnleiten, Austria

Valmet will supply a Valmet IQ Web Monitoring System to Mayr-Melnhof Karton’s KM3 board machine in Frohnleiten, Austria. The system will improve the overall production efficiency.

The order is included in Valmet’s fourth quarter 2018 orders received. Typically, the order value of these kinds of automation system deliveries is below EUR one million.

"Valmet IQ Web Monitoring System is one of the biggest and most sophisticated web monitoring systems in the world. Our leading technology fits perfectly to Mayr-Melnhof Group’s strategy to implement innovative solutions. Also, we see this project as a long-term partnership to provide Industrial Internet tools to further enhance the customer’s cost competitiveness," says Peter Lengauer, Manager, Pulp & Paper Sales, Austria & Eastern Europe, Automation, Valmet.

Information about Valmet’s delivery

Valmet’s delivery consists of a Valmet IQ Web Monitoring System (WMS) with 51 cameras throughout the whole production process on KM3. The high-speed cameras will monitor critical process areas and help the operators analyze the root causes of web runnability disturbances.

Key benefits for the mill are faster break recovery and preventive troubleshooting with leading technology camera equipment and video analysis tools. With a trim width of 4.4 m, KM3 produces recycled and barrier coated cartonboard in the weight range from 230 to 380 gsm.

2018-12-12 
Feldmuehle strengthens its core competence and focuses on wet-strength label papers and flexible packaging papers

Feldmuehle GmbH will focus on the production of specialty papers in the future, i.e. wet - and alkali-resistant label papers as well as flexible packaging papers. On November 19, 2018, Feldmuehle GmbH filed for an application with the competent local court in Pinneberg to open insolvency proceedings under its own administration pursuant to Sections 270, 270 a para. 1 InsO (German Insolvency Act). Following the management’s application, the Pinneberg local court ordered the provisional self-administration on the same day (71 IN 238/18).

Dr. Dietmar Penzlin of Schmidt-Jortzig Petersen Penzlin Insolvenzverwaltung Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, Hamburg, was appointed as provisional administrator.

The restructuring of the company in the context of self-administration provides for all necessary measures to improve the profitability and thus sustainable competitiveness of the company.

The focus is the concentration on the product sector specialty papers, i.e. wet-and alkali-resistant label papers as well as flexible packaging papers.

The production of graphic papers is discontinued. In this connection, the paper machine 2 is shut down. The new business model requires staffing, i.e. the workforce is reduced to around 180 employees. The employees leaving the
company are offered to switch to a transfer company in order to further qualify for the job market.

The management presented the overall concept on December 7, 2018, as part of an employee meeting with simultaneous commencement of the negotiation of the social plan with the works council.

2018-12-12 
The future of employment, the circular economy or the waste management in the paper industry, the main discussion topics at SPAPER 2019

SPAPER is organised by Zaragoza Exhibition Center and will be held from 5th to 7th of Febrary, 2019. The International exhibition of machinery and equipment for pulp, paper and carboard has the participation of more than seventy companies such as Bellmer, Valmet, Andritz, Siemens, Porteca, Ferpal, Veolia, Voith y Kadant.

Furthermore, SPAPER has the support of the Paper Cluster, the ASPAPEL Association, two of the leading professional organizations in the paper production sector and REPACAR, the most important Spanish Recycling Association.

In addition to offering a large exhibition area, SPAPER will feature conference and presentations by the main paper industry associations, covering subjects such as : the future of employment, the circular economy, the waste management and energy management, the recycling and the protection of environment.

Zaragoza (Spain) will become in the epicenter of the paper and water industries from 5th to 7th of Febrary, the date that will be take place SPAPER 2019 and SMAGUA, the latter being a reference event for the water sector in Southern Europe since 1974.

2018-12-11 
Kadant Appoints Erin L. Russell as New Independent Director

Kadant Inc. today announced that Erin L. Russell has been appointed to the Company’s board of directors, effective January 1, 2019. Ms. Russell, whose term will begin on January 1, 2019, was appointed to the class of directors the term for which expires at Kadant’s 2021 annual meeting of stockholders.

Ms. Russell joins Kadant’s board with 16 years of experience as a private equity investor. She most recently served as a Principal at Vestar Capital Partners, L.P., a middle-market private equity firm that specializes in management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity investments. Ms. Russell served for ten years on the board of directors of DynaVox Inc., a then-publicly traded communications device manufacturer, including as the chair of its audit committee. She also served on the boards of directors of several private companies as a representative of Vestar.

Before joining Vestar, Ms. Russell attended Harvard Business School, and prior to business school, she was a mergers and acquisitions analyst at PaineWebber.

“I am excited to welcome Erin as a director,” said William Rainville, chairman of the board of directors. “She brings to the board a strategic business mindset and a strong understanding of operational challenges and opportunities across companies in a variety of industries through her private equity and mergers and acquisitions experience.”

“It is an honor to be appointed to Kadant’s board,” said Ms. Russell. “I look forward to working with the board and management as the Company continues to grow and expand its offerings.”

2018-12-11 
P&G Named One of America’s Best Corporate Citizens and Best Managed Companies

The Procter & Gamble Company was recognized today as the eighth Most JUST Company in America and first among personal care companies, according to Forbes and JUST Capital, a nonprofit that ranks the largest publicly traded corporations in the United States on the issues Americans care about most. The ranking compares America’s companies head-to-head, based on performance in environmental sustainability, employee treatment, community support, product impacts and sourcing responsibly.

The JUST Capital rankings encompass nearly 1,000 of the largest publicly-traded companies in the U.S. and are based on comprehensive surveys conducted on public attitudes toward corporate behavior, involving 9,000 American respondents in 2018 and more than 81,000 over the past four years. Forbes calls the JUST 100, “a report card for corporate America, the 100 companies that are setting the standard in just behavior ; if more corporations follow their lead, short term profits could translate into long term wealth for more Americans.”

“We’re honored to be recognized by Forbes and JUST Capital as one of the top companies in their America’s Most JUST Company list,” said David Taylor, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. “Being a good corporate citizen is foundational to who we are as a company. We give back to communities where we live and work, start conversations that enable inclusion and equality and strive to do the right thing for the environment. We’re proud to do our part to make a positive difference in the world and be a force for good and a force for growth.”

“America’s Most JUST Companies consistently outperform their peers in job creation, wages, work-life balance, environmental impact, and return on equity,” said Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital. “Aligning corporate behavior with the priorities of the American people is good for communities and good for business.”

This recognition comes on the heels of P&G’s ranking by the Drucker Institute as one of the Most Effectively Managed Companies in America. P&G ranked in the top ten among hundreds of Fortune 500, S&P 500 and other large-cap companies evaluated on overall corporate effectiveness. The Drucker Institute ranking is determined by five dimensions of corporate performance—Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Development, Innovation, Social Responsibility and Financial Strength—and P&G was one of only seven companies to score above the mean in all five categories.

Both rankings follow P&G’s release of its 2018 Citizenship Report , which details progress of the Company’s Citizenship priorities : Ethics and Corporate Responsibility, Community Impact, Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equality and Environmental Sustainability. Highlights of the report include how P&G is bringing the comforts of home to those impacted by disasters, continuing to spark conversations about diversity, inclusion and gender equality with its advertising, and making a meaningful impact on the environment with ambitious new 2030 goals including a vision to ensure that none of the Company’s packaging ends up in the world’s oceans.

2018-12-11 
Buckman adds new leadership to deliver differential solutions to customers

  Buckman, a global company specializing in innovative chemical and smart solutions, announced three additions to its leadership team including chief operating officer, chief digital officer and chief information officer. The new roles further show Buckman’s commitment to invest in talent that strengthens the company’s expertise in both smart and chemical solutions for its customers.

Anthony Rindone will serve as Buckman’s chief operating officer responsible for all of Buckman’s global manufacturing operations and supply chain with a strong focus on operational excellence, safety and efficiency. His direct experience in the chemical industry helps Buckman continue to invest in new technology and optimize operations around the world to offer the highest value products and services to customers.

Dr. Naraimha Rao will serve as Buckman’s chief digital officer where his focus will be on constructing and executing a customer-focused digital strategy that further solidifies Buckman’s position in providing customer-specific chemical solutions with the benefits of smart technologies. His strong educational and professional background allows him to build upon Buckman’s recent customer successes with smart technologies, like ECHOWISE®, in even more markets around the world.

Rahul Goturi joins Buckman as its chief information officer where he will be responsible for leading the company’s internal digital transformation with a focus on technology investments and cyber security infrastructure.

“For 73 years, Buckman has been dedicated to providing strong product innovation to the industries we serve,” said Junai Maharaj, Buckman’s CEO and president. “Today, we are pioneering digitally-enabled knowledge management and combining it to deliver what our customers need and expect. That’s more than chemistry…it’s information they can act on. As customers undoubtedly look for more connectivity, data, insights and control into their processes, we will be ready with the latest chemical, digital and human solutions that ensure their success.”

The COO, CDO and CIO will be based in Memphis, Tennessee where Buckman’s global headquarters is located.

2018-12-11 
Kadant to Acquire Syntron Material Handling

Kadant Inc.has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Syntron Material Handling Group, LLC and certain of its affiliates from entities affiliated with Levine Leichtman Capital Partners for approximately $179 million in cash, subject to certain customary adjustments. Syntron is a leading provider of material handling equipment and systems to various process industries, including mining, aggregates, food processing, packaging, and pulp and paper. The company manufactures conveying and vibratory equipment at its facilities in Tupelo, Mississippi and Changshu, China under the Link-Belt® and Syntron® brands.

“Our acquisition of Syntron provides Kadant with premier products and services that extend our footprint into new process industries,” said Jonathan Painter, president and chief executive officer of Kadant. “Like Kadant, Syntron’s technology adds high value to critical processes in resource-intensive industries and is a leader in its markets with a history of stable earnings and a strong aftermarket business. In addition, Syntron has an excellent management team which we expect will make a strong contribution to our business.”

“Syntron and Kadant both offer market-leading products and technologies that deliver exceptional value to their customers,” commented Andy Blanchard, chief executive officer of Syntron Material Handling. “We are excited to be joining Kadant and we believe there are numerous opportunities to leverage both companies’ competitive advantages.”

Syntron has approximately 250 employees worldwide and its trailing twelve months revenue ended October 31, 2018 was approximately $89 million.
Kadant also announced that prior to entering into the purchase agreement to acquire Syntron, it entered into a limited consent under the Company’s existing credit agreement, pursuant to which lenders under the credit agreement agreed to limit certain funding conditions under the agreement with respect to loans the Company may request to fund a portion of its acquisition of Syntron. The acquisition is expected to close in January 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial adviser to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

2018-12-11 
UPM increases the fair value of its forest assets in Finland and changes the accounting policy of forest renewal costs

Higher forest growth increases the fair value of forests

UPM increases the IFRS fair value of its forest assets in Finland, mainly due to higher forest growth estimates. In addition, the company adjusts its long-term wood price estimates slightly. The impact of these changes on the fair value of forest assets is approximately EUR 320 million and will be reported as an item affecting comparability in Q4 2018 under Other operations.

The updated forest growth model indicates higher forest growth volumes that are explained mainly by sustainable forest management.

"UPM’s own forests are strategic source for UPM’s wood supply. Active, timely and sustainable forest management combined with high quality seedling material have increased UPM’s own forests’ growth significantly over the years. Increasing forest growth and carbon sequestration enable higher sustainable harvesting volumes from UPM’s own forests now and in the future," says Sauli Brander, Senior Vice President, Wood Sourcing and Forestry Northern Europe.

UPM continues to estimate a declining trend of real wood prices in Finland with a slightly slower rate than previously. The pre-tax discount rate used to determine the fair value of the Finnish forests remains at 7.0%.

There is no significant change in the fair value of Uruguayan plantations. The pre-tax discount rate used to determine the fair value of the plantations increases from 9.5% to 9.9%.

Accounting policy change of forest renewal costs due to higher share of Southern hemisphere plantations

From 1 January 2019, UPM will change its accounting policy relating to forest assets by capitalising forestry renewal costs on the balance sheet during the growth cycle and reclassifying forest assets-related cash flows from operating cash flow to investing cash flow. Currently UPM recognises forestry renewal costs in income statement and reports forest assets-related cash flows, including forest renewal costs, forest asset purchases and sales, in operating cash flow.

UPM has consistently increased the weight of the Southern hemisphere plantations in its forest asset portfolio, where the growth cycle is significantly shorter and significance of forestry renewal cost substantially higher compared to the Northern hemisphere. Majority of UPM’s forest renewal costs are related to Southern hemisphere plantations. Thus, the change of accounting policy results in more relevant information on group’s financial performance and cash flows.

The change will impact the following key figures in UPM group, UPM Biorefining Business Area and Other operations : EBITDA, EBITDA margin, operating and investing cash flows, operating cash flow per share and net debt to EBITDA ratio. There will be no impact on EBIT, comparable EBIT and balance sheet. The historical figures will be restated according to the new reporting principles and presented in the tables below.

As published
 EBITDA, EURm4874254491.631
     % of sales18.416.417.916.3
 Operating cash flow, EURm4343292081.558
 Operating cash flow per share, EUR0.810.620.392.92
 Investing cash flow-61-62-54-222
 Net debt to EBITDA (last 12 m.)
 EBITDA, EURm4974424561.677
    % of sales18.717.118.216.8
 Operating cash flow, EURm4053282141.460
 Operating cash flow per share, EUR0.760.610.402.74
 Investing cash flow-33-61-59-124
 Net debt to EBITDA (last 12 m.)

At the end of Q3 2018, the fair value of UPM’s forest assets in the balance sheet was EUR 1,607 million. The group owns approximately 535,000 hectares forest land in Finland, 75,000 in the US and 255,000 hectares of plantations in Uruguay.

2018-12-10 
Wood-based innovations made an appearance at Independence Day Reception in Finland

Stora Enso has an investment under way to meet the growing demand for wood-based textiles and significantly increase the dissolving pulp capacity of its Enocell Mill in Finland ; dissolving pulp is used as a raw material in the textile industry. Stora Enso promotes wood-based innovations together with its customers and partners.

Pure by Stora Enso is a wood-based dissolving pulp that was used as a raw material in the evening gown made by Aalto University for Finland’s First Lady Jenni Haukio, who wore it at the Independence Day Reception. Stora Enso supports the new method of producing textile fibres developed by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki and supplies dissolving pulp as the raw material for the project. The textile fibre used in Haukio’s gown was produced using the new Ioncell method.

“We are pleased that Jenni Haukio has chosen renewable wood fibre as the material for her ball gown. We support the development work behind wood-based textiles on a long-term basis throughout the value chain to increase the share of wood-based textiles, as we believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from wood tomorrow,” says Sirpa Välimaa, Product Manager, Dissolving Pulp, Stora Enso.

“Stora Enso is now ramping up its production of dissolving pulp, as demand for wood-based textile fibres is growing faster than all other types of textile fibres. Currently only around 7% of the world’s textiles are wood-fibre based, and fossil raw materials are used in roughly 70% of textiles. Dissolving pulp made from wood is being used to replace, for example, cotton and various oil-based materials, such as polyester, in the textile industry.”

The Enocell mill, part of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division, has been producing dissolving pulp since 2012. The mill is currently being converted to focus entirely on the production of dissolving pulp. After the conversion, it will have an annual dissolving pulp capacity of 430 000 metric tonnes. The EUR 52 million investment was announced in October 2017, and the work is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.

2018-12-10 

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