Breaking News
Bo Risberg leaves the Board of Directors of Valmet Oyj after the Annual General Meeting 2019

The Chaiman of the Board of Directors of Valmet Oyj, Mr. Bo Risberg has on August 23, 2018 announced that due to personal reasons, he will not be available for the re-election to the Board of Directors of Valmet at the Annual General Meeting 2019. Bo Risberg has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Valmet since 2015.

2018-08-28 
Six finalists for Metsä Board at the 2018 European Carton Excellence Award

Pro Carton and ECMA have recently revealed the finalists for the European Carton Excellence Award 2018, with six out of 36 finalists produced from Metsä Board’s paperboards. Each of these finalist cartons were submitted by Metsä Board customers into the following categories : Frozen & Chilled Foods, Fast/Convenience Foods, Dry Foods & Beverages, Confectionery, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals and Non-Food.

“We are extremely excited that once again a wide selection of cartons using our paperboards have been selected as finalists,” Mika Paljakka, VP Sales EMEA, Metsä Board. “As the focus is now to reduce the use of non-renewable materials and meet consumer needs for total safety and an improved user experience, we firmly believe that our fresh fibre paperboards are well positioned to meet these requirements. When our paperboards are combined with cutting-edge design, as shown by the quality of the entries received for these awards, the benefits are universal.”

All the entries can be viewed and voted for by visiting www.procarton.com. Public voting closes on 16 September and the winners will be announced at the Award Gala in Riga, Latvia on 20 September.

The European Carton Excellence Awards attract hundreds of entries, with the jury looking for excellence in design, convenience, brand communication and the major role cartonboard plays as a sustainable packaging material.

The finalists using Metsä Board’s paperboards are :
Carton Producer : Qualvis Print & Packaging
Brand Owner : Asda

Carton Producer : Acket drukkerij kartonnage
Brand Owner : LambWeston/Meijer
Carton Producer : Mayr-Melnhof Packaging UK
Brand Owner : Mondelēz International

Carton Producer : Artigrafiche Reggiane & Lai
Brand Owner : Soleko

Carton Producer : Karl Knauer
Brand Owner : Wiha Werkzeuge

Carton Producer : Model
Brand Owner : Emmi Schweiz

2018-08-28 
Crecia-Kasuga started up a Valmet Advantage Tissue machine in Japan

Crecia-Kasuga Co., Ltd has successfully started up a new tissue line, jointly delivered by Valmet and Kawanoe Zoki Co., Ltd., at the company’s new production facility in Fuji, Japan.

2018-08-28 
Renova going plastic-free with the "Paper Pack"

A new range of white toilet tissue, without any dyes or perfumes, perfectly wrapped in paper, with the same 4 roll pack size and the same recommended retail price.

2018-08-28 
Valmet to supply an extensive paper machine grade conversion rebuild for Burgo Group in Italy

Valmet will supply an extensive paper machine grade conversion rebuild and a wide scope of automation for Burgo Group S.p.A. at its Verzuolo Mill in Italy.

2018-08-27 
ANDRITZ receives order to supply two tissue machines to Taison Pulp, China

ANDRITZ has received an order from Taison Pulp (Group) Co., Ltd. to supply two PrimeLineST W8 tissue machines, including stock preparation and automation systems, for their mill in Suzhou, Anhui province, China. The machines will produce up to 120,000 tons of tissue per year and are designed for grammages from 12 to 42 g/m2 used for facial and toilet paper. Start-up is scheduled for 2019.

The two tissue machines have a design speed of 1,800 meters per minute and a paper width on reel of 5.6 meters, and they are equipped with the ANDRITZ PrimeControl automation system for an optimized production process.

The combination of an 18ft PrimeDry Steel Yankee with the steam-heated hood enables highly efficient drying with substantial energy savings compared to conventional dryer sections with cast Yankee dryers and gas-heated hoods. The steel Yankee will be manufactured at ANDRITZ China’s Yankee business center in Foshan, which offers customers state-of-the-art manufacturing, local field service, and quality management.

The scope of supply also includes the stock preparation system, comprising two lines to process short fiber pulp and a mixture of bamboo and long fiber pulp as raw materials, as well as the approach system and Disc Filter Savealls for fiber recovery. Market pulp bales are dissolved in ANDRITZ FibreSolve FSV pulpers, which enable efficient slushing without damaging the fibers. Six ANDRITZ TwinFlo double disc refiners achieve superior fiber properties with regard to fiber length and fibrillation. ModuScreen HBE screens protect the tissue machine and ensure highest runability.

This order once again confirms ANDRITZ’s strong market position as one of the leading suppliers of machines and systems to the Chinese tissue industry.

2018-08-10 
Valmet will supply BCTMP plant conversion, slab press and conveyor systems to Estonian Cell pulp mill in Estonia

Valmet has received an order from Estonian Cell which will be delivered in two stages. In the first stage, Valmet will supply a conversion of the existing bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp plant, which will increase production and reduce steam, fresh water and chemical consumption. In the second stage, Valmet will deliver a slab press and conveyor systems with connecting control system. The new machinery will boost production capacity and make the line more cost-efficient. The second stage will increase the annual production volume.

Valmet’s delivery is part of Estonian Cell’s EUR 20 million growth investment program that will enable the company to achieve an annual production capacity of 185,000 tons and improve the plant’s efficiency. In 2017, the production capacity of Estonian Cell was 171,708 tons of aspen pulp and all production was exported.

The order was included in Valmet’s second quarter of 2018 orders received. A project of this size and scope is typically valued at EUR 5-10 million. The start-up is planned for the second quarter of 2019.

"We are ready to start with the first stage of the investment program which focuses on liquidating the bottlenecks of the production and wastewater treatment and improving efficiency. In the second stage, we have chosen to invest in another slab press from Valmet to increase our production capacity. The good experience from the earlier installed slab press, which increased availability and stabilized production, makes us confident that this investment will make us reach our set production target," says Lauri Raid, Mill Manager at Estonian Cell.

"We appreciate the long cooperation we have had around the BCTMP plant and the repeat order of a slab press. To see the plans being realized is something we are really looking forward to, as well as to be working together again in this new project," says Mikael Ehrnholm, Senior Product Specialist, Mechanical Fiber at Valmet.

The BCTMP plant conversion includes a mechanical steam separator, a new washing stage by a screw press with medium consistency pump and a new final washing stage before the flash dryer with heavy duty TwinRoll presses. Reconfiguration and reprogramming of the existing bleaching system with detailed automation engineering is also included. The new slab press is replacing the original slab press, which was a prototype that did not meet stability expectations. Mechanical installation of the slab press is included. Commissioning and start-up supervision are included for both stages.

2018-08-09 
Vinda Personal Care (Guangdong) fired up two new Toscotec-supplied AHEAD-2.0M tissue machines.

Two of Toscotec’s AHEAD-2.0M tissue machines started up at Vinda Personal Care (Guangdong) in Yangjiang, Guangdong, PRC. They will increase the group’s annual production by over 60,000 tons. With these start-ups, Vinda kicked off production at its new Yangjiang mill, strategically located by Yangjiang Port in south-west Guangdong.

Toscotec’s AHEAD-2.0M lines feature a second generation TT SYD-18FT of 5,486 mm diameter and state-of-the-art energy saving technology included in the profitable TT DOES package (Drying Optimization for Energy Savings). The two tissue machines started up on the same day at the same time, proving the high degree of proficiency of the start-up teams.

Throughout six years of close collaboration, Toscotec and Vinda have honed their synergy and consolidated their partnership. Toscotec’s Customer Care and Project Manager Stefano Raffaelli said, “Our teams have reached a very high efficiency of cooperation. Together we have optimized the project timing, during both installation and commissioning. We cut down the duration of tests at the mill, thanks to the thorough checks we perform during pre-assembly at our factory, as an integral part of our quality guarantee”.

Vinda International’s Project Development Center Director, Mr. Liang Weixiong commented, “After three months of intensive work on site, it is a great satisfaction to see these start-ups hit the targets of the scheduled date and time. It is indeed the result of very careful preparation on all the machine’s functions”.

Stefano Raffaelli added, “For all our Vinda’s machines we implemented an efficient use of steam and condensate with different levels of energy recovery. This carefully balanced system ensures the lowest possible energy consumptions. The dedication and competence of the Vinda and Toscotec teams bring out the best of our technology. We achieved good results in terms of energy usage, as well as production increase with speed-ups and optimizations, all of which exceed the original objectives of the projects”.

Toscotec’s tissue lines are currently running at six of Vinda’s production bases across China, in Shandong, Hubei, Sichuan, Zhejiang and Guangdong.

In the coming months, Vinda will fire up another four Toscotec’s lines at its new paper mill in Xiaogan, Hubei province

2018-08-09 
Stora Enso signs a credit rating agreement with Fitch Ratings

Stora Enso has signed a new credit rating agreement with Fitch Ratings. Fitch Ratings has assigned Stora Enso Oyj a rating of BBB- with a stable outlook. Stora Enso has also terminated its credit rating agreement with the rating agency S&P Global Ratings (Standard & Poor’s) and asked S&P to withdraw their rating, which currently is BB+ with stable outlook.

The credit rating of Stora Enso Oyj will from now on be assessed by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s current rating for Stora Enso Oyj is Ba1 with positive outlook.

2018-08-08 
Change in Valmet's Executive Team

Mr. Sami Riekkola (M.Sc. (Eng)) has been appointed Business Line President, Automation as of September 1, 2018. He will be a member of Valmet’s Executive Team and report to President and CEO Pasi Laine.

Sami Riekkola is currently employed at Valmet as Vice President, Energy and Process Systems in the Automation business line. Sami started his career in 1998 as automation project engineer at Valmet and has since then worked in a variety of automation positions within the company in several geographical locations in Europe and Australia. During the years, he has gathered excellent experience from automation products, project management, sales and customer management, as well as automation related services.

Mr. Sakari Ruotsalainen, the current Business Line President, Automation, has decided to retire as of September 30, 2018 after a long and successful career at Valmet.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Sami Riekkola to our Executive Team. His long and versatile experience in our automation business has helped him to gain a thorough understanding of the business and its customers in different markets. With this background, I believe Sami is in an excellent position to lead our Automation business line and to grow it further. I want to thank Sakari Ruotsalainen for his strong dedication and excellent contribution to Valmet’s success in the past years. It has been a true pleasure to work with Sakari. We wish Sakari all the best for his well-earned retirement days," says Pasi Laine, President and CEO of Valmet.

2018-08-07 
Valmet to supply an Advantage tissue production line to CMPC Tissue in Argentina

Valmet has been chosen as the supplier of a complete tissue production line by CMPC Tissue S.A. The tissue line will be installed at CMPC’s Zarate mill in Argentina.

The new production line is planned to be started up in the fourth quarter of 2019, and it will add over 50,000 tons of high quality toilet and towel grades to the company’s annual production. Valmet has previously delivered a Valmet Advantage DCT200 tissue line to the Talagante mill in Chile, a tissue machine to Altamira in Mexico and an Advantage ViscoNip rebuild to CMPC’s Caieiras mill in Brazil.

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

"Our experience of running the Advantage DCT concept has been very good in terms of energy efficiency, production capacity and tissue quality. We are convinced that the new tissue line will support our market leading position in Argentina," says Pedro Muzzio Castelletto, Corporate Development Manager, Industrial & Supply Chain, CMPC Tissue.

"The Latin American tissue market is growing both in respect of capacity and quality. Valmet has the tissue making technologies to meet current and future demands of the market," says Johan Björn, Sales Director, Valmet. "We are very pleased that CMPC chose us as their supplier and selected Valmet’s Advantage tissue technology to increase their current production in means of quality and capacity."

Valmet’s delivery will comprise of a complete Advantage DCT200 tissue production line with stock preparation equipment and tissue machine including the most advanced technology options focused on a superior consistent quality, an energy and water efficient operation and cost competitive manufacturing setup. The scope will also include control systems, electrification, mill engineering as well as installation. The production line will be optimized to enhance final product quality and reduce energy consumption. The raw material for the new line will be virgin and DIP pulp.

2018-08-07 
Fabio Perini S.p.A. only one in the tissue industry to obtain the prestigious AEO F certification

  Fabio Perini S.p.A. only one in the tissue industry to obtain the prestigious AEO F certification, allowing simpler and faster export

Fabio Perini S.p.A. obtained by the Customs Authority the award of the status of AEO F -– Authorized Economic Operator Full for customs simplifications and safety/security.

The AEO authorization grants Fabio Perini the recognition of its status of customs reliability, valid at European level (but internationally recognized) ; the appointment is the result of a process of adjustment of internal procedures and successful audits, carried out by the certifying body, of the regulatory requirements related to customs compliance, keeping of accounting records, financial solvency and safety/security standards.

The direct and indirect benefits provided by AEO have an immediate, positive impact on the whole international logistic chain operated by Fabio Perini and its customers, such as :

  • fewer document and safety controls
  • priority shipment treatment
  • better relations with Customs authorities
  • rapidity in procedures
  • fewer delays of shipments at borders, resulting in less time and costs and also less risk of theft and loss of goods, and of safety-related accidents

All this results in greater efficiency in customs procedures and, consequently, in the offer of customer services.

“The path to this achievement has been going on for about a year - said Paolo Sodero, Fabio Perini S.p.A’s responsible for Digitalization and Export Control Manager – involving almost all the company departments, and aligning all employees to this key world-class goal.”

This authorization, allowing the offer of better customer assistance, represents a major strength for Fabio Perini to keep its leading position in the global market of machinery for tissue production. In fact, Paolo Sodero commented : “Our Company is the only one in our sector to have achieved this type of authorization”.

In fact, as of today, the recipients of AEO F authorizations - excluding companies exclusively dealing in shipments and logistic and customs services operators – amounts to 400 companies, all representative of Italian excellence.

2018-08-07 
Stora Enso and Orthex combine wood fibre and bioplastic into durable consumer products

Stora Enso and Orthex together bring to the market a new range of kitchen utensils made from a new biocomposite which combines the best qualities of wood and plastic. The bio-based material used to replace fossil-based plastic is made from spruce and sugarcane, which reduces the carbon footprint of the products by up to 80%. The innovative products contain 98% bio-based material.

In recent years, the Finnish plastics industry has actively sought innovative bio and recycling materials. At the same time, the forest industry has developed wood-based materials to replace fossil raw materials. Both Stora Enso and Orthex believe in the global growth of the market for bio-based products. It creates opportunities for both raw material suppliers and consumer product manufacturers.

From the Nordic forest to your kitchen table

The biocomposite used in the new products comes from Stora Enso’s Hylte Mill in Sweden. The DuraSense™ by Stora Enso biocomposites are produced from spruce and pine from sustainably managed and certified Swedish forests.

“The Stora Enso biocomposite is a new innovative raw material which helps create the desired properties in the products. The wood used in the biocomposite is obtained from side streams of wood products and pulp production, which means that the wood material is utilised optimally,” says Patricia Oddshammar, Head of Biocomposites at Stora Enso.

“The properties of the new products made from wood-based materials correspond to those of similar plastic utensils : the products are hard, durable, hygienic and dishwasher-safe. The wood contained in the biocomposite makes the material stronger and harder. We are now launching nine GastroMax BIO products made of bio-based materials for the home kitchens. In their product group, products that contain 98% bio materials are uniquely innovative,” Orthex CEO Alexander Rosenlew says.

Bio-based plastic as the raw material for sustainable growth

The majority of the non-renewable materials used today can be replaced by biocomposite granules, i.e. renewable wood.

“With the help of biocomposites, Stora Enso can expand to new markets and industries traditionally dominated by plastics. The DuraSense™ biocomposite is the perfect material for furniture, pallets, tools and car furnishing as well as for various consumer products from toys, tooth brushes, beauty and lifestyle products to kitchen utensils, garden furniture and disposable cutlery,” Oddshammar says.

Up to 80% smaller carbon footprint

The DuraSense™ biocomposite enables combining wood fibres with recycled or bio-based polymers. In Orthex’s new GastroMax BIO products, wood fibre is blended with sugarcane. Depending on the product, the biocomposite combined with bioplastics used as a raw material may reduce the carbon footprint of the product by up to 80% in comparison with virgin plastics.

2018-08-07 
Valmet will supply a new Advantage DCT tissue production line to Papelera San Andrés de Giles in Argentina

Valmet will supply an Advantage DCT100HS tissue production line, including an extensive automation package, to Papelera San Andrés de Giles in Argentina. The new tissue line will fulfill Papelera San Andrés de Giles’ demand of new capacity of high quality tissue products for the Argentinian market. Start-up is planned for the second half of 2018.

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

"Our first contact with Valmet was at their Tissue Making Conference in Karlstad, Sweden in 2012. Since that moment, we have been convinced that Valmet’s technology is what we need to differentiate and keep our position as a frontrunner in the Argentinian tissue market," says Mr. Sebastian Schiaffino, Plant Manager, Papelera San Andrés de Giles.

"Even more important is to work with skilled people within Valmet. This is a long-term partnership for us. Valmet has met, and exceeded, all expectations as an advisor during our cooperation," Mr. Schiaffino continues.

"This newfound relationship means a lot for Valmet. This will be the first running Advantage DCT tissue machine in Argentina," says Kent Nika, Sales Manager at Valmet. "Not only does this mean breaking ground in Argentina, but we are also excited to welcome Papelera San Andrés de Giles to our ever-growing tissue community. And of course, we are very proud that our capability to supply tissue mill equipment with superior technology, e.g. Advantage ViscoNip press, were considered as important success factors in their expansion plans."

Both companies are now looking forward to step in to the future with a shared aim of realizing Papelera San Andres de Gilés’ expansion plans and ambitions of providing high quality products to their customers.

Technical information about the delivery

The new tissue machine will have a width of 2.8 meters and a design speed of 2,000 meters/minute. It will add 35,000 tons of tissue paper per year to Papelera San Andrés de Giles’ current production of high-quality facial, toilet tissue and kitchen towels.

Valmet’s scope of delivery will comprise of a tissue production line featuring stock preparation systems and an Advantage DCT100HS tissue machine. The machine is equipped with OptiFlo headbox and Valmet steel Yankee cylinder as well as the Advantage technology including ViscoNip press, AirCap hood, WetDust dust system and SoftReel reel. The delivery also includes an extensive automation package with Valmet DNA, process controls, tissue line training simulator and Valmet IQ quality controls. Engineering, supervision, training, start-up and commissioning is also included in the delivery.

2018-08-06 
ANDRITZ successfully starts up new production technologies and equipment for the extension of SCA’s Östrand pulp mill, Sweden

ANDRITZ has successfully completed the start-up of new production technologies and equipment for the extension of SCA’s Östrand pulp mill in Timrå, Sweden. 

ANDRITZ supplied the following equipment for the SCA Östrand mill :

• a complete debarking plant with two parallel debarking and chipping lines each consisting of a PowerFeed de-icing conveyor, a hydrostatically supported debarking drum for a capacity of 425 m3 sob/h and measuring 5.5 x 39 meters, and a horizontally fed, XL-size HHQ-Chipper operating with a TK-IV knife system. The delivery also includes two new-generation HQ-Press bark presses resulting in excellent bark dry content, as well as modernization of the existing chip handling system ;

• the new innovative EvoDry pulp drying system with its energy-saving technologies that substantially reduce the mill’s operating costs, including a boiler exhaust energy recovery system, fine screening, a twin wire dewatering system with a fully automatic tail threading system to meet strictest health, safety, and environmental regulations, a new-generation sheet dryer for lowest downtime and fast start up, as well as a cutter and two baling lines ;

• new recausticizing machinery including a LimeGreen green liquor filter enabling efficient green liquor filtration with a minimum of waste going to landfill, two LimeFree centrifuges for dregs, LimeSlake technology, LimeWhite white liquor disc filter to optimize white liquor quality, and LimeDry lime mud disc filter upgrade ;

• ANDRITZ LimeFlash technology, enabling a substantial increase in the capacity of the existing lime kiln without the need to invest in a new lime kiln. The delivery also included upgrade of the existing wood dust burning system, which ANDRITZ supplied in 2011 in order to support the new increased lime kiln capacity.

• substantial increase in the recovery boiler capacity from 3,300 to 5,000 tds/d. The existing boiler was supplied by ANDRITZ in 2006 and had already been designed to enable a major extension by moving the boiler side wall and widening the heating surfaces of the superheater, boiler generation bank, and economizers. The boiler extension by moving the side wall allows optimum flue gas flux before and after the rebuild, which has great benefits compared to traditional technology for expanding the recovery boiler by moving its front wall. The total increase of the boiler width was 3.8 meters. In addition to boiler enlargement, one additional ESP°(electrostatic precipitator) chamber and feed water pump were added.

The mill expansion was one of the largest industrial investments in Sweden and the largest ever in northern Sweden. SCA Östrand is doubling its annual production capacity from 430,000 to 900,000°tons, thereby becoming the largest mill in the world for softwood kraft pulp.

2018-08-06 
Burgo Group chooses A.Celli Paper

The Italian company, a well-known producer of graphic and special papers, turned to A.Celli Paper for the supply of a high-tech Pope Winder to be used at its facility in Lugo di Vicenza.

A.Celli designs and develops technological solutions that meet or anticipate the needs of the target market and achieve the objectives set by its customers.

In this case, the Customer Service team of A.Celli Paper will install, in line with a pre-existing plant for the production of special paper, a complete Pope Winder that includes, in addition to nip control and an assisted transmission system for secondary carriages and primary arms, the new A.Celli integrated supervision system which will interface with the current DCS system of the paper mill. The aim is to ensure the best and most consistent production performance over time, as well as complete safety and ease of operation.

During the It’s Tissue event (from the 25th to the 29th of June) the equipment, courtesy of the Burgo Group, was exhibited at the A.Celli Paper factory. Some of its features were demonstrated, arousing the interest of the many people present.

Delivery is underway, in compliance with the contractual agreements and to the customer’s complete satisfaction, while commissioning is scheduled for the end of August.

A.Celli Paper remains at the complete disposal of the Burgo Group, proud to be able to serve and assist a constantly evolving market.

2018-08-02 
Toscotec’s TTSteelDryers are going to land in Canada. Cascades Packaging selected Toscotec to supply a dryer section rebuild at Kingsey Falls Mill.

Cascades Packaging entrusted Toscotec with a major rebuild of the dryer section of PM1 at Kingsey Falls mill, Canada. In view of the challenging targets of the project, Cascades decided that Toscotec’s technology was the right match for this rebuild, thanks to the flexibility and high level of customization guaranteed by the Italian supplier with regards to the seamless integration between the existing equipment and the new tailor-made solution.
Toscotec’s rebuild will achieve an 8% production increase. The Italian supplier will accomplish this substantial upgrade without increasing the overall length of the dryer section and without increasing the actual width of the dryers’ frame in cross direction. Toscotec’s TTSteelDryer allows better performances in terms of specific evaporation rate, thanks to its reduced shell thickness. Due to its shorter taper length, TT SteelDryer dries a wider sheet with the same space requirements of a traditional dryer section.
The scope of supply includes a number of TTSteelDryers, specifically designed for an operating steam pressure of 14 barg, as well as doctors, wire tensioning system, guiding and sheet stabilizing components. Toscotec’s service specialists will also provide supervision, commissioning and start-up assistance.
With this new contract, Toscotec strengthens its reputation as a top P&B machinery supplier on technically demanding markets such as North America. In particular, through its proven ability to supply all-round tailor-made solutions based on the specific features of the existing equipment and to deliver significant upgrades, over the years Toscotec gained the trust of major papermaking producers across the globe.
Delivery is forecast within the end of August 2018.

2018-08-02 
BillerudKorsnäs CFO leaves the company during the autumn 2018

BillerudKorsnäs CFO Susanne Lithander today announced that she has decided to leave the company at her own request.

Susanne Lithander will remain in her current role during her notice period. BillerudKorsnäs will immediately initiate the recruitment process of a new CFO.

“Susanne Lithander has been a key person for many years and has successfully contributed to the development of BillerudKorsnäs. Even though Susanne will remain working for a number of months, we thank Susanne for her efforts and wish her good luck for the future“, says Petra Einarsson, President and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs.

“There have been many exciting years with BillerudKorsnäs, and it has not been an easy decision to leave the company and my colleagues. But I have worked at BillerudKorsnäs for seven years and I feel it is now time to move on to new challenges”, says Susanne Lithander.

2018-08-01 
To further strengthen competitiveness and increase efficiency, Essity is restructuring its Consumer Tissue production in France.

Essity is closing a converting facility for retail branded products in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and invests in remaining integrated production facilities in France. The closure is expected during the fourth quarter of 2018. These measures are aligned with the company’s strategy to optimize the production footprint to increase cost and capital efficiency and further increase value creation in the Consumer Tissue business area.

The restructuring costs are expected to amount to approximately SEK 480m, of which approximately SEK 430m is expected to be recognized as an item affecting comparability in the third quarter of 2018. The remaining costs are expected to be recognized as an item affecting comparability in 2019. Approximately SEK 320m of the restructuring costs are expected to impact cash flow. Total investments will amount to approximately SEK 210m.

2018-07-31 
Kimberly-Clark Names Tristram Wilkinson as President, EMEA Consumer Business

Kimberly-Clark Corporation  today announced that Tristram Wilkinson has been named President, Kimberly-Clark Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), effective immediately.

Wilkinson will lead Kimberly-Clark’s consumer business, with its well-known brands including Andrex, Scottex, Kleenex, Kotex, Huggies and Depend, across the dynamic EMEA region, which includes developed, developing and emerging markets, 120 countries with 2.2 billion consumers. Wilkinson will report to Michael Hsu, President and Chief Operating Officer, Kimberly-Clark.

"Tris is a respected leader with a proven track record. I am confident that his extensive experience in the region, coupled with his great passion to win, will drive results for our EMEA business," said Hsu.

Since joining Kimberly-Clark in 1995 from Scott Paper, Wilkinson has worked in successive leadership roles in marketing, customer and general management across each of the company’s categories. He has previously led the company’s operations in the U.K. and Ireland, and served as Vice President and Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark’s consumer business in Central and Eastern Europe.

Wilkinson holds a Master of Arts degree in Management from St. Andrews University, Scotland.

2018-07-31 
Emtec Electronic: Innovative Testing Equipment at the Tissue World Istanbul

Just like two years ago, Emtec will attend the Tissue World Trade Show and Conference to be held at Istanbul Congress Center in September 2018. The German producer of innovative laboratory and online testing machines will be based on floor B5 at booth no. D171 together with its Turkish representative LABTEK.
Centerpiece of the booth will be the well-known TSA – Tissue Softness Analyzer which is used to reliably assess the Softness, Smoothness/Roughness and Stiffness as well as the overall Hand Feel of tissue and nonwoven materials.
Alongside with the TSA, Emtec will have the CAS touch ! and FPA touch ! on display. These instruments represent the most-modern charge measuring systems for the wetend in tissue and paper production and are used to
measure the interaction between particles or fibers with additives and process chemicals in the pulp suspension.
The use of both instruments in the production process helps to optimize the utilization of chemicals with the objective to stabilize the process, to improve the product quality and to reduce cost.

2018-07-31 
A.Celli iDEAL® forged YD: the future of Steel Yankee Dryers

A.Celli Paper presents a new revolutionary concept for the production of Yankee Dryer Shells.

The two goals were to minimise mechanical issues and maximise uniformity and heat transfer.

Both have been achieved with iDEAL® forged YD : the new production technology conceived and patented by A.Celli Paper to respond to these very needs.
iDEAL® forged YD is characterised by a shell made with a single piece of steel moulded and processed using hot forging and rolling systems.

The result is a highly innovative and seamless product that stands out for its exceptional quality of manufacture.

The homogeneous material and structure, free from residual stress, allow for greater variation in operating pressure and enhanced safety by reducing the risk of failure.

The conventional method, which requires welding, poses the risk of defects ; therefore, regular maintenance and inspection is required throughout the life span of the vessel, reducing confidence and increasing cost from expensive inspections and loss of production due to periods of inactivity.

Furthermore, iDEAL® forged YD is innovative in terms of the shape of its internal grooves ; the patented shell corner minimises deformation and stress at the edges resulting in a thinner root increasing drying capacity. No less innovative is the head insulation system ; comprising of a patented ceramic layer reducing heat loss and steam consumption.

2018-07-30 
Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Metsä Fibre to initiate a global safety award

Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, are sole sponsors of a new RISI PPI Safety Awards category. The Safety Leadership Award will be conferred for the first time in March 2019.

PPI Awards are the only global awards that are dedicated to recognizing the achievement of companies, production sites and individuals in the pulp and paper sector. Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Metsä Fibre want to promote safety within the pulp and paper industry. Safety is an important part of employer branding, wellbeing at work and it also creates competitive advantage. Thus continuous development and sharing best practices in developing safety is important.

“Safety is a shared responsibility. Both Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Metsä Fibre are highly committed to safety issues, and we have already safety collaboration. Joining forces in RISI PPI awards and creating a new category for Safety award felt natural for both of us”, says Rune Årnes VP Health & Safety. “We wanted to collaborate on a safety award, in order to be in the forefront of safety for our workers and promote safety within the industry.”

“We have started safety cooperation with Ahlstrom-Munksjö few years ago. By collaboration and sharing best practices we learn from each other and develop the safety of the whole industry. We want to increase the safety level at the mills and among the whole supply chain with systematic and preventative safety work. That’s the main reason we wanted to create this safety awards category. We found that Ahlstrom-Munksjö and RISI are the best possible partners to make this with us”, says Camilla Wikström, SVP, Production, Pulp Business, Metsä Fibre.

The target for the new safety award is to recognize a pulp or paper production plant for their consistent management and meritorious commitment to occupational safety, long term performance and to encourage their continuous improvement within safety.

Safety is our mindset and everyone’s right

At Ahlstrom-Munksjö, we strongly believe zero accident is possible. We have set ambitious targets for continuous improvement, developing consistent safety practices and competencies. We focus on preventative activities, behavior-based safety interactions, safety inspections and auditing, and tailored safety training to ensure a safe working environment. Safety is our mindset.

At Metsä Fibre, a safe workplace is everyone’s right. It is our duty to take care of our own safety and the safety of our co-workers. By working safely, we are realizing our mission of being the most professional and skilled player in the pulp business and the most efficient company in the industry. We concentrate on preventive and well planned safety work. We also want to be the preferred supplier of premium bioproducts and services that support our customer’ business operations.

2018-07-30 
DS Smith provides a second life to Pizza Hut packaging

Under the scope of the World Cup, DS Smith worked in close collaboration with Pizza Hut in Portugal, to provide a second life to pizza packages during this period.

The new, special edition pizza boxes (medium, large and extra-large), had a built-in puzzle/ball, allowing those who bought two pizzas to construct a ball with the two detachable covers from these new boxes. Based on the fact that these pizza boxes could do more than just deliver pizzas, DS Smith actively developed this innovative solution, which allowed Pizza Hut to communicate a brand message and stand out in an active and differentiating way within this specific time frame.

This special edition of new boxes provided customers with an experience which was both fun and educational, engaging them on an emotional level. In addition to the fun that a puzzle provides, bringing friends and family together, the concept also aimed to offer a moment of relaxation while assembling the puzzle, especially after such a stressful situation as a football match !

The solution provided by DS Smith combined innovation and sustainability, with a genuine understanding of the client’s business needs. The packaging specialists at DS Smith worked in partnership with Pizza Hut to extract the maximum benefit from its 100% recyclable cardboard packaging, giving it a new purpose and functionality, and avoiding its disposal immediately after its primary use was fulfilled.

Recognised for its ability to innovate and the quality of the products it develops and produces, DS Smith employed a strategic approach which considered all aspects of its client’s economic, environmental and social needs. DS Smith not only helped Ibersol conceive new packaging to generate more sales, it also offered sustainable value to all stakeholders by providing completely recyclable packaging.

2018-07-30 
New Commander ID 300 motor drive: features specially designed for smart pump management

Commander ID 300, the new integrated motor drive solution for controlling Leroy-Somer IMfinity® motors, provides original responses to the technical problems of pumping, thanks to its on-board intelligence.

The system comprises an integrated pump application that fulfils the main functions required of a pumping application, with pressure regulation (constant / variable-flow pressure). This feature enables the system to manage a main pump and activate up to three support pumps to maintain constant pressure if a high flow rate is required.

Regulation is controlled by means of an external sensor (0-10 V or 4-20 mA) independently powered by the Commander ID 300 and an integrated PID controller.

Commander ID 300 automatically adjusts the pump flow rate according to actual need and manages pump shutdown when required. It can be configured to detect loss of prime and can provide notification of the operating statuses (auto-start, maximum flow, loss of prime, sensor fault, etc.). This function is ready-to-use.

Whatever the pump technology, and whatever the requirement level, regulation type or safety type demanded by the application, Commander ID300 makes it possible to create advanced functions with ease, thanks to an on-board PLC, fast I/O, PT1000 or CTP sensor inputs and a complete software suite.

Commander ID 300 is equipped with a display that can be personalised and provide views of application data in real-time (temperature, volume, flow rate, pressure, etc.).

And for low-speed pump technologies, Commander ID300 can be associated with Leroy-Somer geared motors for adjusting the application torque.

The robust drive system is insensitive to liquid splashes (IP 55 rating) and vibrations (electronics moulded in resin), and supports an ambient temperature of up to 50°C. It is designed to operate in all domains of industry, irrigation, building and the environment.

2018-07-27 
100% of Engraving Solutions to Fabio Perini - Simec Group signs the agreement for the sale of the shares

Fabio Perini S.p.A. and NARA S.r.l. (Simec Group) have completed the transfer of all the investments in Engraving Solutions S.r.l. to Fabio Perini S.p.A. which already held 70% of the company’s shares.

The consolidated industrial partnership between the two groups will remain active in the future for a better customer satisfaction and will continue to innovate following the needs of the market.

Engraving Solutions was founded in 2003 thanks to the union of intentions of Fabio Perini and Simec Group, a leader in the production of rolls with surface machining for different application sectors. Thanks to the know-how and technological excellence of the two companies, it immediately distinguished itself in the market for its ability to develop new designs and to support the customer in the study of engravings for embossed products in the Tissue sector.
More than 4,000 rolls already produced, the creation of over 12,000 embossing graphics solutions and 15 patents active all over the world, are the assets of Engraving Solutions. Currently, 20 employees work at the Lucca plant. Among the most successful products at the international level, we mention the Softop, PP-Evo, 4D, and Pixel.

"This acquisition is in line with our growth strategy 2025 and strengthens our positioning on the Tissue Area business market - says Oswaldo Cruz, CEO of Fabio Perini S.p.A. - Engraving Solutions is an important and strategic resource for our tissue companies that will benefit from this consolidated experience and will be able to provide increasingly customized and innovative solutions to maximize the added value of our customers’ finished products ".

“This experience - states Laura Della Torre, Member of the board of Simec Group - has made possible the exchange of knowledge between the parties involved and has enriched the background and the specific know-how of the sector. Simec Group has also been able to focus on other segments, strengthening its production assets and nowadays it is a leading company thanks to the wide range of applications available in its product portfolio”.

2018-07-27 
Toscotec boosts its green performance through sustainable operations

Toscotec has successfully renewed its ISO 14001 certificate and EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) registration for the twelfth consecutive year since 2006.It thereby confirms its long-standing commitment to eco-sustainability, starting from its own environmental performance.

In 2005, Toscotec began procedures to evaluate its internal processes according to the strictest international standards of environmental protection. This entailed undergoing an articulate and audited procedure, which led to the the draw up of an environmental management system and a three-year plan. Specifically for EMAS, the Italian supplier also issues an annual report, examined by private and public bodies, including external auditors and EMAS national Competent Body ISPRA.

As a result, back in 2006, Toscotec became the first Italian supplier of tissue and paper machinery to obtain both the ISO 14001 and the EMAS registration and to this day, it remains the only one in Italy.

Toscotec strives to step up the eco-efficiency of its operations on an annual basis. In this view, EMAS is a guarantee vis-à-vis the community and the market at large, as it ensures a comprehensive set of corporate behaviours with environmental impact is kept under serious scrutiny.

Andrea Marzaro, Toscotec’s Operations Director (COO), affirmed, “Toscotec is working towards a continued and tangible improvement of its environmental performance, on a voluntary basis. Full compliance with Italian laws and regulations is the minimum prerequisite for us. We are determined to go the extra mile, pursue the highest environment standards and achieve excellence. Eco-sustainability and environmental protection are our core values and as such inspire our operations. Energy reduction, in its widest sense, is a big part of it”.

In recent years, Toscotec has partly redesigned its layout to become a fully integrated and compact production base, thereby optimizing its manufacturing efficiency. Inspired by lean production, it streamlined its logistic operations and achieved a concrete reduction of power consumption, due to the rationalization of handling and transportation processes.

Toscotec’s headquarters currently include eight workshops, four of which dedicated to the pre-assembly of tissue and paper & board lines. Pre-assembly is one of the cornerstones of Toscotec’s quality guarantee. It aims to reduce the time, the energy and the costs of the erection at the mill and therefore achieve the performance guarantees in a shorter period.

Andrea Marzaro also pointed out “With respect to renewable energy, since 2011 we have been generating electric power from solar energy. In 2011, we implemented the first installation of solar panels on the roofs, covering an area of approximately 1,250 m2 and generating up to 190 kWh electricity, which we give back to the grid. Phase two was carried out in 2012, across 600 m2, with an output of 100 kWh. Phase three is currently underway”.

Toscotec is committed to protecting the environment at local level through its operations, and globally through the design and manufacture of its cutting-edge technology. The Italian manufacturer manages both direct environmental aspects - pertaining to its own operations, like waste, emissions, use of raw materials, energy and water resources, etc. - and indirect aspects.

With respect to its indirect environmental aspects, Toscotec’s Technical Director, Paolo Raffaelli pointed out, “through our advanced design and manufacturing process, we have achieved a significant reduction of the environmental impact generated by our machinery and process, confirmed by field data and positive customer feedback. Our engineering approach aims to enable paper mills to improve their overall performance, by reducing the need of fresh water, electricity and thermal energy, and minimizing their atmospheric emissions, including noise”. 

From TT SYD and TT SteelDryers, to Energy Saving tissue lines, to TT SAF (Short Approach Flow) and TT DOES (Drying Optimization for Energy Saving), Toscotec is the leading supplier of technology specifically designed for energy savings and with view to this, it is extensively investing in R&D and innovation.

2018-07-26 
ARAUCO approves the construction of MAPA, the largest investment in the company's history

Today, ARAUCO’s Board of Directors approved the modernization and extension of Arauco Mill, an initiative that involves a US$2,350 million investment, the largest investment in the company’s history.

This new stage of the project, which started in 2012 and was marked by joint work and an extended participatory process with the community, will renew and increase efficiency and production, in addition to strengthen ARAUCO’s competitiveness and leadership in global markets.

At the production level, the project includes the termination of line 1, the modernization of current production line 2 and the construction of a new production line (Line 3), with an annual capacity of 1,560,000 tons, increasing annual pulp production at the complex by an estimated 2,100,000 tons.

In addition, project MAPA (Spanish acronym for Modernization and Extension of Arauco Mill project) will allow the company to continue to generate clean and renewable energy from forest biomass, due to the construction of a new cogeneration boiler. In addition to supplying clean energy to the mill, an energy surplus of 166 MW will be delivered to the National Electrical Grid (SEN in Spanish), through a power line whose construction is part of the project.

Also included in the project is the implementation of a training and education program to support the creation of about 4,000 to 5,000 jobs during construction work, with a maximum of 8,000. Once construction is over, an estimated 1,000 job positions will be created, mainly in services and forestry activities. The purpose is to contribute to employment and invigorate local economy and development.

Additionally, the project includes a new wastewater treatment system that started construction in 2015, with an additional investment of US$120 million. This system is 99% completed and will provide service to the current facilities and future line 3.

Charles Kimber, ARAUCO’s Senior Vice-President of Commercial & Corporate Affairs said, “we’re very proud of this project’s materialization, because it accounts for the extensive and positive work that we’ve developed with the community and authorities”.

“This is an enormously relevant project for the country and the Biobío Region, which will modernize and increase the production efficiency of our facilities. It will also strengthen the competitiveness and leadership of ARAUCO and Chile in global markets”.

In addition, he said, “this project involves the largest investment program in the history of ARAUCO and we’ll develop it precisely in a commune where we maintain a very strong and long-lasting relationship, because this is where this company started”.

The road travelled

In 2012, ARAUCO decided that the development of MAPA had to represent a real contribution to the territory ; therefore, since the beginning the project included an extensive investment program in technology, infrastructure, equipment, production development, education and culture.

In addition, an extensive citizen participation process was conducted, centered on three Open Houses where a volunteer program was developed to inform and communicate with neighbors located next to current operations and the project.

Other related projects are : the construction of Campus Arauco (a Dual Training Center developed with Duoc UC), the Arauco Cultural Center, equipment and infrastructure programs under the Indigenous Consultation process, the Ecosystem Assessment Program for the Arauco Gulf (PREGA in Spanish), the ARAUCO Housing Plan and communal initiatives agreed with the community.

Construction and operation

Even though the Modernization of Arauco Mill started in 2015 with the construction of the new wastewater treatment system, the Extension stage will begin in December this year and is estimated to start operating in late March 2021.

During this process, the company aims to create capacities, generate employment and invigorate the territory’s different production sectors, always complementing with state of the art technology and important environmental developments.

2018-07-25 
Ence increases its net profit by 60% in the first half, to 50.3 million euros

Ence - Energía y Celulosa achieved a net profit of € 50.3 million in the first half of the year, 60% higher than in the same period of 2018. The Group’s EBITDA increased by 49% and reached € 130.8 million, driven by the improvement in the price of pulp and the incorporation of the 27 MW biomass plant in Lucena (Córdoba).

Ignacio Colmenares, CEO of Ence, stressed that "the trend of growth of results will continue in the second half of the year, in which we will achieve higher levels of production, both in the pulp and energy business. All this will allow us to exceed our goal of 300 million euros of EBITDA this year." He also stressed that "the prospects for the evolution of pulp prices continue to be very favorable. The strength of demand and the absence of large projects to increase production capacity suggest a scenario of strong prices, at least until 2023.

Ence has increased the capacity of its biofuel plant in Pontevedra by 30,000 t in March and has begun work on the expansion of 80,000 t in the Navia biofactory, which will be completed in nine months.

In the energy business, Ence is investing in 99 MW in energy generation with biomass. The construction of the plants in Huelva and Puertollano is progressing at a good pace, with an output of 46 MW each, to which will be added a third 7-megawatt plant that will be located in one of the Ence plants in the olive grove area. These facilities will become operational by the end of 2019 and will boost the EBITDA of the Energy business to 90 million annually in 2020.

The strong generation of free cash from Ence has allowed € 78 million to be allocated to investments in the Strategic Plan, to pay a complementary dividend of € 16 million and to maintain net indebtedness by the end of 2017. The Group’s leverage level at the end of the semester it is only 0.6 times the EBITDA of the last 12 months. The Board of Directors of Ence has agreed to pay a first interim dividend for 2018 on September 12th for an amount of € 25 million, equivalent to € 0.104 gross per share.

Ence is fulfilling the investments foreseen in its Strategic Plan and is finalizing a new Plan, which will be presented in autumm, to continue generating value for its shareholders, environmental excellence and safety for employees and facilities.

2018-07-25 
Smurfit Kappa worked with global transport provider Scania to replace some of the materials used in its supply chain with paper-based packaging solutions.

The packaging leader was working with the ‘Scania Parts Logistics’ division which is responsible for the distribution of all Scania parts. Scania has a complex supply chain with many different sized products, some of which are particularly fragile.

Scania had a requirement for packaging for truck windows that were currently transported using four different materials, which included wooden pallets and expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Smurfit Kappa used its SupplySmart service to review every aspect of Scania’s supply chain. The analysis was then compared with insights that have been gathered from over 60,000 supply chains to identify opportunities to make sustainable changes.

Smurfit Kappa came up with an innovative new concept that replaced the EPS interior and wooden pallet with honeycomb, a completely sustainable, paper-based material. Along with the switch from multiple materials to a single material solution, the storage space required was cut by 50% which resulted in significant transportation savings for Scania.

Brechtel Coox, Packaging Engineer at Scania Parts Logistics said : "After a comprehensive review of the challenging brief that we presented them with, Smurfit Kappa managed to present us with an ingenious solution that exceeded all our expectations.

“Scania Parts Logistics depends on an optimised supply chain so we can guarantee our customers a first-class service.”

Erik Bunge, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Corrugated Benelux added : "This project was the result of a collaborative process between Smurfit Kappa and Scania Parts Logistics. Our starting point was to see how we could optimise their supply chain in terms of time, costs and sustainability.

“The paper-based solution we came up with which combines corrugated and honeycomb production capabilities within is strong and enables us to deliver an innovative and reliable service to our valued partner Scania.”

2018-07-24 
APP's Perawang Mill, Indonesia: a successful start-up for A.Celli Paper!

A.Celli Paper celebrates with great satisfaction the start-up of three E-WIND® winders for tissue, installed in Indonesia for the customer Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).

In March, a set of new generation E-WIND® T200 winders was installed at APP’s Perawang mill in Indonesia.

The start-up and subsequent running-in all went smoothly, with the customer’s complete satisfaction. It is one of many other successful business machinery equipment partnership through the years that A.Celli Paper is achieving with the world-wide based International Group.

The three new generation winders, being a partial delivery of a larger sizeable order currently under delivery and/or installation, consisting of two E-WIND® T200 winders, a calender and Slittomatic® automatic knives positioning system, and an additional E-WIND® T200 winder.

With this project, A.Celli Paper has offered the customer a giant leap in quality for meeting high and ambitious production targets to increase and strengthen its presence in Indonesia and through the whole Asia.

2018-07-24 
Orient Paper, Inc. Announces Corporate Name and Ticker Changes

Orient Paper, Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in North China, today announced that on July 17, 2018, its Board of Directors approved to change its corporate name to IT Tech Packaging, Inc.

The name change is expected to be accomplished through a short-form merger pursuant to Section 92A.180 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. A subsidiary formed solely for the purpose of the name change will be merged with and into the Company, with the Company remaining as the surviving corporation in the merger. The merger will have the effect of amending the Company’s Articles of Incorporation for the sole purpose of reflecting the Company’s new legal name. In accordance with Section 92A.180 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, stockholder approval of the merger is not required.

The Company has applied to the NYSE MKT to change its ticker symbol from "ONP" to "ITP", to take effect following the effectiveness of the name change. The Company’s common stock will then trade under a new CUSIP number. Trading under the new name, symbol and CUSIP is expected to begin on August 1, 2018.

2018-07-24 
Sappi commits to significant investment programme in KwaZulu Natal economy

Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, specialities and packaging papers, printing and writing papers and biomaterials headquartered in South Africa, has provided further details regarding capital investments at its Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, south of Durban. The investments include a R2,7 billion capacity expansion project and a planned R5 billion over five years in various continuous improvement initiatives and upgrade projects.

Explaining the background to the investment decision, Sappi Limited Group CEO Steve Binnie said : “Sappi has seen significant benefits in serving its global customers from its South African operations. Sappi had invested some R4.3 billion from 2012 to 2018 to increase its dissolving pulp capacity in South Africa. This global market has shown such strong growth that Sappi will again increase capacity in South Africa by investing R2.7 billion at Saiccor during 2018 and 2019.”

He concluded by saying : “Sappi, which contributes 1% of South Africa’s total foreign revenue from its South African operations and supplies the fruit export industry with most of their packaging requirements which contributes around 4% to the country’s foreign revenue, is pleased to be able to support President Ramaphosa’s call for significant investment into the South African economy.”

“In addition to expanding capacity” says Alex Thiel, CEO of Sappi Southern Africa “Sappi is planning to invest R5 billion over the next five years through maintenance and upgrade projects to decrease production costs, introduce new technology, optimise processes and future-proof manufacturing systems at Saiccor Mill. These investments will secure the mill’s future by increasing its global cost competitiveness and significant reducing its environmental footprint.”

Thiel confirmed that Sappi was currently in the process of engaging with the relevant authorities and consulting with communities and various other stakeholders to obtain the required support for the planned investments, collectively known as Project Vulindlela ; chosen to emphasise that the projects pave the way for additional future investment.

With reference to the cost and environmental benefits, Thiel stated : “The ongoing cost savings we will derive from these projects amount to at least R300m per annum. With reference to the environmental benefits of the projects, CO2 emissions will be cut in half and waste to landfill will reduce by 48%. In addition, SO2 emissions will reduce by 35% and water use efficiency will increase by 17%. All of this while earning more revenue for the province and country and providing a secure future to our workforce, their families and the communities where they live.”

Saiccor Mill and Sappi Forests which sources and supplies the timber required by the mill are already major contributors to the KZN economy through job creation, community investment, local supplier programmes, world-class research and development facilities and training and development programmes. In total Sappi’s KZN operations comprising three mills, forestry operations and sales and export services provides a direct contribution of some R12 billion per annum to the KZN economy. This number rises to R60 billion per annum when reflecting indirect benefits. Project Vulindlela will add a further R1 billion per annum direct benefit to the KZN economy.

“Saiccor produces dissolving wood pulp from which our customers produce items such as textiles, pharmaceutical, beauty and household products” says Thiel.

Vulindlela will increase the mills production from 780 000 tons to 890 000 tons per year, and is expected to create employment opportunities for local job seekers through construction companies and business prospects for entrepreneurs from the local communities around the Mill. During the peak period of the project, there will be between 2,500 and 2,800 contractors working on site at one time. The projects will include a new evaporator, recovery boiler and screening and washing plant, along with upgrades to bleach plant and pulp machines, improved recovery circuits and additional magnesium digesters.

In January 2018, Sappi launched its Skills Centre near Saiccor Mill to create training and upskilling opportunities for the workforce and for local youth. As part of Project Vulindlela, all general workers seeking employment through Sappi or its contractors will be required to attend training at the Sappi Skills Centre where they will receive basic skills required for job opportunities during Project Vulindlela. This training from Sappi will provide community members with the necessary skills to become more employable or to start their own businesses.

“The commitment we had made and implemented during our previous expansion remains” says Thiel ‘The majority of the workforce will be local community residents employed by contractors on the project”. In addition, many other services and products required during the construction phase and beyond will be sourced from local emerging businesses.

2018-07-24 
Ahlstrom-Munksjö to acquire U.S. specialty paper producer Expera for enterprise value of USD 615 millionHeading

Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a global leader in fiber based materials, has agreed on July 23, 2018 with Specialty Papers Holding, L.P. to acquire Expera Specialty Solutions (“Expera”), a U.S. based specialty paper producer, to expand its presence in North America and further strengthen its offering of advanced custom-made fiber based materials. The acquisition will almost triple Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s net sales in the U.S. and provide a platform for growth. Together Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Expera, combined with the Caieiras acquisition announced in April, generated illustrative combined annual net sales of EUR 2,921 million in 2017. Ahlstrom-Munksjö has secured fully committed financing for the transaction.

The acquisition supports Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s ambition to strengthen its position in selected high-end, value adding areas of the global fiber-based materials market that offer positive growth outlook and are supported by market drivers for more sustainable products and solutions. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing.

The Expera acquisition :

 Transformative acquisition with annual net sales of USD 721 million (EUR 616 million) for 2017
 Significant expansion of North American presence, including new product segments
 Strong platform in the U.S. that provides Ahlstrom-Munksjö with attractive growth opportunities and additional U.S. production capacity
 Pure specialty paper producer in value-added product categories
 Four paper mills with two integrated pulp mills
 Experienced management with a profit improvement track-record
 The purchase price payable is USD 615 million (EUR 526 million) on a cash and debt free basis, subject to a post completion adjustment based upon the level of net working capital and cash and debt in the acquired business on the closing date
 Comparable EBITDA of USD 71 million (EUR 61 million) for 2017. Comparable EBITDA includes USD 3 million (EUR 3 million) of items which will not have a continuous impact on EBITDA such as start-up cost of investment and current management fees.
 Estimated near term annual synergy benefits of approximately USD 10 million (EUR 8 million) with additional potential from planned annual run rate EBITDA of recently finalized investment of approximately USD 11 million (EUR 9 million)
 Dynamic synergies relating to product development and best practice sharing

Expera is highly complementary to Ahlstrom-Munksjö and will provide opportunities for cross-selling and best practice sharing as well as preliminary cost synergies of approximately EUR 8 million (USD 10 million) by year end 2019. In addition, value will be created from joint product development and sharing of best practices. One-time costs related to the achievement of synergies are estimated at EUR 7 million (USD 8 million). Strength in product development will help the company to serve its customers better.

Hans Sohlström, President and CEO of Ahlstrom-Munksjö comments : “We are excited to welcome Expera and their highly talented leadership team led by Russ Wanke to Ahlstrom-Munksjö. Together, our combined, complementary capabilities and expertise will further strengthen our position in fiber-based materials and will enable us to offer even more solutions, value and efficiencies to our customers in North America and around the world. Expera contributes to our global platform with their competences, a high quality offering and a team that drives customer value, innovations and sustainability.”

“As a larger company with a strong balance sheet and greater earnings generation this transaction paves the way for further profitable growth to be carried out both organically and through acquisitions. While the transaction will temporarily increase our debt, over time we see an optimal leverage of around 2x net debt to EBITDA, which gives us sufficient maneuvering space for further development of the company. I appreciate also our continued strong ability to create cash flow as a combined company. We look forward to bringing this transaction to completion and working with the competent Expera team”.

Russ Wanke, the President and CEO of Expera, will become a member of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Executive Management Team following the closing. He will be responsible for the acquired operations, which will form a fifth business area and reporting segment in Ahlstrom-Munksjö. Furthermore, Russ Wanke and certain other members of the management team will invest in Ahlstrom-Munksjö shares in connection with the closing.

Russ Wanke, Expera’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “This is the beginning of an exciting new era for Expera’s team and customers. Joining Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a global leader in fiber-based materials, strengthens Expera’s platform and allows for growth in the future. This is an important development for our customers, employees and communities, as we continue to capitalize on the strength of the specialty paper industry worldwide, and provide innovative products with a superior level of service.” Wanke continued, “Our entire team is very excited about Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s commitment to manufacturing excellence and to supporting our innovative business.”

Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Closing of the acquisition is expected during the second half of 2018.
Financing of the transaction :

Debt financing

Ahlstrom-Munksjö has secured fully committed financing for the transaction. Ahlstrom-Munksjö has secured USD 615 million in bank financing for the acquisition from Nordea Bank AB (“Nordea”) and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (“SEB”), together acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers, Underwriters and Bookrunners. The acquisition financing consists of (i) an USD 180 million bridge-to-equity facility with termination date 30 June 2019, (ii) an USD 185 million bridge facility with 12 month maturity from the earlier of the closing and 3 months from signing and (iii) an USD 250 million term loan facility with 5 years maturity from the earlier of the closing and 3 months from signing.

In addition, Nordea and SEB have agreed to provide certain back-stop/refinancing facilities in relation to existing financing arrangements.

Rights offering

To finance part of the transaction, Ahlstrom-Munksjö plans to conduct a rights offering of approximately EUR 150 million, which is expected to be launched during the fourth quarter of 2018.

The Company will separately convene an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders (EGM) to authorize the Board of Directors to resolve on the share issue. Shareholders holding in aggregate approximately 35.9% (June 30, 2018) of the shares and votes in the Company, AC Invest Five B.V., a company belonging to Ahlström Capital group, Viknum AB, Belgrano Inversiones Oy, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company and Baltiska Handels A.B. have irrevocably undertaken to attend the EGM and vote in favor of the share issue authorization. AC Invest Five B.V., a company belonging to Ahlström Capital group, Viknum AB, Belgrano Inversiones Oy and Baltiska Handels A.B. have further expressed their support and intention to subscribe for their respective pro rata allocation in the rights offering. The remainder of the rights offering will be underwritten by Nordea and SEB, subject to customary terms and conditions.

The proceeds from the rights offering will be used for the financing of the transaction or repayment of outstanding bridge facilities related to the transaction.

2018-07-24 
AMETEK Surface Vision Appoints Divisional Vice President of Research and Development

AMETEK Surface Vision, a world leader in automated online surface inspection solutions, has enhanced its senior management team with the appointment of Dr Shean McMahon to the newly created role of Divisional Vice President of Research and Development.

Acquired by AMETEK, Inc. in 2015, Surface Vision offers web and surface inspection and monitoring solutions, combining powerful software, line-scan camera technology and high- intensity lighting. In addition, it has a deep applications’ knowledge base across process industries, including metals, paper, nonwovens and plastics.

Dr. McMahon is an experienced director of innovation with an accomplished background in developing solutions, creating more than 20 unique digital and information technology products. A physics graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. McMahon attained a doctorate in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine, and is a former NASA researcher.

Dr. McMahon will head up AMETEK Surface Vision’s research and development teams and build on its reputation for providing market-leading and industry-focused solutions. He will apply his broad expert knowledge and proven problem-solving to the further development of AMETEK Surface Vision’s growing product portfolio of inspection, monitoring and process surveillance systems.

Scott Harrison, Divisional Vice President and Business Unit Manager for AMETEK Surface Vision and AMETEK Land comments, “Shean’s impressive expertise and extensive experience will benefit our customers, as he leads the enhancement of our existing product range and development of new solutions. Congratulations to him on this new role.”

2018-07-23 
Kelheim Fibres’ Viscose Speciality Fibre VILOFT® receives Lighthouse Award from the Bavarian Environmental Cluster

The project “Bio-degradable wet toilet tissue with the viscose speciality fibre VILOFT®” from the Bavarian viscose fibre manufacturer Kelheim Fibres has been awarded the Lighthouse by the Bavarian Environmental Cluster.

2018-07-20 
OptiGroup completes the acquisition of Moonen Packaging in the Netherlands

OptiGroup AB has completed its previously announced acquisition of 100% of the shares of Packagegroup Moonen B.V.

2018-07-20 
Jacques Beauchemin appointed President and CEO of the refining specialist AFT

The Pulp and Paper Industry just gained an advocate for teamwork, naming Jacques Beauchemin as President and CEO of AFT.

2018-07-20 
Progroup selects Voith to supply new Propapier PM 3 packaging paper line

-High performance XcelLine concept as decisive factor to receive contract
-New PM 3 will produce 750,000 tons of testliner and corrugated medium annually
-Start-up planned for 2020

2018-07-20 
Sappi approves construction of demonstration plant for Xylitol & Furfural production in line with strategic biorefinery plans

Sappi announced today further progress in the development of its biorefinery capacity with the confirmation that it will construct a demonstration plant to further scale up its novel Xylex® technology for the production of Xylitol and Furfural.

2018-07-20 

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