Pulp-Paperworld.com / European News

At a special conference just organised as part of the Paper and Beyond 2018 event in Brussels, the first phase of the PROVIDES  project was officially completed. PROVIDES, which stands for ‘PROcesses for Value added fibres by Innovative Deep Eutectic Solvents’, is a research and innovation project within the Biobased Industries Initiative, with the goal of significantly reducing CO2 emissions in pulp and papermaking.

Sappi is an active participant in the project, thus supporting the pulp and paper industry’s technological transition towards meeting its climate objectives.

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The completion of the first phase was celebrated with the publication of a booklet describing the potential of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) for creating breakthrough innovations in the pulp and paper industry. The publication ‘Deep Eutectic Solvents in the paper industry’ can be downloaded here.

Revolutionising the industry

In November 2011, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) launched its vision for the sector in the next 35 years, concluding that breakthrough technologies would be needed to make the industry more sustainable. Specifically, it aims to achieve an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions and at the same time create 50% more value. The PROVIDES consortium shows that a revolutionary change is now possible. New, mild pulping technologies based on natural Deep Eutectic Solvents lead to a significantly more sustainable process that is energy-, cost- and resource-effective, while producing much lower CO2 emissions.

The total DES concept

Deep Eutectic Solvents are nature-based, renewable, biodegradable, low-volatile and cost-effective. The overall objective of the DES concept is to achieve a 40% reduction of energy use and an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions in pulp and papermaking. The DES concept will enable the industry to obtain a radically new, sustainable and techno-economically feasible pulping technology, while also enabling the selective recovery of dissolved components. In addition, DESs can be regenerated and recycled, ensuring economical use of resources. This technological innovation produces high-quality cellulose fibres for papermaking, while simultaneously producing high-quality lignin and hemicellulose fractions for a variety of high-volume applications.

Results and achievements

In the first phase of the PROVIDES project, more than one hundred new DESs were developed. Of these, two have been further developed as successful delignifying agents. The project proved that the entire DES pulping process can be run at operational costs similar to those kraft pulping, and that the resulting cellulose fibres have good tensile strength and extreme internal bond strength. In addition, it was proven that DES delignification results in 95% lignin removal, and that the lignin can be successfully recovered and the DES regenerated.

Next steps

In the coming years, the pulping part of the DES research cluster, coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT), will continue to conduct further applied research towards the realisation of a DES pulping pilot and demo, ultimately leading to commercial implementation in 2030.

Published in European News

Building on its reputation for quality, service and responsibility, Sappi has just moved to strengthen its leadership in the dissolving wood pulp (DWP) market with the launch of the Sappi Verve brand.

Demand for DWP continues to grow as consumer preference increases for products made from renewable, sustainably sourced and processed woodfibre. As a significant producer of DWP over the past decades, Sappi today produces close to 1.4m tons per annum, enjoying a significant 16% share of the DWP market. Sappi continues to invest to ensure customers are able to meet demands for sustainably grown and responsibly processed dissolving wood pulp. 

2018 10 05 103251Commenting on the launch of the Sappi Verve brand, Steve Binnie, Sappi Limited CEO said: “Our products and service offering within the dissolving pulp market are highly valued and we remain an industry leader in this space. Verve gives recognition to this enviable reputation and the value we offer this market. Brands, including industrial business-to-business brands carry tremendous value, not just to customers but to the whole value chain. Sappi Verve represents our commitment to the entire value chain from brand owners through to the cellulosic fibre producers; our commitment to producing a natural fibre sourced from sustainably managed forests. As a responsible corporate citizen it is a commitment to our ethos of sustainability within the context of people, planet and prosperity.”

The majority of dissolving wood pulp is consumed in the viscose industry where pulp is converted through the value chain to yarn and ultimately textiles providing naturally soft, breathable fabrics which is smooth to the touch, hold colour well and drape beautifully. DWP cellulosic fibre is also used for a myriad of household, industrial and pharmaceutical applications including for tablets, personal hygiene, cellophane, washing sponges etc. 

In the past, DWP sold by Sappi was unbranded and industry generic names were used as product names. This did not reflect the specific benefits which has always differentiated Sappi’s DWP. The new Sappi Verve brand creates a very specific identity within the DWP market.

Bernhard Riegler VP Marketing for Sappi’s dissolving wood pulp explains: “At Sappi we have always known there is something special to our dissolving wood pulp products. We have consistent, outstanding quality products, supported by dedicated customer service, all underpinned by a strong sustainability story.  As a fibre produced from natural and renewable resources, Verve provides the value chain with a sustainable choice not only within the broader textile sphere which includes cotton and polyester, but as a preferred sustainable choice within the dissolving wood pulp market.”

Riegler continues: “Committing to a brand such as Sappi Verve means committing to the broader values it denotes, not only the product attributes but also the broader commitments and values that Sappi as the parent brand stands for. Consumers are becoming more active in making the right choices to contribute toward a tomorrow that is better than today. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important within a brand promise. Sustainability that uplifts people, builds communities, generates economic value and secures the environment.  Sappi Verve represents enthusiasm, life, vigour and energy. Sappi Verve is the sustainable choice and our way of making tomorrow better than today.”

Binnie concludes: “Sappi Verve aligns perfectly with our goals as a business – diverse, sustainable, committed to growth and adding value to our customers, communities and investors. Sappi Verve meets the needs of a discerning, fast-growing and thriving world.”

About Sappi

A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing facilities on three continents, in nine countries (ten operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable dissolving wood pulp, paper (speciality, packaging and graphic), paper pulp, and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: flexible packaging, label, release liner, containerboard and fluting, coated fine papers, casting release papers and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers. These products serve the fashion, FMCG and industrial sectors. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

www.sappi.com

Published in European News

Sappi has just announced 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. The plant will be located adjacent to the existing sugars and lignin extraction plant at Ngodwana Mill. It should be operational early in 2019. Pending successful results and further approvals it is anticipated that Sappi may construct commercial Xylitol and Furfural plants adjacent to our mills in the USA and South Africa.

sappi logoCommenting on the decision Sappi CEO Steve Binnie said: "We are very happy with the progress being made by our biorefinery team, as well as with the value we are deriving from the acquisition and integration last year of the key biorefinery technologies and expert staff from Plaxica. Biomaterials and biochemicals are integral to Sappi’s strategy of extracting maximum value from wood fibre, our natural and renewable resource. We have taken a significant step towards generating meaningful revenue from this new business segment."

Louis Kruyshaar, EVP for Sappi Biotech, explained: "Sappi’s biorefinery plans are focused on building a sustainable, profitable business from the manufacture and sale of food ingredients, materials and chemical intermediates derived from the C5 sugars produced as a co-product of our dissolving wood pulp production, and from the lignin produced in our global pulp production."

The combination of Sappi’s operational excellence, the proposed co-location of the commercial plants at existing mill sites delivers strong integration synergies, and the cost advantages offered by Sappi’s scale and the Xylex® technology mean that Sappi will have a globally competitive cost base for sugars and xylitol and furfural production.

Turning to the products which the demonstration plant will provide a platform for, Kruyshaar said: "Xylitol is a high value sweetener with exciting growth prospects - it is a low-calorie sweetener which has positive dental properties and produces no insulin response, so is suitable for diabetics. Furfual is a versatile green industrial chemical derived from C5 sugars with a diverse range of derivatives".  

A quick overview of the development of Sappi’s sugars extraction capacity:

 In 2016 Sappi announced it would invest in demonstration capacity at its Ngodwana Mill in South Africa to extract hemicellulose sugars and lignin from its dissolving wood pulp (DWP) line for eventual beneficiation to higher value products

  • In 2017 this plant, built in partnership with Valmet, was commissioned. After operating for 12 months to demonstrate the extraction of C5 sugars from DWP production, the plant has exceeded all efficiency targets for cost, cycle time and yield.
  • Later in 2017 Sappi acquired the patented Xylex® technology for the hydrolysis and clean-up of these C5 sugars, as well as to produce a valuable lignin stream.
  • In April 2018, Sappi sanctioned a scale-up demonstration plant for the Xylex® technology to be located alongside the existing sugars plant at Ngodwana Mill. The plant will be commissioned in the first calendar quarter of 2019.
  • This plant will enable the demonstration of technologies for the production of Xylitol and Furfural.
  • Following successful commissioning of the Xylitol process, Sappi’s strategic intent is to enter the Xylitol value chain with a world-scale production plant.
  • As regards Furfural, sugars extraction from our DWP assets combined with our Xylex® and Furfural capabilities will allow Sappi to pursue various partnerships in the furan chemical value chain. The furan markets are showing strong market pull for new investments due to growth as well as replacing older and smaller unsustainable assets
Published in European News

As one of the founding partners of The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme

Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, speciality and packaging papers, graphic (printing and writing) paper and biomaterials, is pleased to announce its support as one of the founding partners of The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme .

The 3-5 year fellowships, announced last week by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), will attract academics from around the world to identify breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At launch eight Fellowships have been funded.

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The Sappi supported Fellowship will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goal “Reshaping the future of industry” (SDG9). It aims to build on Sappi’s current engagement with the CISL by investigating how trends of innovation and sustainability will come together to reshape the future of industry – looking at the paper and pulp industry as an initial example and examining drivers including the rise of artificial intelligence and the need to bring carbon emissions to net zero.

Commenting on Sappi’s decision to become a Founding Partner of the Fellowship Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited, said:

“We have been engaging at a group and European level with Dame Polly Courtice and the CISL team since 2013. They have helped and supported our European industry efforts related to the Green Growth Platform, the development of a new low carbon pulp technology (DES), exploring financing options to support industry’s transformation and investigating block-chain technology for timber certification.” He continued “The challenge for the pulp and paper industry is how to be much more effective than today, both in our journey towards durable sustainability and to the need for economic vitality and employment for future generations. This Fellowship programme and the research it will deliver will help take this work forward. We live in an age of hyper-innovation and we take responsibility for making it work positively. That is why we have chosen a subject which joins the desire and need for sustainable materials with the most revolutionary technology to appear for over a generation – that of Artificial Intelligence. We anticipate that the Fellowship programme will deliver students with a profound knowledge and understanding of these issues which will help drive new solutions for us and others, creating exciting opportunities far into the future.”

CISL, a 30-year old Institute with 80 staff and a network of 8,000 alumni and 250 companies, will host the Fellowship Programme alongside its existing industry collaborations and executive education programmes to foster an exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Speaking at the launch of the Fellowship, Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the CISL said: “The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme will create a rich intellectual space for collaboration between researchers and industry as we seek breakthrough ideas and leadership actions to towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.

Over and above Sappi’s topic of Industrial Transformation, the other confirmed research topics include Social and Environmental Accounting; Investing in Sustainable Communities; Sustainable Health; Radical Innovation and Disruption; The Role of Responsible Business in the Community; Inclusive Growth; Pathways to a Circular Economy.

Additional Info

  • About

    About Sappi Limited

    A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing facilities on three continents, in seven countries (eight operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

    Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable dissolving wood pulp, paper (speciality, packaging and graphic), paper pulp, and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: flexible packaging, label, release liner, containerboard and fluting, coated fine papers, casting release papers and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers. These products serve the fashion, FMCG and industrial sectors. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

    We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

    www.sappi.com

    About the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

    The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy.

    Through leadership and collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, they believe the economy can be ‘rewired’ to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment.

    They support this by:

     Building the leadership capacity of individuals

     Developing the capability of organisations

     Facilitating collaboration and dialogue across conventional boundaries

     Catalysing innovation and solutions

     Building the evidence base for action

    Each year they work with business, government and finance leaders in over 250 organisations and more than 1,200 individuals complete one of their graduate or executive programmes. They have a leadership network of over 8,000 senior leaders and practitioners from business, government and civil society who have an impact in every sector and on every continent.

    HRH The Prince of Wales is their Royal Founding Patron and has inspired and supported many of their initiatives.

    www.cisl.cam.ac.uk

    About the Prince of Wales Global Fellowship Programme

    The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is establishing a new Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme to research critical global challenges.

    The Programme is being established in the name of CISL’s Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.

    The Fellowship Programme will help to mobilise global evidence on challenges such as inequality, nutrition, environmental protection with a view to enabling companies and policymakers to play a more catalytic role in building a sustainable economy.

    The ambition is to foster new thinking by cutting across conventional boundaries, leading to practical insights, tools and ideas for executives to carry into their organisations.

    Working in close association with academic departments and Cambridge colleges, the Fellowship Programme will attract outstanding candidates to undertake interdisciplinary research into cross-cutting themes critical to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    Fellows will be appointed for 3-5 years by an independent Research Oversight Committee (ROC) comprising members of CISL’s Board of senior professors across the six Schools of the University, drawing on co-opted expertise where necessary.

    The other founding companies and individuals who will sponsor the Fellowship Programme include: Anglian Water, Asda, AstraZeneca, The Equal Opportunities Foundation, Heathrow Airport Holdings, Paul and Michelle Gilding (individuals), Sainsbury’s and Unilever

    Read more about The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme

Published in European News

Sappi, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, speciality and packaging papers, graphic (printing and writing) paper and biomaterials is investing in its mill in Gratkorn.

sappi logoAfter finishing the upgrade of paper machine 11 in November 2014, PM 9 will be upgraded in 2019 to the current state of the art. The aim of the project is, in addition to the exchange of technical components, to operate the papermaking process with a reduced energy demand and thus to sustainably reduce the environmental impact. Another effect of the upgrade is the optimisation of raw materials to reduce production costs. The project has a total investment of approximately € 30 million and is scheduled to be realised in the first half of 2019. The project will be carried out in cooperation with Valmet, who also carried out the upgrade of PM 11.

Max Oberhumer, Mill Director of Sappi Gratkorn is pleased about the approval of this project: “In addition to the renewal of important components on the paper machine, the significant improvement in energy efficiency is another milestone in our efforts to achieve sustainable business.”

Steffen Wurdinger, VP Manufacturing, R&D and Technology of Sappi Europe points out the importance of the project: “The approved investment consolidates Sappi Europe's position in this product segment. The reliability of the product quality as well as the machine’s  competitiveness will be strengthened through this project.”

About Sappi’s Gratkorn Mill
Sappi Gratkorn mill is part of Sappi Europe. Annually it produces 990,000 tons of high quality double and triple coated papers which are used for premium quality publications all over the world. Gratkorn mill also produces 250,000 tons of totally chlorine free (TCF) chemical pulp. The mill employs 1240 paper industry professionals from production to R&D. About 95 % of the mill’s production is exported.

The mill operates under management systems consisting of certified Environmental Management System (ISO 14001), Energy Management System (ISO 50001), Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001), Quality Management System (ISO 9001) and Chain Of Custody Verification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™) scheme and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®).

About Sappi
Sappi Europe SA is the leading European producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Sappi Europe is recognised for innovation and quality. Its graphic paper brands include Magno™, Quatro™, Vantage™, Royal, Galerie™ and GalerieArt™ ranges. Algro®, Leine®, Parade®,  Fusion® and atelier™ are the brands for innovative solutions of speciality papers and boards.

Sappi papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification and EMAS registration for all our mills in the EU. Sappi European mills hold chain-of-custody certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™) schemes.

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,800 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

Published in European News

Sappi Limited, the South African based leading global supplier of dissolving wood pulp (DWP), speciality and packaging papers, printing (graphic) papers and biomaterials has confirmed plans and ongoing projects to significantly increase DWP capacity by 2020.  In particular, Sappi has started preparatory work for the potential expansion of its Saiccor DWP Mill to ensure that the company would be in a position to increase the mill’s capacity by up to 250,000tpa to meet strong projected demand growth.

sappi logoBuilding on the previously announced debottlenecking investments which will increase the Saiccor Mill capacity by 10,000tpa by the end of 2018, work has also started at increasing the chipping capacity and modernising the Saiccor Mill wood yard. The new equipment for the wood yard is scheduled to be delivered and installed at the end of 2018, with start-up planned for January 2019. The wood yard investments will result in cost, quality, environmental and efficiency benefits to the Saiccor Mill and is also a major step towards preparing the Saiccor Mill to expand by a further 250,000tpa.

Sappi is also busy with the preparatory work to enable it to initiate the pre-requisite EIA (environmental impact assessment) process to study potential impacts, gather community input and model new technology benefits of the proposed 250,000tpa expansion, which would increase the Saiccor Mill’s total capacity to over 1 million tpa.

The project has the potential to bring additional investments and jobs into the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa, increase foreign revenues for the country and further entrench South Africa as a global leader in forest products.

Sappi is also, as previously announced, in the process of expanding its dissolving wood pulp capacity at its Ngodwana Mill by 50,000tpa through debottlenecking projects. This work is scheduled for completion by August 2018.

At our Cloquet Mill, we are completing a study regarding the expansion of pulping capacity within our existing permit limits, maintaining our ability to make either DWP or Kraft pulp. It is envisaged that such an expansion would have the capacity to increase DWP production by around 30,000tpa and could be brought on line by mid-2019. 

Collectively these current and planned investments demonstrate Sappi’s commitment to respond to strong customer demand for additional dissolving wood pulp volumes. 

Further updates on Sappi’s expansion plans will follow during 2018.

About Sappi Limited

A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing facilities on three continents, in seven countries (eight operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable dissolving wood pulp, paper (speciality, packaging and graphic), paper pulp, and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: flexible packaging, label, release liner, containerboard and fluting, coated fine papers, casting release papers and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers. These products serve the fashion, FMCG and industrial sectors. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

Published in European News

Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) and Sappi North America today praised the decision of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel, which upheld the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports from Indonesia. The decision, released yesterday, confirms that the U.S. acted consistently with its WTO obligations when it imposed countervailing duties of 17.93 percent and antidumping duties of 20.13 percent.

verso logo 2018Yesterday's decision means that countervailing duties that were imposed in November 2010 on certain types of coated paper from Indonesia will remain in effect. The Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission determined in 2016 that the market situation warranted the continuation of the duties for an additional 5-year period. The paper products covered by the petitions include certain types of coated paper that use sheet-fed presses with a GE brightness rating of 80 or higher and weighing up to 340 grams per square meter. The papers are used in commercial printing to create magazines, books, direct mailing, and corporate collateral.

Michael Weinhold, President of Graphic Papers at Verso Corporation said, "Verso is very pleased with the WTO Panel's decision in DS491, which will help ensure that duties remain in place to counter the dumping and subsidization of Indonesian coated paper. We also want to thank the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, and officials from the International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce, who worked diligently to defend these decisions and ensure strong enforcement of our trade laws."

Mark Gardner, President and CEO of Sappi North America added, "We are very happy with the outcome of this dispute. Subsidized imports injure U.S. producers, and it is important to keep the offsetting duties in place."

Parties have 60 days to appeal the ruling to the WTO Appellate Body.

About Verso Corporation
Verso Corporation is the turn-to company for those looking to successfully navigate the complexities of paper sourcing and performance. The leading North American producer of printing and
specialty papers and pulp, Verso provides insightful solutions that help drive improved customer efficiency, productivity, brand awareness and business results. Verso's long-standing reputation for quality and reliability is directly tied to our vision to be a company with passion that is respected and trusted by all. Verso's passion is rooted in ethical business practices that demand safe workplaces for our employees and sustainable wood sourcing for our products. This passion, combined with our flexible manufacturing capabilities and an unmatched commitment to product performance, delivery and service, make Verso a preferred choice among commercial printers, paper merchants and brokers, converters, publishers and other end users. For more information, visit us online at www.versoco.com.

About Sappi North America 
sappi logoSappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world's leading suppliers of Release Papers with our Ultracast, PolyEX, Classics and Neoterix lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com.

SOURCE Verso Corporation

Published in Asian News

Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, speciality and packaging papers, graphic (printing and writing) paper and biomaterials, today announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire the speciality paper business of Cham Paper Group Holding AG (CPG) for CHF146.5 million (approximately $149 million).

CHAM featureThe transaction includes the acquisition of CPG’s Carmignano and Condino Mills in Italy, its digital imaging business located in Cham, Switzerland as well as all brands and know-how. It will be funded through internal cash resources.  The transaction is conditional on the approval from certain competition authorities. We expect the acquisition to be completed during the first calendar quarter of 2018.

The main benefits of the acquisition include:

  • Supports Sappi’s diversification strategy and 2020vision to grow in higher margin growth  segments
  • Strengthens Sappi Europe’s speciality and packaging papers footprint and skills; adds 160,000 tons of speciality paper to our capacity
  • Increases Sappi’s relevance in speciality papers, opening up new customers and markets to Sappi’s existing products and generating economies of scale and synergies
  • Gaining greater share-of-wallet with valued brand owners; accelerating innovation and new product development
  • Improved near-term profitability and serve as platform for organic growth and further acquisitions. Will add €183 million of sales and approximately €20 million of EBITDA before taking into account synergies
  • Builds on the investments currently underway to increase speciality paper capacity at our Somerset, Maastricht and Alfeld Mills
  • Unlocks the growth potential of the CPG speciality paper business

Commenting on the transaction Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited, said:

“This acquisition further strengthens Sappi’s speciality paper business both in Europe and globally by combining Cham’s strong brands and assets with Sappi’s global reach. This transaction will increase profitability and unlock the significant growth and innovation potential inherent within the speciality paper market. I am very pleased that we have taken another signification step towards realizing our Vision2020 goal.”

Berry Wiersum, CEO Sappi Europe stated:

“We are very excited about the possibilities this transaction opens up for Sappi as well as for Cham’s highly respected business. The products and brands which have been acquired are an excellent complement to our market offering, enabling us to offer our existing, as well as new customers in Europe, North America and globally, a broader range of products coupled with excellent customer service.”

The speciality paper business of CPG will continue to operate separately and independently from Sappi until clearances from the authorities are obtained.

About Sappi Limited

A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing facilities on three continents, in seven countries (eight operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable dissolving wood pulp, paper (speciality, packaging and graphic), paper pulp, and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: flexible packaging, label, release liner, containerboard and fluting, coated fine papers, casting release papers and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers. These products serve the fashion, FMCG and industrial sectors. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

About Cham Paper Group Holding AG (CPG): CPGN (SWX) The Cham Paper Group Holding AG is a leading manufacturer of coated speciality papers. The company was founded in 1657. Following the divestment of the paper business, the company will focus on its real estate business and will operate under the name «Cham Group».

Carmignano Mill (Carmignano di Brenta, Padua, Italy): This is a non-integrated paper mill with two paper machines. The plant can produce 100 000 tons of paper and employs 210 people. Paper grades include C1S FlexPack, C1S Label Papers, Wet Glue and Self-Adhesive applications, base paper for metallisation

Condino Mill (Borgo Chiese, Trento, Italy): This is a non-integrated paper mill, with one paper machine. The mill employs 120 employees and can produce 60 000 tons of paper per year. Paper grades include glassine (silicone base paper) and super calendared, uncoated flexible packaging papers.

Digital Imaging Business (Cham, Canton Zug, Switzerland): A finishing plant is located in Cham Switzerland, in a 4000sqm industrial warehouse where the base paper from Condino or Carmignano mills are converted to produce 12 000 tons of digital imaging paper. The business employs 50 people.

Published in European News

Cham Paper Group sells its speciality paper business to the South African Sappi Limited, one of the world's leading pulp and paper companies. The integration of the speciality paper business into the Sappi Group will open up new perspectives for the two high-performance plants of Cham Paper Group in Carmignano and Condino as well as for their employees and for the Digital Imaging team in Cham. The transaction is subject to the approval of anti-trust authorities. Following the divestment of the paper business, Cham Paper Group will focus on its real estate business. The group is pushing ahead the transformation of the «Papieri» area in Cham into a new, attractive urban quarter.

cham paper group logoThe Sappi Group, which is domiciled in Johannesburg and listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange, develops, produces and sells dissolving wood pulp, speciality, packaging and graphic paper, as well as biomaterials. It employs around 12,000 people with production facilities across 7 countries on 3 continents and customers in over 150 countries. It has focused its development in various areas of the speciality paper market. The integration of Cham Paper Group's speciality paper business into a strong, globally positioned Group will open up new opportunities for this business as regards procurement, market development, product innovation, expansion opportunities and staff development.

In recent months, the Cham Paper Group's Board of Directors has examined all strategic options for the company's future success following the relocation of the speciality paper production from Switzerland to Italy and the comprehensive modernisation of the plants in Carmignano and Condino. Although Cham Paper Group's profitable speciality paper business is well positioned today, it is still too small to develop its market position on its own in the long term. Accordingly, selling it to the Sappi Group is an optimal solution.

The sale of the speciality paper business requires a change in the corporate purpose of Cham Paper Group Holding AG. The shareholders may vote on the proposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting. The alteration of the company's purpose requires the approval of at least two-thirds of the votes represented at the General Meeting. In addition, the transaction is subject to the approval of anti-trust authorities. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

Following the divestment of the speciality paper business, the company will focus on its real estate business and will operate under the name «Cham Group». The sale at an enterprise value of CHF 146.5 million will result (after deduction of bank debt, liabilities and cost) in an inflow of approximately CHF 125 million in cash to the Group. These financial resources increase the flexibility for the development of the «Papieri» project. For example, the resulting higher equity ratio means that a higher proportion of investment properties could be considered at the expense of the condominium ownership ratio. Real estate investments beyond the «Papieri» site are also possible.

The Board of Directors intends to make the Cham Group share an attractive dividend-bearing security for the long-term. A base dividend of at least CHF 6.00 per share will be proposed to the General Meeting of Shareholders as of the financial year 2017. The distribution is tax-free from capital reserves. As soon as the «Papieri» site yields regular income, which is likely to be the case from 2022 onwards, the dividend will be based on the actual profit generated.

Cham Paper Group
The Cham Paper Group is a leading manufacturer of coated speciality papers. Surface finishing lends papers properties that generate value added for its customers. The company, which was founded in 1657, has three sites, one in Switzerland (Cham) and two in Italy (Carmignano and Condino), and a global sales network.
The decision to focus on development and sales and discontinue paper manufacturing in Switzerland has made way for a new project on the factory site in the centre of Cham. The Cham Paper Group is developing an eleven-hectare quarter there called the Papieri site.
The Cham Paper Group (stock exchange symbol: CPGN) is listed on Switzerland's SIX Swiss Exchange.

Published in European News

sappi logoSappi Limited is pleased to announce that its Biotech division has entered into an agreement with CellMark appointing CellMark as the non-exclusive sales agent for Sappi Biotech’s Hansa lignin products, produced in liquid and powder formats in South Africa at Sappi Tugela Mill.

Sappi is the world’s largest producer of Lignosulphonates from operations in South Africa and Europe. The material is both used internally for bio-energy generation or beneficiated and processed to technical lignins for sale to global lignin markets.
CellMark operates a global sales, marketing, financing and logistics business aimed at consistently surpassing customer expectations.

Louis Kruyshaar who leads the Sappi Biotech business commented, “We are really pleased to partner with CellMark which brings an excellent fit to our Biotech business at a stage when accelerated market penetration is key to attain our growth targets.” 

He continued, “The partnership, which is built on common core values, will include a joint social investment initiative to benefit rural communities in South Africa.”

“We are delighted to represent the Sappi Biotech Hansa quality lignin and offer enhanced lignin solutions to customers ’’ indicates Jean-Luc Carrière, Vice President and General Manager Lignin for CellMark Basic Chemicals. He adds, ‘’This partnership will enable both companies to advance towards their common goal to expand markets and applications for this versatile biopolymer.’’

Lignins are commonly used as surfactants, binders, dispersers and emulsifying agents leading to the use of this renewable material produced from trees used in a large number of applications globally.

About Sappi Limited

A global leader in paper, paper pulp and dissolving wood pulp solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing operations on three continents, in seven countries (seven mills in Europe, three mills in America and four mills in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable paper, paper pulp, dissolving wood pulp and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: coated fine papers used by printers, publishers and corporate end-users; casting release papers used by suppliers to the fashion, textiles, automobile and household industries; and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers, premium quality packaging papers and paper grade pulp. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

In FY2016 we produced approximately: 5.4 million tons per year of graphic and printing paper and packaging and speciality paper; 2.3 million tons per year of market paper pulp, and 1.3 million tons per year of dissolving wood pulp.

We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

For further information visit www.sappi.com or www.sappi.com/biomaterials

About CellMark

CellMark serves as a global meeting place for entrepreneurial companies seeking business opportunities and relationships for collaborative innovation. Together with our business partners we deliver products, services and solutions to the world market. With a network of 70 offices in 30 countries we specialize in a variety of supply-chain services including sales & marketing, logistics and financial services.

Our platform supports and helps entrepreneurs exchange products and services more efficiently, improves business, mitigates risk and the impact on natural resources. We connect entrepreneurs in the areas of Chemicals, Metals, Pulp, Paper, Packaging, Recycling, Energy and Medical around the world. The company is employee-owned, has an annual sales of USD 3 Billion with a trade volume of 6 million tons.

For further information visit www.cellmark.com

Published in European News
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