BillerudKorsnäs has just announced that negotiations with labour unions over a proposal for new organisation will be initiated within short. The proposal contains a full profit and loss responsibility in three divisions.
“During my first months with BillerudKorsnäs, it has become clear to me that we have great conditions for profitable growth. In order for us to take maximum advantage out of these conditions, we need to become faster and clarify accountability within the company. This we now want to accomplish through a new organisation in three divisions with full profit and loss responsibility”, says Petra Einarsson, President and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs.
The current organisation of BillerudKorsnäs is a matrix with three business areas, a production organisation and a number of supporting functions. The proposal for a new organisation, which will be subject to negotiations, contains an organisation in three divisions: sack and kraft papers, board and corrugated materials, and packaging solutions. The production units will be included in the division for sack and kraft papers and in the division for board and corrugated materials. All the details of the future organisation are not yet decided and will be worked out and negotiated going forward.
In parallel to this process, a review of the roles and composition of the senior management team of the company will also be carried out.
After finalised negotiations, the ambition is to staff the new organisation and fully implement it during the latter part of 2018. The external financial reporting of the company will be changed according to the new organisation by January 1st, 2019.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) has just announced a $52.3 million strategic investment plan for its Saint-Félicien pulp mill, located in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. The announcement was made at a press conference attended by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and many dignitaries and company employees.
"The significant investments at Saint-Félicien are expected to improve several areas of the operation, increasing the average daily production capacity by 76 metric tons and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels by 20%," said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer.
On April 30, 2018, Resolute announced a $13 million investment in its La Doré (Quebec) wood products facilities, also located in Lac-Saint-Jean. In 2016, the company inaugurated Toundra Greenhouse, located adjacent to the Saint-Félicien pulp mill, a $100 million joint venture project with local investors.
During today's press conference, Yves Laflamme thanked local employees, government officials, as well as regional academic and economic development organizations for their continued support and advocacy.
Resolute employs close to 240 workers at the pulp mill, and more than 2,000 in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.
The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Valmet will supply a containerboard making line for Hamburger Rieger GmbH at its Spremberg Mill in Germany. The new production line (PM 2) including Valmet's automation solutions will be designed to produce high-quality testliner grades based on 100% recycled paper.
With the new high performance boardmaking machine producing products of a wide basis weight range, Hamburger aims to further strengthen its position in the growing European containerboard business. The start-up of the machine is scheduled for mid-2020.
The order is included in Valmet's second quarter of 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The total value of an order of this type is typically around EUR 70-90 million.
"The ability to show good references is always an important factor when a customer chooses a supplier. This was also crucial for Hamburger when they decided to make an agreement with Valmet. Valmet's technology delivers high productivity, resource efficiency, excellent quality and low operating costs. We have built up a good and close relationship with Hamburger over the years. This forms an optimal foundation for an excellent project and a strong reference for Valmet in Europe," says Vesa Simola, EMEA Area President of Valmet.
Technical details about the delivery
Valmet's delivery will include a new high-capacity containerboard machine from headbox to reel followed by an OptiWin Pro winder. The winder was selected because it gives high capacity due to its proactive winding geometry and faster sequences. The winder is equipped with Dual Unwind giving even higher capacity because the parent rolls can be changed in only one minute. The machine will be delivered with a fabrics package. The automation solution includes Valmet IQ quality measurement system and Valmet DNA process control system. The delivery will also include process support for six months after the start-up. The goal of the support period is production and quality development.
The 8,600-mm wide (wire) containerboard machine will produce uncoated white and brown testliner and white top testliner grades with a basis weight range of 90-180 g/m2. The design speed of the machine will be 1,500 m/min and the capacity 500,000 tonnes annually.
About the customer Hamburger Rieger
Hamburger Rieger is part of the Hamburger Containerboard Division within the Austrian Prinzhorn Group. Hamburger Rieger is the market leader in the segment of white coated corrugates base paper. With 2 million tonnes and seven plants, Hamburger Containerboard ranks among Europe's leading manufacturers of premium corrugated base paper. With its 6,600 employees in 15 countries, the Prinzhorn Group is a European market leader in the packaging, paper and recycling industry. The family owned and managed Prinzhorn Group has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Effective June 1, 2018, to offset rapid and unprecedented increases in freight costs, Kemira will implement a $0.02/pound price adjustment for all Process & Functional Chemicals sold on a delivered basis to pulp and paper customers in North America. The increase will apply to all customers whose price has not been previously adjusted for freight during 2018 and is independent of any future price adjustments based on raw material and manufacturing cost changes.
"Transportation costs have risen significantly and continue to rise. Carriers have raised freight rates to offset increasing costs due to the new "Electronic Logging Device and Hours of Service Rule" and a well-documented driver shortage. Likewise, our raw material suppliers are implementing price increases and/or freight surcharges to offset these same market forces," says Billy Ford, Senior Vice President, Pulp & Paper Americas. "While Kemira has taken every possible mitigating step, we are unfortunately no longer able to absorb these increased costs."
Valmet-delivered, a completely new type of a sizer, OptiSizer Hard, with related chemical systems were successfully started up at Propapier PM1 GmbH Burg mill in Germany a day ahead of schedule on April 19, 2018. The production line PM1 produces liner, fluting and kraft substitutes grades based on 100% waste paper. Thanks to a very good cooperation and a purposeful project work, all the produced containerboards have been saleable from the very start.
Good results from day one
A prototype product and a very tight shut-down schedule is a challenging combination. Despite the initial setup, most of the targets were achieved right after the start-up. The web passed through the nip smoothly and runnability was excellent. The new technology shows already a great potential to achieve the goals regarding strength properties and steam consumption.
"I was quite amazed to see the fast start-up of our new sizer. Earlier, high web tension levels were causing quite a bit of challenges to runnability. It looks like this obstacle no longer exists. We have achieved the targeted quality specification and now we can focus on the further benefits we are aiming at e.g. steam savings, higher strength levels or starch savings," says Phillipos Vrizas, Technology Manager at Propapier.
"The very first closing of the nip rolls is a moment telling a lot about any new sizer - especially a prototype sizer. It looked perfect. I couldn't see any web tension induced wrinkling in the web. The schedule was very tight with only a 11-day shutdown time. The fact that we were able to squeeze it into a 10-day break was quite amazing and a proof of an excellent cooperation and preplanning," says Jani Hakola, Development Manager at Valmet's Board and Paper Mills Business Unit.
Technical information about the delivery
Valmet's delivery included a new sizer called OptiSizer Hard. Compared to conventional sizer, OptiSizer Hard has a pair of hard cover nip rolls. Starch is sprayed on the rolls which transfer the starch into the nip where it is further transferred into paper web.
Strength is among the most important benefits with OptiSizer Hard. Starch is dosed in the roll nip with higher nip pressure, which increases the density of fibers. This leads into better strength properties. To mention a few other benefits of OptiSizer Hard, the life cycle costs are lower due spray application and runnability is better due to better nip profile control.
The existing and outdated starch preparation system was replaced with Valmet's starch preparation system specially designed for OptiSizer Hard and its spray application method. The properties of produced starch have substantially lower range of variation, which helps to produce liner boards within the targeted quality specifications. The delivered supply system is fully automated and equipped with pressure screens.
To further improve the properties of liner and fluting grades Propapier is producing, a cooperation agreement of 20 weeks was made. The target of the agreement is to find the best practices with the new sizer e.g. by reducing energy consumption, and by further improving liner and fluting properties, such as the lighter basis weight of containerboards without compromising other important properties.
Information about the customer Progroup
Progroup AG is questioning the existing, developing completely new approaches and bringing trend-setting concepts to market readiness. The successful development of the group is based on a consistent greenfield strategy, technological leadership, network management and an advanced supply chain strategy. With currently two paper factories (Propapier in Burg and Eisenhüttenstadt), a combined heat and power plant (Propower), ten corrugated board plants (Prowell) and several service companies (Prologistik, Proservice, Profund), Progroup's core business is the production of containerboard and corrugated board sheets. With 1100 employees, in 2017 the company generated sales of around 804 million euros and is one of the top 3 companies in the sector in Central Europe. The brands of the Next Generation Products are synonymous with the use of less raw material and less CO2 emissions coupled with an increase in performance, and have come to epitomise sustainable thinking and a sustainable way of doing business in the industry.
Under the Progroup umbrella, the production facilities of Propapier in Burg and Eisenhüttenstadt produce containerboard to become less dependent from the volatile paper market. At the Burg site in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt the heavier kraft liner substitutes and test liner products weighing from 110 to 230 g/m2 are made. The first-time installation of the OptiSizer Hard is again a great example for Progroup's "Power of Innovation" philosophy and is further strengthening Progroup's quality, reliability and cost leadership.
The installation of a new NipcoFlex shoe press was part of a comprehensive modernization of the Macedonian Paper Mills in Thessaloniki, Greece. With its help, the company was able to improve the quality and quantity of paper production. At the same time, the use of Voith technology reduced the plant's use of resources and therefore improved the company's competitiveness.
- Better board quality and runability a key criterion
- Voith's integrated overall concept impresses board manufacturer
- Detailed advance planning and close collaboration allow smooth rebuild and production start
The installation of a NipcoFlex shoe press was the first step in a comprehensive rebuild of the BM 1 at Macedonian Paper Mills (MEL) in Thessaloniki. This measure allowed the internationally operating manufacturer of board and packaging papers to increase machine production by 15 percent. But this increase is only one of the goals of the upgrade, as Georgios Georgiadis, the manager of the board factory, explains: “With the new press section we were able to improve board quality characteristics, reduce breaks and therefore significantly increase machine availability.” MEL mainly produces paper for packing foodstuffs on its BM1. In this segment, good printability is a major criterion. The investment in the new press section is therefore an important first step towards meeting customer requirements in the long term.
The NipcoFlex technology used on the BM 1 reliably corrects deviations in the CD profile and ensures a uniform thickness across the entire 4.110 millimeter wide paper web. A large Yankee cylinder and a coating system with drying function improve the smoothness of the surface.
One challenge associated with modernizing the plant was the tight time frame. The Voith service team had just three weeks to complete the project. Thanks to good preliminary planning and the smooth collaboration between all participants the BM 1 could be restarted on 23 July 2017. As the team from MEL was not familiar with the shoe press technology, comprehensive training including visits to similar systems was conducted in the run-up to the rebuild.
As well as improved paper quality and increased production, the new press section offers another advantage: The BM 1 now needs much less steam, which reduces the energy consumption of the machine. Despite this saving in resources, the NipcoFlex technology also enables a higher dry content in the paper web.
Several factors prompted MEL to work with Voith on this project. One of the key aspects was that Voith has more than 150 years of experience in building paper machines, is a technology leader in many areas and is renowned for the high reliability of its products. In addition, MEL has already worked with Voith on numerous projects, the results of which have been consistently positive for the board mill team. Ultimately, Voith also convinced the customer with an overall concept that was integrated technically and financially. That this was the right decision was not just confirmed by the smooth start to production.
“The atmosphere between the individual teams was excellent. The close collaboration with the colleagues from Voith Tolosa even resulted in some friendships,” says Georgiadis, adding: “I will certainly recommend collaboration with Voith to colleagues in the paper and board industry.”
The project is part of a comprehensive upgrade by the board mill. For example, MEL is investing in its own biomass power plant, which not only supplies power to the paper machine but is also used for steam generation.
Valmet has launched a new Valmet High Solids Measurement (Valmet HS) that enables stable and accurate measurements for industrial wastewater treatment, pulp and paper production and a wide range of other industrial processes. Valmet HS measures for over 30% solids or 1-70% moisture.
Originally designed for municipal waste water plants, Valmet HS is based on microwave technology and features a patented sensor structure. It extracts a continuous sample flow from a downfall or drop leg section in the process and returns it back to the process after the solids content has been measured.
"We see high potential for this solution especially in the pulp and paper industry where an accurate high solids measurement provides many benefits, such as improved high consistency control, cost savings and higher quality," says Jarmo Havana, Product Manager, Automation, Valmet.
Cost and fuel savings lead to better sustainability
The new measurement brings numerous benefits to its users. It helps to minimize transport costs of sludge in waste water applications and reduce supplementary fuel use where sludge fuels a boiler, thus improving the sustainability of industrial processes. Additionally, Valmet HS makes it possible to optimize total solids levels and follow up, in real time, the performance of dewatering or drying processes.
Already in use after a high-consistency roll press, Valmet HS provides accurate pulp consistency control to refining and consequently more stable-quality pulp to the paper machine. Benefits include lower press energy consumption, reduced fiber crushing and the prevention of too high consistency causing damage to process equipment.
Other proven applications of Valmet HS include wastewater sludge solids measurement after dewatering in pulp and paper applications, measuring sawdust moisture before pelleting in the wood processing industry and sludge moisture monitoring before incineration.
"The solution has been so successful that new applications are coming up all the time. Ongoing development work in various industries includes the measurement of moisture with starch, sugar and gypsum as well control of a thermal drying processes," adds Havana
The second generation TT SYD-16FT replaced a cast iron Yankee and it was started up on schedule in mid-January 2018. The scope of supply also included the complete Yankee steam and condensate system.
Toscotec is the inventor and the undiscussed market leader of steel Yankee dryers worldwide, supplying SYDs both for new tissue machines and in replacement of cast iron Yankees. This proves that paper mills across the globe acknowledge that TT SYD is the best technology currently available on the market in terms of energy efficiency, reliability and safety.
Mr. Di Leva, CEO of Paperdi, said, “After monitoring the new TT SYD for a few months, we can say that it has been performing extremely well in terms of drying efficiency and allowed us to reach the top speed. We are particularly happy with the steam consumption figures, and we expect to bear the fruits of this replacement in the long run, by significantly cutting production costs”.
About Cartiera di Pietramelara
Located in the province of Caserta, Cartiera di Pietramelara mill belongs to the Italian tissue producer Paperdi srl. Since 1989, the mill has been producing tissue products such as industrial rolls, kitchen rolls, toilet jumbo rolls and towel tissue, with the household brand “Soavex” and the professional brand “paperdi”. The current annual production is 45,000 tonnes. Inspired by a strong ecological mission, Paperdi mainly utilizes recycled materials to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.
British master papermaker James Cropper attended this year’s Luxe Pack New York and is using the opportunity to impress the US market with its expertise in creating black papers, as well as its latest innovations in sustainable paper packaging.
The premier trade show, took place on 16 and 17 May at Pier 92, James Cropper demonstrated its Tailor Made paper service, its collection of black papers for packaging, while introducing attendees to its award-winning CupCycling initiative and Colourform moulded fibre solution.
James Cropper works closely with clients to develop custom papers as part of its Tailor Made service. With colour expertise across the spectrum, its in-house colour lab holds recipes for over 50 shades of black alone. The business will showcase examples of recent packaging projects that demonstrate its black capability at the show, including a unique solution for luxury online handbag retailer Zesh.
In addition to its paper ranges, James Cropper will showcase its pioneering CupCycling initiative, which ‘upcycles’ used disposable cups, giving them another lease of life by transforming them into beautiful papers and packaging. A great example of the work the business is doing to create value from this waste stream is the closed-loop collaboration with British retailer Selfridges, where cups from the brands own offices and retail outlets are transformed into paper for its iconic yellow shopping bags.
The company will also be presenting Colourform plastic-free packaging that is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Colourform provides all of the premium appeal that discerning consumers expect from packaging and demonstrates a significant environmental benefit when used in preference to plastic alternatives. Made using 100 per cent renewable paper fibre from well managed forests and recycled coffee cups, it can be manufactured in any colour or shape, is fully recyclable with household paper and is naturally biodegradable – so if it is inadvertently discarded then it will leave no trace in the environment.
Colourform’s mission is to offer brands a sustainable packaging option for their products, without losing the excitement and quality of experience that outstanding packaging provides. Every Colourform project is bespoke in terms of colour, shape, surface finish and functionality with the packaging used for a wide range of product categories from cosmetics to consumer electronics. It is already used by environmentally conscious brands such as Lush handmade cosmetics and Floral Street fragrances.
Ivan Iannetta, USA sales manager at James Cropper, said: “It’s a really exciting year for James Cropper, particularly when it comes to our sustainable solutions for the luxury packaging market, and we look forward to demonstrating our expertise in this arena at Luxe Pack.
“Using our 173-year heritage, superior craftsmanship and innovative approach to paper production, we’re able to inspire creativity while helping brands to do their bit for the environment. CupCycling and Colourform are true examples of sustainability and ingenuity colliding and we can’t wait to see how they’re received at the show.”
Hardwood pulp manufacturers in Europe have some of the highest wood fiber costs in the world despite prices for hardwood pulplogs having trended downward in most key markets on the continent over the past six years. In the second half of 2017, this trend reversed, with fiber prices going up in both the local currencies and in US dollar terms. In the 4Q/17, prices for hardwood logs in Spain and Finland were the highest on the continent, while French and Swedish prices were on the lower end of the hardwood cost spectrum, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Hardwood fiber supply in Sweden tightened in late 2017 because of an unusually wet and mild early winter season. The tight supply resulted in odd importations of Eucalyptus chips from both Brazil and Uruguay in late 2017 and early 2018 at prices reported to be that was substantially higher than those for domestically sourced wood fiber. The limited availability of logs resulted in higher prices for hardwood pulplogs during most of 2017 ( after being at an 11-year low in the 4Q/16). Despite the recent price rise in the 4Q/17, birch pulplog costs were about 15% lower than their 10-year average (in US dollar terms).
Prices for softwood chips and pulplogs were also up in Sweden during 2017 because of an imbalance between domestic supply and demand. The higher domestic fiber prices resulted in an increase in importation of softwood chip to Sweden in 2017, which reached almost double the volume imported five years ago. In the last quarter of the year, imports reached the second highest quarterly volume on record.
Historically, most imported chips have been destined for the country’s pulpmills, but over the past two years there has been an increase in imported chips to be used for energy. Latvia, Norway, Estonia and Finland, in ranking order, are the major suppliers of softwood chips, accounting for 95% of the total import volume in 2017. With a higher percentage of lower-cost energy chips over the past few years (predominantly from Norway), the average value for imported chips has declined by about 40% 2013 to 2017, according to the WRQ in its 4Q/17 issue. Of the four major supplying countries, Finland supplied the highest cost chips, while Norway was the lowest cost supplier in 2017.