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An innovative new binder replacement concept, which has a big positive impact on coating costs, is showing very good results in numerous fine paper and board mills throughout Europe. Although the mills presently using Kemira’s new Fennobind concept have chosen to remain confidential, the cost savings are already clear.

Cash savings vary, of course, depending on the coated grade but are generally 5 to 10% in binder costs. Up to 50% of the binder that the mill normally uses can be substituted with the Fennobind concept. Fennobind is easily applied by simply adding it to the coating colour after the standard binder during makedown.

Paper and board properties

Surface strength, one of the most critical and closely-monitored coated sheet properties, shows no negative impact as a result of the reduced total binder content. This is confirmed on industrial high speed printing presses with various paper and board grades. Coating formulations made using the innovative Fennobind concept are essentially equal to or better than those made with higher amounts of 100% standard latex. Similarly, runnability of the sheet through the coating stations is unchanged.

Bjorn Lindqvist, senior application specialist for Fennobind at Kemira, explains how the new technology works. “Quite simply, the unique binding strength is a result of the particle size distribution and specific stabilization chemistry used for the product. Therefore we get more than twice the binding power with Fennobind.” (See Figure 1)

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Coating coverage and smoothness, as well as gloss, are all better with the new Fennobind formula. The positive impact on coating coverage, which is indicated by better coating hold-out based on burnout tests (see Figure 2), gives the possibility to reduce the amount high-cost pigments in e.g. the precoating or midcoating stages during board production. Figure 3 shows a good summary of sheet properties when the Fennobind concept is used.

€375 000 to more than €1 000 000 per year savings

In one case study at a mill making coated packaging board a 30% replacement of the conventional binder has led to potential savings of €375 000 per year with improved board smoothness and optical properties. This has further led to the possibility to use more coarse pigment and optimize the amount of special high-cost pigments in the formulation, all with equal surface strength, printability and runnability. Cost savings for a coated wood free (CWF) mill with a capacity of 350 000 tpy could be around 1 000 000 Euro/a depending on the replacement of standard binder and the ratio of latex to Fennobind.

Binders account for roughly half of the total coating cost for paper and board production, with the standard SB- and SA-latices being the backbone. The use of starch in precoating has increased over the years due to cost benefits, improved coating technologies and new starch technologies. However other non-oil-based binders have not made a significant breakthrough due to cost or technical disadvantages. 

High interest in new concepts

There is clearly a high interest among papermakers to study new binder concepts, with pigment blends being fine-tuned for costs, optics, and coverage. The high surface area for binding that Fennobind provides means the replacement ratio for standard binder to Fennobind is normally 2:1 (or higher). This has now been proven in coated packaging board, coated mechanical and coated fine paper applications.

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kemira 3

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Kemira has presented its sharpened strategy "From redesign to expansion" in conjunction with new financial targets for 2016.

By the end of 2020, Kemira aims to become a leader in the industry and technology in chosen target markets. Kemira's strategy has been sharpened in four key areas: business, growth, geographical focus and innovation.

Business focus: Kemira continues to provide expertise and tailored combinations of chemicals for water-intensive industries. We focus on pulp & paper, oil & gas, mining and water treatment to improve our customers' water, energy and raw material efficiency.

Growth: Paper and Oil & Mining segments are targeting profitable, above-the-market revenue growth through differentiated product lines (e.g. polymers, sizing and other process chemicals). Municipal & Industrial segment will focus on profitability improvement and together with ChemSolutions, on maximizing cash flow generation. Kemira increases the share of capital expenditure used for differentiated product lines in order to support the targeted growth. With commodity products (e.g. coagulants, bleaching chemicals and formic acid), the focus is on maximizing profitability and cash flow.

Geographical focus: Mature markets continue to be important for all segments, whereas the focus in the emerging markets is on selective expansion. In the emerging markets, China and Indonesia are the key markets for the paper wet-end chemistry. In line with this, the segment management of Paper will relocate to Hong Kong as of September 1, 2013. Brazil and Uruguay will remain important markets for the bleaching chemicals used in pulp industry. Oil & Mining is targeting expansion in selected countries in South America as well as in the Middle East and Africa.

Innovation: R&D is a critical enabler for organic growth in Kemira and provides differentiation capabilities in water quality and quantity markets. Kemira's R&D spending will be increased for the process improvement innovations in paper, oil & gas and mining industries, as well as in the related product lines (polymers, sizing and other process chemicals).

Continuous efficiency improvement will remain the key enabler for the successful strategy implementation.

Financial targets for 2016 are EUR 2.6 - 2.7 billion in revenue with an EBITDA margin of 15% and a gearing less than 60%.

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Kemira announces a plan to establish a multifunction Business Service Center in Gdansk, Poland to serve all of Kemira's businesses in the EMEA region. The scope of the new center is planned to include transactional activities of certain support functions. Once fully implemented, the annual cost savings target for the planned support functions reorganization in EMEA is expected to be close to EUR 10 million. The related non-recurring restructuring charges are expected to amount approximately EUR 20 million. Continuous efficiency improvement is the key enabler for successful strategy implementation.

 "Kemira's support functions in EMEA today are scattered across several locations and are expected to benefit from process optimization, centralization, and improved cross-functional collaboration. The functions in scope of the planned Business Service Center currently operate out of 6 hubs and several other smaller locations in Europe. The planned service center will support Kemira's targets of cost effectiveness, enable us to serve all our customers in EMEA in a unified way, and form a scalable base for profitable growth in the future", says Antti Salminen, EVP, Supply Chain Management.

The plan to establish a Business Service Center impacts up to 210 current positions in the EMEA region, of which up to 80 are in Finland. Kemira will initiate co-determination negotiations in the countries where the support functions in scope have operations according to each country's local legislation.

"The location in Gdansk was selected because of the existing business service center infrastructure, the cost level and availability of skilled workforce. These plans are affecting our employees working in many countries in EMEA, and we will offer them support during the expected transition", Antti Salminen adds.

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kemira logoKemira is planning to consolidate its paper chemicals production into larger production units and to close its production facility in Vaasa, Finland.  The objective is to optimize the capacity utilization rate and efficiency of Kemira's process chemicals production network. The annual cost savings for the planned site closure are expected to reach EUR 5 million and the related non-recurring restructuring charges are expected to be approximately EUR 15 million.

Kemira Chemicals Oy will initiate co-determination negotiations during April aiming at closing the production in Vaasa by the end of 2013. The planned measures may lead to the reduction of the entire Vaasa production staff, altogether 60 positions.

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The Annual General Meeting of Kemira Oyj approved the Board proposal of a EUR 0.53 dividend per share for the financial year 2012. The Annual General Meeting decided to elect five members to the Board of Directors. Members Winnie Fok, Juha Laaksonen, Jari Paasikivi, Kerttu Tuomas and Jukka Viinanen were reelected to the Board of Directors. Jukka Viinanen was elected to continue as the Board's Chairman and Jari Paasikivi was elected to continue as the Vice Chairman.


Dividend payment

The dividend of EUR 0.53 per share will be paid to a shareholder who is registered in the company's Shareholder Register maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the dividend record date, April 2, 2013. The dividend will be paid out on April 9, 2013.

Remuneration of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman and the members of the Board of Director

The Annual General Meeting decided that the remuneration paid to the members of the Board of Directors will be as follows: the Chairman will receive EUR 74,000 per year, the Vice Chairman and the Chairman of the Audit Committee EUR 45,000 per year and the other members EUR 36,000 per year. A fee payable for each meeting of the Board of Directors and the Board Committees will be EUR 600 for the members residing in Finland, EUR 1,200 for the members residing in rest of Europe and EUR 2,400 for the members residing outside Europe. Travel expenses are paid according to Kemira's travel policy.

In addition, the Annual General Meeting decided that the annual fee be paid as a combination of the company's shares and cash in such a manner that 40% of the annual fee is paid with the company's shares owned by the company or, if this is not possible, shares purchased from the market, and 60% is paid in cash. The shares will be transferred to the members of the Board of Directors and, if necessary, acquired directly on behalf of the members of the Board of Directors within two weeks from the release of Kemira's interim report January 1 - March 31, 2013.

 

The meeting fees are to be paid in cash.

Election of the auditor

Deloitte & Touche Oy was elected as the company's auditor with Jukka Vattulainen, APA, acting as the principal auditor. The Auditor's fees will be paid against an invoice approved by Kemira.

Authorization to decide on the repurchase of the company's own shares

The Annual General Meeting authorized the Board of Directors to decide upon repurchase of a maximum of 4,500,000 company's own shares ("Share repurchase authorization").

 

Shares will be repurchased by using unrestricted equity either through a tender offer with equal terms to all shareholders at a price determined by the Board of Directors or otherwise than in proportion to the existing shareholdings of the company's shareholders in public trading on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd (the "Helsinki Stock Exchange") at the market price quoted at the time of the repurchase.

 

The price paid for the shares repurchased through a tender offer under the authorization shall be based on the market price of the company's shares in public trading. The minimum price to be paid would be the lowest market price of the share quoted in public trading during the authorization period and the maximum price the highest market price quoted during the authorization period.

 

Shares shall be acquired and paid for in accordance with the Rules of the Helsinki Stock Exchange and Euroclear Finland Ltd.

 

Shares may be repurchased to be used in implementing or financing mergers and acquisitions, developing the company's capital structure, improving the liquidity of the company's shares or to be used for the payment of the annual fee payable to the members of the Board of Directors or implementing the company's share-based incentive plans. In order to realize the aforementioned purposes, the shares acquired may be retained, transferred further or cancelled by the company.

 

The Board of Directors will decide upon other terms related to share repurchase.

 

The Share repurchase authorization is valid until the end of the next Annual General Meeting.

 

Authorization to decide on share issue

The Annual General Meeting authorized the Board of Directors to decide to issue a maximum of 15,600,000 new shares and/or transfer a maximum of 7,800,000 company's own shares held by the company ("Share issue authorization").

 

The new shares may be issued and the company's own shares held by the company may be transferred either for consideration or without consideration.

 

The new shares may be issued and the company's own shares held by the company may be transferred to the company's shareholders in proportion to their current shareholdings in the company, or by disapplying the shareholders' pre-emption right, through a directed share issue, if the company has a weighty financial reason to do so, such as financing or implementing mergers and acquisitions, developing the capital structure of the company, improving the liquidity of the company's shares or if this is justified for the payment of the annual fee payable to the members of the Board of Directors or implementing the company's share-based incentive plans. The directed share issue may be carried out without consideration only in connection with the implementation of the company's share-based incentive plan.

 

The subscription price of new shares shall be recorded to the invested unrestricted equity reserves. The consideration payable for company's own shares shall be recorded to the invested unrestricted equity reserves.

 

The Board of Directors will decide upon other terms related to the share issues.

The Share issue authorization is valid until May 31, 2014.

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kemira logoKemira will open a new AKD-emulsion line in Sweden to better serve big sizing clients. New capacity will be available during summer 2013.

AKD is an alkyl ketene dimer based sizing agent, which impacts paper and board hydrophobicity or water resistance. Sufficient hydrophobicity is important for packaging materials and it improves paper or board runnability in a coating process. Water resistance also improves printability and dimension stability of the final product during the converting process.

Kemira holds complete supply chain from key raw materials to the final emulsion product. 

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Kemira's new organizational structure has been operational since October 1, 2012 and as announced earlier, financial reporting according to the new structure started as of January 1, 2013. Kemira's reporting segments are Paper, Municipal & Industrial, Oil & Mining, and ChemSolutions as a new segment. The unit "Other" has been abolished. The restated figures for Q1 to Q4 2012 are summarized in the attached files, see links below. Restatements for earlier periods have not been made.

 

Main changes are:

*Service revenues in Sweden and Finland, previously reported as part of the unit "Other" are now reported within the Paper segment. Kemira Group expenses previously reported as part of "Other" are now allocated to the four segments.

*Kemira is now applying a key ownership principle for every production plant according to which every plant is owned by a dedicated segment.

*Kemira's sodium percarbonate business, previously part of the Paper segment, has now been transferred to ChemSolutions.

*Kemira's group figures for 2012 have been restated to also reflect the change of IAS 19, Employee Benefits.

The January-March 2013 Interim report will be published on April, 23, 2013.

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Kemira Oyj's Annual and Sustainability Report 2012 has been published online at www.kemiraannualreport2012.com (in English) and www.kemiravuosikertomus2012.fi (in Finnish) on February 28, 2013 at 12 pm (CET + 1). The Annual and Sustainability Report are available only online.

Kemira Oyj's Financial Statements 2012 has been published at www.kemiraannualreport2012.com > Financials. In addition, Kemira has published today the Corporate Governance Statement which is available online at www.kemira.com under Investors > Corporate Governance.

Kemira has also published its sustainability targets for the years 2013-2015. The sustainability targets address several operations within Kemira: responsible business conduct, supplier performance management, efficient use of water and energy in manufacturing, employee health & safety, performance management and leadership development, community involvement, and development of sustainable customer solutions. The targets enable Kemira to lead its sustainability actions in a goal-oriented way, and create value for both business and stakeholders. 

Attachments:

Financial Statements 2012

Corporate Governance Statement

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Published in European News
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Due to continuously escalating raw material costs Kemira increases the price for Alkenyl Succinic Anhydride (ASA) products in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Price increase will range from 5% to 10% and will be effective for all deliveries from April 1st 2013 onwards or as the specific contract terms allow.

Although Kemira continues to take actions to minimize the impact of escalating raw material costs, it is necessary to adjust pricing in order to compensate the higher costs.

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kemira logoKemira Oyj has announced that it has reached two milestones in the execution of its long-term growth path. Kemira signed a licensing agreement with geographical exclusivity with Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. for acrylamide manufacturing technology, and has completed a substantial capacity expansion for three sites in North America, increasing its manufacturing capacity by 60%. This will strengthen Kemira's polymer product line globally. Polymers are core to Kemira's water technology platform and also play a significant role in growing applications like water reuse, wastewater treatment, rheology control and shale fracturing.

The exclusive licensing agreement for acrylamide manufacturing technology signed with Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. enables Kemira to produce high-quality acrylamide monomer. Acrylamide is the key building block for polymers used in applications in the paper, oil, gas, and mining industries and in municipal water treatment. The proprietary acrylamide bio-process uses bio-catalysts, which reduce energy requirements in the manufacturing process when compared to using traditional copper catalysts.

In addition, Kemira has completed a two-year, multi-million euro capacity expansion project at its polymer production plants in North America, effective this month. This has resulted in a 60% increase in manufacturing capacity at the company's Mobile, Alabama; Columbus, Georgia; and Longview, Washington production sites.

"We view this proactive approach as an investment for our customers and in the industries Kemira serves," says Randy Owens, President, Kemira Oil & Mining. "We are excited about these steps that will support the growth of our business. With the new manufacturing technology we are able to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, while also meeting the challenging needs of our customers to improve efficiency, productivity and water management."

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