Voith Paper
Past Issues | TAPPI.org | Advertise | Buyers Guide | TAPPI Press Catalog
Travels with Larry Archive

Sappi Fine Paper North America Continues Investments in Coated Paper Business

Print Print this article | Send to Colleague

Sappi Fine Paper North America, Boston, Mass., USA, this week announced the most recent completion of a series of coated paper capital investment projects during its 2013 fiscal year, a move by the company to maintain and strengthen its position and take advantage of growth opportunities in the coated paper market. These investments have been made at the Cloquest, Minn., mill, the Somerset Mill, in Skowhegan, Maine, and have been announced for the Westbrook, Maine, mill.

The Cloquet Mill in Cloquet, Minn., has completed a $19 million investment in its coated papermaking operations that includes a dry fiber handling system as well as new refiners and a former upgrade on PM 4. The former rebuild on PM 4 allows for all grades and weights to be manufactured with the technical capability of using dry fiber to produce the same base sheet formation and quality as slush fiber. Extensive trials have been conducted by Sappi for both sheet and web products to guarantee the quality and repeatability of products made with dry fiber.

These coated paper investments are a part of the $170M capital investment project currently in progress at the Cloquet Mill that will convert the kraft pulp mill to production of dissolving pulp used in the textile and consumer goods markets, improving site profitability at Cloquet and ensuring global cost competitiveness. All paper produced at Cloquet carries both a Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative chain of custody certification. The Cloquet Mill also continues to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry with more than 85% renewable energy.

"We remain deeply committed to the coated paper market as well as to surpassing the expectations of our customers," said Rick Dwyer, managing director at Cloquet. "Our investments in the production of high-end paper will allow Sappi to serve this market into the foreseeable future and enable more agility and efficiency within our papermaking process. We are making this strong commitment on the paper side of the business to ensure that quality paper continues to prove its value in publishing and advertising, especially when used strategically with digital counterparts."

At Sappi's Somerset Mill, in Skowhegan, Maine, the rebuild of PM 3 was completed successfully in October 2012. The $13 million investment to upgrade coated paper manufacturing surpassed speed, production, and variable cost goals while achieving all of the formation and quality improvements outlined in the project plan. The improvements on PM 3 now allow for the production of a broader range of products on this machine. Sappi expects to see long-term benefits as a result of this project in the form of chemical and fiber savings as well as increased paper production.

The company also announced the re-design of product labels to more clearly emphasize Sappi's support for local production by using the "Made in the USA" logo. Based on expressed interest from a wide variety of customers, this element was included during a label redesign improvement project that also aims to provide customers with a more organized way of displaying product information on labels. The new look features a cleaner design with easy-to-read typefaces, and is now available on most products with the balance by the end of the year.

In addition to Sappi's capital projects in the coated business and the Cloquet pulp mill conversion to dissolving pulp, the company also recently announced a $2.5 million project at the Westbrook Mill to re-build the specialty coater in the Release sector.


Xerium Technologies, Inc.
Sweed Machinery, Inc