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Sappi Has Valmet Build Demo Plant for Next Gen Dissolving Pulp

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Valmet (Helsinki, Finland) will supply a dissolving pulp cooking demonstration plant to Sappi (Johannesburg, South Africa) in South Africa to explore and optimize the extraction of biorenewable chemicals. The plant will be close to industrial size, and is located at Sappi`s Ngodwana mill. The demonstration plant will make it possible to study the next generation dissolving cooking process and test new ideas in mill scale. Startup of the new plant is scheduled for the beginning of 2017. The value of the order was not disclosed.

In this project Sappi and Valmet will together take the next step in dissolving pulping and explore new revenue possibilities in dissolving pulp production. These new revenues include possibilities to extract bio-based materials from the cooking plant pre-hydrolyzate stream such as sugars and lignin, to beneficiate to higher value bio-chemicals.

"This investment in new technology continues to support Sappi`s strategic direction of seeking new bio-based opportunities and at the same time will generate a platform with associated benefits for further increased volumes and quality of dissolving wood pulp," noted Andrea Rossi, Sappi`s Group Head Technology.

"We are very pleased that Sappi has selected Valmet as the supplier of the Ngodwana mill dissolving cooking demo plant. Our common target is to create the next generation dissolving pulp cooking concept, which has the potential to be a game changer for our industry in the coming years. The main features with the new concept are higher dissolving pulp quality, lower operating cost, and a new optimized hydrolyzate revenue stream. This project is in line with our R&D targets to provide advanced technologies and promote the use of renewable material. This will also further strengthen our market leadership position within dissolving pulp technology," said Lars Sjödin, cirector at Valmet`s Fiber Processing business.

Sappi Specialized Cellulose is a division of Sappi Limited and sells dissolving wood pulp (specialized cellulose) to converters for a wide range of consumer products, but in particular for the manufacture of viscose staple fiber (VSF) for clothing and textiles. They are the world`s largest manufacturer of dissolving wood pulp (from two mills in Southern Africa and the Cloquet Mill in North America) and export almost all of the production from their mills.

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