Voith Paper

Over the Wire


Weekly Spotlight
Finnish pulp and paper industry production in 2010 was up some 11% and the wood products industry's production increased by some 14%, according to a report this week by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF), Helsinki, Finland. FFIF notes that the continuation of this positive development after industry companies have finished implementing structural changes will depend on whether or not domestic costs are kept in check.

"Exports account for one half of Finland's prosperity, so changes that affect the operating environment of industry are of huge significance. Rising domestic costs have a direct impact on the competitiveness of the forest industry's export products. Energy and fuel taxes will top EUR100 million this year alone, and this is eroding our ability to compete in the international markets," Timo Jaatinen, director general of the FFIF, points out.

"The tax credit granted to the energy-intensive forest industry must be boosted to an extent that places Finland on an equal standing with its competitor countries. The forest industry of Finland is far away from the markets of Central Europe, which means that the rising cost of sea transports increases our level of expenses further. Last year's collective bargaining agreements were laudably moderate within the forest industry. Inflationary pressures mean that Finland cannot afford to erode national competitiveness on this front either," Jaatinen continues.

FFIF estimates that the value of forest industry production increased to more than EUR 19 billion in 2010, up almost 25% from 2009. The pulp and paper industry accounted for a majority (about EUR 14 billion) of this and about EUR 5.5 billion came from the wood products industry.

Production volumes increased in all sectors of the forest industry. Finland produced 6.7 million metric tons of pulp last year, 22% more than in 2009. Paper and paperboard production rose to 11.8 million metric tons, up more than 11% from the previous year, while sawn timber production increased by 17% from 2009 to 9.4 million cubic meters.

A recent investment survey conducted by the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK reveals that the forest industry's domestic investments came to almost EUR 650 million in 2010, which was nearly 25% more than in the previous year.

Exports likewise fared much better than in the previous year. Advance data indicate that the forest industry's export volumes increased about 15% and the value of exports almost 25% to around EUR 10.5 billion in 2010.

TAPPI has announced its 2011 TAPPI Fellows. Fellow is an honorary title bestowed on a small percentage of TAPPI's membership and is given to individuals who have made extraordinary technical or service contributions to the industry and/or the association. The new TAPPI Fellows will be honored at the TAPPI Fellows Luncheon, Sunday, May 1, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in conjunction with the 2011 PaperCon meeting in Covington, Ky., USA. The following 10 individuals have been named 2011 TAPPI Fellows:

Shin-Chin Chen, corporate executive engineer with ABB Inc. in Westerville, Ohio, USA. A graduate of National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan with a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Chen earned his master of science degree in power mechanical engineering from the National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan. He holds a Ph.D. in systems engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and has held various positions at ABB since joining the company in 1984. He holds 10 patents and has published more than 40 technical papers during his career. Dr. Chen has pioneered numerous initiatives to improve control of paper machines, reducing costs and enhancing quality. He has also received the 2009 Jasper Mardon Award.

Ergilio Claudio-da-Silva Jr., technology GM with Fibria Celulose SA in Sao Paulo, Brazil, South America. Dr. Claudio-da-Silva Jr. attended the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the Federal University where he earned both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering. He worked for two years as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at State University Campinas before joining Aracruz Celulose SA in 1977. He earned two additional graduate degrees, first at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim and his Ph.D. in paper science and engineering at State University of New York-CESF in Syracuse, N.Y. At Aracruz, Dr. Claudio-da-Silva led the team that built a process and product development unit in a joint initiative with the Forestry R&D unit. At Fibria, the resulting merger of Aracruz and VCP, he has maintained the position of GM of forestry research, production process, and product technology development. He has published more than 30 technical papers and holds four patents.

Tom Garland, president and CEO of PaperWorks Industries, Philadelphia, Pa., USA. Garland has been president and CEO of PaperWorks Industries since the company's founding in 2008 through the acquisition of two coated recycled paperboard mills from Graphic Packaging. Garland has been responsible for the development and implementation of the strategic operating and growth plan for the company. In 2009, PaperWorks absorbed the Specialized Packaging Group, effectively doubling the size of the company. In January of 2011, PaperWorks nearly doubled in size again through the acquisitions of Manchester Industries and the Rosmar Packaging Group. Today, PaperWorks operates 19 locations in the U.S. and Canada, employing more than 1,850 people. A 20-plus year veteran in the paper and packaging industries, Garland was most recently EVP and GM of paperboard operations at RockTenn in Norcross, Ga., where he was responsible for RockTenn's coated, uncoated, SBS, and market pulp mills. Previous experience included senior management.

Kenneth C. Hill, systems group president for Kadant Johnson Inc. in Lenoir City, Tenn., USA. A graduate of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada, with a degree in mechanical engineering, Hill has been a member of TAPPI since 1983. Throughout his career he has been involved in the area of paper drying and the design of paper drying equipment. He has worked for Huyck Drying Productions, Enerdry Corp., Poyry BEK, Valmet Enerdry, Hill Drying Systems, Johnson Corp., and Kadant Johnson. While with Enerdry Corp. and Valmet Enerdry, he led product developments in the areas of heat recovery, high-humidity hoods, pocket ventilation, and paper machine runnability.

J. David McDonald, consultant. A graduate of the University of Toronto with a bachelor of science degree in physics, he holds a master of science degree in physics from McMaster University. Before joining Paprican in 1984, McDonald served at Abitibi-Price Research Centre. He has won numerous awards, including PAPTAC's top honor, the John Bates Memorial Gold Medal, and also received the Jasper Mardon Award and the Weldon Medal two times. He has published 56 papers and has made 65 conference presentations. He has lectured around the world and been a significant influence on the partnerships between the industry, the government, and academics.

Vince Newberry, Ph.D., technical manager for Mondi Akrosil LLC in Menasha, Wis., USA. Born in London, England, Dr. Newberry started his career as an assistant scientific officer with the U.K. Ministry of Defense, Chemical Defense Establishment. After a promotion to scientific officer, he was awarded a full MOD scholarship, and received a BSc. in chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1978. He later moved to the U.S. to continue his education at Auburn University and received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1984. He taught chemistry for two years at what is now Montana State University Billings. Dr. Newberry joined English China Clays International in 1986 and worked at the Sandersville, Ga., research labs for eight years before joining Appleton. He became a U.S. citizen in 1993, and joined Appleton Papers in 1994. In 2008, Dr. Newberry began consulting in the industry. He became technical manager for Mondi Akrosil in 2009.

Ivan I. Pikulik, Ph.D., president of Ivan Pikulik Consulting, Point Claire, Que., Canada. A graduate of Slovak Technical University with a degree in chemical engineering, Dr. Pikulik earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from McMaster University. He served as a research fellow at Swiss Federation Institute of Technology. From there, he joined Spring Chemicals as resident chemist before taking a position at Facelle Co., a division of CIP. He has worked for 28 years at Paprican where he was director of the Papermaking Division. Dr. Pikulik has published 82 papers, holds eight patents, and has made 100 conference presentations. He has made a number of key contributions to advance the understanding of pressing and drying operations and has provided insights into papermaking chemistry. He has twice received the Weldon Medal, twice the Jasper Mardon Medal, and once the John S. Bates Medal.

Nicki S. Slusser, P&C papers converting operations manager, International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., USA. Slusser has responsibility for coordination and operation of the converting facilities as integral components of the P&C papers converting strategy. Slusser began her paper industry career as a project engineer in 1979 with the Mead Corp. in Mahrt, Ala. She progressed through various operating roles at the Mahrt mill as well as at Mead's Chillicothe, Ohio, mill. In 1991, Slusser joined Champion/IP as manager of Nos. 30-31-32 machines at the Courtland, Ala., facility. After eight years of progression in operations management, Slusser joined the Pensacola, Fla., mill as mill manager in 2000. She moved to Memphis in 2005 as P&C papers supply chain operations manager and assumed her current role in early 2007. Slusser holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky. She is a past president of the Paper Industry Management Association (PIMA) and has held various community board positions. She has been a member of TAPPI since 2007, when PIMA became a division of TAPPI. She has served on the TAPPI Board of Directors since 2008.

Duane Smith, product manager of unwind, winding, and slitting systems at Davis-Standard Converting Systems / Black Clawson Converting Machinery Group in Fulton, N.Y, USA. A graduate of the Rochester Institute with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, Smith has worked for more than 35 years with Black Clawson. He has received two patents dealing with winding and has made more than 50 technical presentations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Duane has been an instructor at nine TAPPI short courses and has published two books through TAPPI Press. He has been active in TAPPI for more than 30 years, serving as chair of the Winding Technical Committee and chair of the Finishing and Converting Division. He also has been the TAPPI PLACE Conference session chair, Flexible Packaging Technical Program Committee chair, and chair of the Flexible Packaging Committee.

Thomas O. Trueb, president of efiSolutions Inc., Atlanta, Ga., USA. A graduate of Rose Polytechnical Institute in Terre Haute, Ind., with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, Trueb first worked with Proctor & Gamble/Charmin Paper Products. He has also served in various management and leadership positions with Union Camp Corp. and Simons-Eastern Co. before co-founding Dean Oliver International. In 2003, he founded efiSolutions Inc. to provide specialized services to the industry, specifically related to paper machine drives and catastrophe recovery services. He has worked on the restoration of pulp and paper mills from numerous hurricanes, floods, and other events. He has been a member of TAPPI since 1978, serving in various capacities on the Electrical Engineering Committee, co-founder of the Paper Machine Drives Short Course and PCE&I Divisions technical program chair, as well as division chair. Trueb received the 1998 Technical Award from TAPPI's Process Control, Electrical, and Information Division, and has twice been recognized with TAPPI's Honors for Contributors.

Market Roundup
The international financial crisis in 2009 had a major negative impact on world wide demand for pulp and paper products. As a result, the consumption of wood chips and pulpwood for pulp production was lower, and global trade of wood chips fell, according to a report issued this week by Wood Resources International (WRI), Seattle, Wash., USA. However, WRI notes that in 2010 pulp markets improved and global shipments of wood chips were up substantially.

Wood chip trade had increased on average 5% per year between 2002 and 2008, reaching an all-time high of approximately 33 million tons in 2008. This upward trend was broken in 2009, when trade fell 17% from the previous year. In 2010, wood chip shipment volumes went up by 25% to reach a new high. This was primarily due to a substantial increase in demand for wood chips in China, as reported in the latest issue of WRI's Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

China has evolved from being a net exporter of chips five years ago to being a major chip consumer, having quadrupled imports in just two years, WRI points out. The country now imports more than 28% of all chips traded in the Pacific Rim and is the world's second largest importer of wood chips after Japan.

Trade of wood chips is still the highest in the Pacific Rim, accounting for almost 60% of the total global trade and more than 95% of water-born trade. The major exporting countries in 2010 have not changed much from previous years, with Australia being the biggest exporter followed by Chile, Vietnam, the U.S., and Thailand. These five countries together export just over 19 million tons, or 22% more than the previous year, according to the WRQ. A majority of the shipments are Eucalyptus wood chips destined for pulp mills in Japan and China.

Trade of wood chips is likely to increase in 2011 as the global economy slowly recovers, and as a consequence, the demand for most forest products will improve. In addition, many energy companies in Europe are searching for new sources of biomass, which will further expand the overseas trade of wood chips, biomass chips, and wood pellets, WRI explains.

More information is available online.

The January list price range on North American coated groundwood grades trimmed to the upside--+$30/ton m/m, according to Wilde of Deutsche Bank. In September 2010, he explains, prices rose only $30/ton of the $60 - $75/ton hike announced, as some of the large North American customers enjoyed contractual price protections in the third and fourth quarters. As these protections ended, producers implemented price increase in January, leading to an increase in the low-end of the price range. Preliminary December shipments were -2.2% y/y, but +5.2% m/m. With operating rates already healthy, NewPage's pending closure of its 250,000-tpy LWC mill in Whiting, Wis., could help drive prices upward later in the year, Wilde notes.

The January list price range on No.3 60-lb rolls of coated freesheet (CFS) have been boosted by $25/ton m/m, according to Wilde. As with coated groundwood papers (see item above), in September 2010, the CFS price rose only $25/ton of the $40 - $60/ton hike announced, as some of the large North American customers also enjoyed price protections in the third and fourth quarters. As these protections ended, producers implemented price increase in January, leading to an increase in the low-end of the price range.

Demand for CFS is "just OK," Wilde says, not as strong as coated groundwood (LWC). Preliminary December shipments were +3.0% y/y, but -2.0% m/m. CFS is becoming the center of a global trade war. The U.S. has imposed anti-dumping duties on imports from China (excluding APP). Brazilian producers are making similar claims as well. All of this suggests the oversupply situation for Chinese producers will get even uglier, Wilde warns.

January newsprint prices were flat m/m, Wilde reports. November industry numbers were weak, he adds—North American shipments were off 9.7% y/y (-5.9% ytd) and exports were +9.9% y/y, much lower than the ytd growth of ˜50% y/y. "Thanks to widespread capacity shuts, operating rates are healthy. Inventories are falling and advertising ‘trends' are improving. Newsprint consumption by U.S. daily newspapers was down just 1.3% y/y in Nov (-8.2% ytd). In a recent conference call, AbitibiBowater said that more newsprint capacity cuts and consolidation will be required to offset declining North American demand," Wilde notes.

Naylor, LLC
Pulp & Paper
AbitibiBowater, Montreal, Que., Canada, will permanently shutdown the paper machine at its Coosa Pines, Ala., USA, operation and cease its pilot project to manufacture recycled lightweight and ultra lightweight packaging and linerboard grades within the next 30 days. The company said that it remains committed to its fluff pulp assets at the facility.

"Coosa Pines has made progress in the production of recycled lightweight and ultra lightweight packaging and linerboard. Upon review, however, the substantial capital investment that would be required at the site to make it low-cost in these grades could not be justified," Richard Garneau, president and CEO, noted.

The company estimates it will incur cash closure costs of approximately $4 million related to severance and other closure charges as a result of the permanent closure of the paper machine at Coosa Pines. The majority of these closure costs will be paid during the first half of 2011. A non-cash asset charge of approximately $10 million will be taken to reflect this permanent closure. Approximately 150 employees are affected.

"The decision to cease paper production at the Coosa Pines mill was difficult as we are mindful of the impact it will have on affected employees," added Garneau. "The company also remains committed to customer service and delivery of high-quality products and will work closely with customers to ensure a smooth transition."

AbitibiBowater owns or operates 18 pulp and paper mills and 24 wood products facilities in the U.S., Canada, and South Korea. The company markets its products in more than 70 countries.

Canfor Corp., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, reported this week that it will proceed with capital improvement projects totaling $62 million at its Vavenby, Polar, and Plateau lumber operations in British Columbia. The projects are part of a capital spending plan for 2011 totaling $145 million, and a three-year strategic plan that calls for total investment in sawmill improvement projects of $300 million.

Following completion of the capital upgrades at its Vavenby mill, Canfor will be restarting this operation sometime in the third quarter and recalling approximately 140 employees including staff. When at full production, the mill will produce approximately 240 million board feet of SPF (Spruce-Pine-Fir) lumber on an annual basis.

"This continues our strategy to invest in our mills, creating efficient and low cost operations," said Jim Shepard, Canfor president and CEO.

Canfor Corp., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, has announced that James F. Shepard, president and CEO, has decided to retire at the company's next annual general meeting of shareholders, currently scheduled for May 5.

Ronald Cliff, chairman of the board noted that "Jim has decided to return to retirement after four years as president and CEO of the company. During that time he has lead the company through extremely difficult economic times and leaves the company in a strong financial position. The entire board is appreciative of Jim's contribution, leadership, and guidance."

Don Kayne has been appointed by the board to replace Shepard as president and CEO following the annual general meeting of shareholders. Kayne has been with the company for more than 32 years and has held various positions within the company. He is currently VP of Wood Products Marketing and Sales.

Catalyst Paper, Richmond, B.C., Canada, reported this past week that the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2688 representing 186 hourly employees at the company's Snowflake, Ariz., USA, mill have ratified renewal of the labor agreement through to February 28, 2014. The current labor agreement expires later this month on February 28.

The new agreement provides for adjusted wage rates for new hires and entry level jobs, as well as for line of progression jobs. Other workplace management changes will contribute to greater stability and efficiency in the mill's overall operation.

"This agreement is a significant step in making our Snowflake mill more competitive in a very challenging recycled paper market. It provides strong evidence of the ongoing cooperation that exists among employees, United Steelworkers leaders, and managers at the mill," said Kevin J. Clarke, president and CEO. "We commend the entire Snowflake team for reaching this agreement in such a timely manner."

AbitibiBowater, Montreal, Que., Canada, reported this past week that it has agreed to sell its 75% indirect interest in ACH Limited Partnership (ACH) to a consortium formed by a Canadian institutional investor and a private Canadian renewable energy company. ACH was established in April 2007 to hold hydroelectric generating assets in Ontario, Canada, by the company's Abitibi-Consolidated Co. of Canada subsidiary (now AbiBow Canada Inc.).

As part of the transaction, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec has agreed to sell its 25% interest in ACH, taking into consideration AbiBow Canada's drag-along right contained in ACH's governing agreements between the Caisse and AbiBow Canada.

Fraser Papers Inc., Toronto, Ont., Canada, reported this past week that the Amended Plan of Arrangement and Compromise (Plan) approved by its creditors on February 8 has been approved by the courts overseeing the company's creditor protection proceedings.

At a hearing on February 10, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which is overseeing the proceedings under the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act (CCAA) in Canada, issued orders sanctioning the Plan and approving the transaction under which the company has agreed to sell its subsidiaries in the U.S. to the Plan sponsor, Brookfield Asset Management. At a hearing on February 11, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, which is overseeing the proceedings under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, issued a recognition order recognizing the Canadian orders, sanctioning the Plan and approving the transaction.

Following approvals by the Canadian Court and the U.S. Court, the company said that it began working diligently to complete the transaction and implement the Plan on February 15. As part of the implementation of the Plan, the company distributed approximately $44 million in unsecured notes issued by Twin Rivers Paper Co. and a 49% common equity interest in Twin Rivers to Fraser Papers' creditors.

Fraser Papers Inc. continues under creditor protection while it finalizes its restructuring activities, including settling unresolved claims, completing the sale of certain assets, and distributing all residual cash to creditors after paying the remaining costs of the proceedings. Fraser Papers expects to complete these activities before its stay period expires on May 2.

Metso, Finland, this week reported that it successfully started up the first two OptiFiner Pro refiners at Koehler Greiz GmbH & Co. KG's mill in Greiz, Germany and Sappi Fine Paper's Biberist mill in Switzerland. OptiFiner Pro is a new low consistency refining concept introduced by Metso last summer.

The first startup at the Greiz mill was on deinked pulp for trim refining/deflaking. The Greiz mill produces colored recycled papers and board for office, school, and graphics applications. The mill's target is to break fiber bundles, shives, and other impurities with minimum refining degree change. According to Ulrich Mallon, technology and quality assurance manager at Greiz, "the delivery, installation, and startup was very smooth and on schedule. Currently we are running the optimization phase, but compared with the old machine we have already observed significant energy savings."

The second OptiFiner Pro at Sappi's Biberist mill replaced four conventional conical refiners in a eucalyptus stock preparation line on a coated fine paper machine. The Biberist mill produces coated woodfree paper for the graphic arts and offset printing industry as well as woodfree uncoated pre-printed paper for office, pre-printed, and offset applications. Stefan Franke, development engineer at Sappi Biberist, says the mill's targets of energy savings and quality improvement have been met. "Energy savings are as expected with good strength development and strength improvement with the same specific refining energy," Franke noted.

The OptiFiner Pro has a very compact design. In conventional refiners, fibers travel the full length of the refining zone, suffering excessive impacts that lead to increased fines and weakening of the refined fibers. Many fibers, as much as 70% of the total, may not be treated at all. To combat this, OptiFiner Pro feeds the stock evenly across the bars directly in the refining zone where fiber treatment occurs. All of the stock is treated equally, providing higher refiner loadability and better energy efficiency. Flexibility in operation is gained as well as easier installation due to its smaller physical size.

In the photos below, the OptiFiner Pro (left) is running on deinked pulp for trim refining/deflaking at Koehler Greiz GmbH & Co. KG in Germany. The unit at Sappi Fine Paper's Biberist mill in Switzerland (right) replaced four conventional conical refiners for eucalyptus stock preparation.

SCA, Sweden, this past week formally celebrated the inauguration of its new tissue mill in Sahagún, north of Mexico City. In addition to regional SCA management, Mexican President Felipe Calderón attended the event, as did the Hidalgo State Governor and the Mayor of Sahagún.

The $210 million investment includes a 60,000 metric tpy paper machine and tissue converting hall, as well as a recycled fiber plant and distribution center.

"Our new facility is a strategically important investment. The plant, located near key markets in and around Mexico City, will enable SCA to enhance its product quality and expand its offering to consumers," said Jaime Costa Lavín, president of SCA Mexico and Central America.

Montes del Plata, Uruguay, a joint venture company of Stora Enso (Finland) and Arauco, Chile, is reportedly in advanced negotiations with Andritz, Graz, Austria, to supply production technologies and equipment for Montes del Plata's new pulp mill in Punta Pereira, Uruguay (1.3 million metric tpy of eucalyptus market pulp). The value of the order has not been disclosed, but typical order values of comparable reference projects are EUR 750-800 million, Andritz notes.

The scope of supply includes EPC delivery of the complete fiberline as well as the recovery island, including all relevant process steps. Startup of production is scheduled for the first half of 2013.

On Dec. 30, 2010, Montes del Plata received the environmental permit for its pulp project from the Uruguayan government. The new pulp mill will be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, using eucalyptus essentially from Montes del Plata's own plantations.

Construction and operation of the pulp mill will provide a significant positive economic stimulus to the country. An average of 3,200 (peak of 6,000) workers will be employed during construction. Once the mill is operational, it will permanently employ about 500 people.

NewPage Wisconsin System Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewPage Corp., Miamisburg, Ohio, USA, announced this week that Niagara Development LLC, Niagara, Wis., has acquired the NewPage Niagara mill property and assets. NewPage Niagara permanently closed in July 2008 due to a significant decrease in demand for coated paper.

The paper machines at the Niagara mill produced approximately 250,000 tpy of lightweight coated groundwood papers used in magazines and catalogs. In March 2009, NewPage sold its hydroelectric facility in Niagara to Northbrook Wisconsin LLC.

"Since the closure of the mill in 2008, NewPage has worked with the City of Niagara to locate a viable purchaser for the mill with a positive outcome for the community," said George Bousley, mayor, City of Niagara. "We are pleased that Niagara Development LLC is purchasing the NewPage Niagara property and assets and believe this is the best possible option for the facility, the City of Niagara, and its residents."

Niagara Development is exploring options with the City of Niagara and others for possible uses of the property and assets going forward. "We see this deal as a great opportunity for the towns of Niagara, Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Quinnesec, and Norway, as well as the surrounding region," says Eric J. Spirtas, president of Niagara Development.

TimberWest Forest Corp, Vancouver, B.C., USA, this past week agreed to acquire 7,678 hectares (18,973 acres) of private timberland on southern Vancouver Island, B.C., from Western Forest Products Inc. for $21.9 million. This will bring TimberWest's total land holdings to 327,678 hectares (809,973 acres) on Vancouver Island.

"We are very pleased with the addition of this highly productive timberland adjacent to our existing lands on southern Vancouver Island," said Paul McElligott, TimberWest president and CEO. "This acquisition complements our core business strategy of managing forests for long-term sustainability and assuring a steady and continuing flow of high quality timber."

The premium species mix and age class distribution of this land makes it a great complement to the company's managed forest lands on Vancouver Island. TimberWest will manage this land for its timberland value.

As the island's largest private forest land owner, TimberWest noted that it recognizes the importance of good land stewardship and is committed to managing this new acquisition to the same high standards of safety, environment, and sustainability it has achieved throughout its land base.

M-real Corp., part of Metsäliitto Group, Finland, this week reported that it plans to increase the annual folding boxboard capacity of its Äänekoski and Kyröskoski mills in Finland by a total of about 70 000 metric tpy. The combined value of the planned investments at the two mills is approximately EUR 30 million. The Kyröskoski investment will be completed late this year and the Äänekoski investment will be completed in the spring of 2012.

Related to the planned investment, M-real will start statutory negotiations at the Äänekoski board mill on February 18, covering a total of about 130 people. The maximum personnel reduction need is estimated to be 10 people. The Kyröskoski investment is expected to have no personnel impact.

Following the planned investments, the annual folding boxboard production capacity at Äänekoski mill would be approximately 240,000 metric tpy and approximately 190 000 metric tpy at the Kyröskoski mill. The new production volumes are planned to be sold for food packaging purposes. In addition to these planned investments, M-real noted that it can further increase the capacity of Kyroskoski and Äänekoski mills if the market situation so requires.

"Demand growth for M-real's ecological and safe virgin fibre board has in food packaging been faster than expected and the expansion of Simpele mill's capacity that will be implemented in spring 2011 is not enough to satisfy the demand. The best way to increase our production is to debottleneck the current board machines in moderate steps. Our target is to continue the profitable growth of our cartonboard business," says CEO Mikko Helander.

M-real has announced plans to increase its total folding boxboard capacity by about 150,000 metric tpy during 2011-2012, including the investments at Simpele, Äänekoski and Kyröskoski mills. Thus, M-real's total folding boxboard capacity would increase to about 935,000 metric tpy.

The photos below show the folding boxboard machine at Äänekoski (top) and the mill at Kyröskoski (bottom) in Finland.

Nine Dragons Paper Industries, a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd., has successfully started up two Metso (Finland)-supplied containerboard machines in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, China, the company reported this week. The testliner machine PM 29 came on-stream January 15 and the fluting machine PM 30 on January 31.

PM 29 is a three-ply multi-fourdrinier machine with a WinDrum winder and produces testliner in the basis weight range of 115–175 gsm. PM 30 is equipped with a ValFormer shoe blade hybrid former and a WinDrum winder. It produces fluting in the basis weight range of 70–90 gsm. The wire width of both machines is 7.25 m.

Both machines started up at a record-breaking speed. The period from stock on wire to sheet on reel was only five hours with PM 29 and three hours with PM 30. This was made possible through careful installation and meticulous testing of the production lines.

Established in 1995, Nine Dragons is the largest packaging paperboard producer in Asia and one of the largest in the world in terms of production capacity. ND Paper and its subsidiaries primarily produce high performance linerboard, corrugating medium, and coated duplex board.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Chicago, Ill., USA, yesterday (February 16) announced that it has extended the term of CEO Patrick J. Moore's existing employment agreement until the completion of its pending acquisition by RockTenn Co. of Norcross, Ga. Moore's employment was previously scheduled to terminate no later than this March 31.

Smurfit-Stone expects that the RockTenn transaction will close in the second quarter of 2011. The extension is intended to provide continuity of executive leadership through the completion of the RockTenn transaction.

In connection with the proposed acquisition of Smurfit-Stone by RockTenn, the two companies report that they will soon be filing documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the filing by RockTenn of a registration statement on Form S-4. The registration statement will include a joint proxy statement of RockTenn and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. that also constitutes a prospectus of RockTenn.

Both companies urge their stockholders to read the registration statement on Form S-4 and the related joint proxy statement/prospectus when they become available, as well as other documents filed with the SEC. The final joint proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to stockholders of RockTenn and stockholders of Smurfit-Stone. Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of these documents (when they are available) and other documents filed with the SEC at the SEC's website, or by contacting RockTenn Investor Relations at (678) 291-7900 or Smurfit-Stone Investor Relations at (314) 656-5553.

Tetra Pak, Switzerland, this past week broke ground on a state-of-the-art packaging material factory in Chakan, India, near Pune. The EUR 100 million (INR 600 crores) plant is designed to meet growing demand for carton packaged dairy beverages and fruit-based drinks in India, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

The new plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 8.5 billion packages, with the potential of increasing to 16 billion packages. It will produce packaging material for such packages as Tetra Brik Aseptic, Tetra Fino Aseptic, and Tetra Classic Aseptic. The Indian commitment follows similar recent investments by the company to increase production capacity in China, Pakistan, Russia, and Brazil.

Driven by economic growth, a rising middle class and increasing demand for the convenience of packaged drinks, the market for carton packaged dairy beverages and fruit-based drinks is expected to grow from 757 million liters in 2010 to 1.3 billion liters by 2013 in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Tetra Pak notes. The same trend, it adds, is taking place in South and Southeast Asia, where this market is expected to rise from 3.6 to 5.4 billion liters during this period. In the Middle East, it is expected to increase from 8.3 to 10.6 billion liters.

"We are committed to supporting our customers to meet growing consumer demand in these regions and all over the world," said Alejandro Anavi, EVP, Supply Chain Operations. He explained that "in addition to the convenience of packed dairy beverages and fruit-based drinks, more people are becoming aware of the nutritional benefits of aseptically processed and packaged milk."

To date Tetra Pak has invested approximately EUR 24 million in the existing Pune plant, which has been in operation for nearly 14 years and is reaching its full capacity. "With strong economic growth, a dynamic consumer base, and modernization of distribution and retailing, there is a high demand across all categories," said Kandarp Singh, managing director, Tetra Pak India.

Among its facilities the new packaging plant will have a machine rebuilding center providing technical services such as startup support and machine renovation to customers. It also will have a product development and innovation center that will have a laboratory, a pilot processing plant, and a pilot packaging plant to meet the product formulations and development needs of customers.

The new plant will also tout several environmentally efficient features such as the use of renewable and non-conventional energy and materials, heat recovery to generate air conditioning, and rain water harvesting.

New Products
Toshiba's Industrial Division, Houston, Texas, USA, has unveiled a new adjustable speed drive for the pump industry—the P9. The new ARRRA-compliant drive reduces pressure buildup and energy consumption in pumps, thereby maximizing efficiency, energy savings, and the life of pumping equipment, the company notes.

Incorporating Toshiba's Virtual Linear Pump (VLP) Technology, the P9 directly, precisely, and linearly controls pressure or flow. It does the following:

  • Linearizes traditional non-linear pumps curve, providing user's system with stable and precise variable pumping control
  • Solves problem of load-balancing over multiple pumps, eliminating PID tuning
  • Allows user to configure system in five simple steps (VLP provides user with complete control in only minutes)
  • Self-calibrates and eliminates common pump anomalies
  • Protects against dead head, loss of suction pressure, cavitation, thrust bearing, etc.
  • Maximizes energy savings on variable torque loads.
Published Pricing
Arctic Paper, Sweden, reports that it will increase prices on all of its uncoated woodfree and coated woodfree grades, both in folio sheets and reels. The price increase will range from 5% to 8% and will differ from the current price levels per country and paper grade. The increase will be for all global markets, effective March 20.

Billerud, Sweden, will raise prices for all of its kraft papers, including bleached and unbleached sack paper, MF kraft, and MG kraft, by EUR 80 per metric ton, effective April 1. The company notes that the increase reflects a high demand and positive outlook in kraft paper markets. The new prices will apply to all global markets, the company said.

Billerud operates three integrated pulp and paper mills in Sweden, at Gruvön, Karlsborg, and Skärblacka, and at its U.K. paper mill.

DuPont Titanium Technologies, Wilmington, Del., USA, this week announced a net price increase of $300 per metric ton for all DuPont Ti-Pure® titanium dioxide grades sold in Asia Pacific.

DuPont Titanium Technologies operates U.S. plants at DeLisle, Miss., New Johnsonville, Tenn., and Edge Moor, Del., as well as plants in Altamira, Mexico; and Kuan Yin, Taiwan, all of which use the chloride manufacturing process. The company also operates a mine in Starke, Fla.

M-real, Espoo, Finland, is raising prices of all of its Kemiart white-top kraftliner grades by EUR 50 metric ton in Europe, effective April 15. As the company points out, the price hike is due to the continuous rise in production input costs and logistic costs.

Sonoco-Alcore S.a.r.l., Brussels, Belgium, will increase prices for all uncoated recycled paperboard grades in all European markets by EUR 50 (£45) per metric ton on all shipments effective February 28.

"We continue to operate in inflationary conditions," said Adam Wood, VP, Sonoco-Alcore Europe. "Recovered paper prices are still increasing, driven by global supply and demand, and this coupled with starch and other key materials is forcing us to pass increases through to our customers. We have still not fully recovered raw material rises in 2010, even with the cost reduction programs we had in place. We can no longer absorb the magnitude of these increases.

"Our tube and core business has also been negatively affected by these events, and we will again need to pass these coreboard increases through to our customers. Our customers recognize that we have tried to minimize this impact but such unprecedented conditions provide us with few alternatives," added Wood.

Sonoco-Alcore S.a.r.l., wholly owned by Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., USA, operates 30 tube and core plants and six paper mills on the European continent and in the U.K.

Metso, Finland, will supply a gasifier to sustain new gasification technology to Sweden-based Göteborg Energi AB's project GoBiGas20MW. The gasification demo plant, with an order value of approximately EUR 30 million, will be operational in early 2013.

The project GoBiGas20MW is focusing on producing biogas by gasification of biofuels and waste from forestry. The demo gasification plant is scheduled to be built in two stages to demonstrate the technology of the green gas concept. Ownership and responsibility for operating the plant will be transferred to GoBiGas AB (Gothenburg Biomass Gasification Project), mainly owned by Göteborg Energi AB.

Metso will be involved in the first stage when the gasification plant (20 MW gas) is built on the existing premises of Rya Värmecentral in Gothenburg, Sweden, during 2011-13. On a commercial scale, the final plant will have a capacity of approximately 100 MW biogas with an operating period of 8 000 hours/year.

The Metso gasification solution is based on new licensed technology for indirect gasification developed by Austrian company REPOTEC. With forest residue and wood pellets as main fuels, the gasification system, together with the subsequent methanation and up-grading system, will produce high-calorific gas, biomethane, for distribution in the existing gas grid.

"We see a huge market potential for biogas in replacing fossil alternatives and our mission is to show that gasification can play an important role in biogas supply," says Åsa Burman, CEO of the GoBiGas project. "The quality of the gasification is essential for the success of the project, and with the equipment from Metso together with the selected methanation and gas-upgrading technology, we are now able to proceed to the next step, building the plant to meet our targets to replace natural gas by synthetic natural gas – from fossil energy to renewable energy."

International Paper Co., Memphis, Tenn., USA, has elected Ahmet C. Dorduncu to its board of directors effective March 6. From 2005 until his retirement in 2010, Dorduncu served as CEO of Sabanci Holding. He also served from 2006 to 2010 as chairman of the board of an industrial packaging business joint venture between Sabanci Holding and International Paper. Sabanci Holding is the parent company of the Sabanci Group, a Turkish financial and industrial company.

"Ahmet brings a knowledge of our business as well as broad international business experience to our board and we are extremely pleased to have him," said John Faraci, chairman and CEO. At its meeting in May 2011, the board will assign Dorduncu to one or more of its committees.

Kevin P. Mahoney has been elected SVP of corporate planning for Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., USA. Mahoney is responsible for leading the company's merger and acquisition efforts along with corporate planning. He joined Sonoco in 1987 as manager of corporate financial planning and analysis, and subsequently was promoted to positions of additional responsibility before being named VP of corporate planning in 2000. He holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Marquette University and an M.S. Tax and MBA from DePaul University. Prior to joining Sonoco, Mahoney worked for Arthur Andersen as a tax manager

In addition, Ritchie L. Bond has been elected VP, treasurer and secretary. Bond joined Sonoco in 2005 as staff VP and treasurer. He subsequently was named corporate secretary in 2009. Bond holds a B.S. degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina. Prior to joining Sonoco, he was treasurer of Alliance One International. He also served previously as a senior manager with Ernst & Young.


You are invited to participate in a special program for Pulp and Paper Managers from USA and Canada, organized by the Swedish Pulp & Paper Technology Group, the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Trade Council. The aim is to get an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience on new technologies and environmental aspects of pulp and paper manufacturing today.

Event Title: North American Pulp and Paper Delegation to Sweden
Event Date: May 15-20, 2011
Event Location: In Conjunction with SPCI 2011 


The program includes mill visits in Sweden, technical presentations, business discussions and a visit to SPCI 2011 conference and exhibition in Stockholm, May 15-20, 2011.

Each delegate pays his/her return airfare to Stockholm, Sweden, while the expenses for the program in Sweden (lodging, local transportation and most meals) are courtesy of the Swedish Pulp & Paper Technology Group. Participation is on a first come - first served basis, with a total upper limit of 20 persons.

The Swedish Pulp & Paper Technology Group is an association of member companies, supplying technology to the world pulp and paper industry, see www.pptgroup.se. SPCI is the world's leading conference and exhibition for the pulp and paper industry, see www.spcievent.com.

For questions please contact Mr. Magnus Andersson, Trade Commissioner for Sweden at +1 416 640 7475, or magnus.andersson@swedishtrade.se

We look forward to welcoming you in Sweden in May.


PPMA, the human resources association for the paper industry, has organized an exceptional the program for its Annual Meeting and Conference, April 7-8 in downtown Milwaukee. With the theme "Wisdom to Plan, Strength to Prevail," it features speakers on:

• Challenges presented by the new health care law
• Dealing with an aging workforce
• Pending changes in labor law
• Preparing supervisors to properly handle employee relations
• Assuring business continuity when major disruptions occur at your company

Full program and registration information

PPMA (Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Association) is also celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Based in Appleton, Wis., the association provides high quality human resource services to its member companies. For more information, visit www.ppmausa.com.


TAPPI and PIMA had another great and successful Student Summit this year. It was held in Kingsport, Tenn., during MLK weekend, hosted by the local Domtar Paper Mill. This year there were 106 students and 165 total attendees, a record attendance. We had a great show from all of our sponsors, exhibitors, and committee members who were there to support our paper industry students. With high level speakers, hot topic sessions, plentiful exhibitors, and tons of fun events, this year's Student Summit really was the "Best One Yet."

The TAPPI-PIMA Student Summit was held in the new and beautiful MeadowView Marriott Conference Hotel, located centrally to downtown Kingsport. Our speakers were top notch this year, speaking on topics such as:

• Key Note speaker Mike Edwards, Domtar Group Senior VP, Pulp and Paper "New Directions"
• "YP Roundtable" consisting of :Maggie Gerhart (IP), Natalie Hughey (IP), Pascal Perreault (Kruger), Emily Tomes (Ashland), Bailey Wandyg (Naval Surface), and Diana Hoffert (Domtar)
Tom Phillips with Bobst Group "Corrugated Presentation"
• "New Technologies" featuring Mike Ciesinski, FlexTech Alliance
• "What's a Supplier?" with Steve Sena, Eaton Corp
Med Byrd from NC State "What's Going on with Biofuels Energy"
Larry Grogan, President of Grogan Advisory Services "Personal Finance"
Karen Kemp with AGFirst Farm Credit Bank "Resume, Interviewing, &
• "Carbon Management" featuring George Weyerhaeuser, Houghton Cascade
• "OP Roundtable" highlighting Charlie Floyd (Domtar), Roger Smith (Domtar), Keith Kemp (AstenJohnson), Anitra Collins (Kapstone Kraft Paper), and Debbie Cooper (Ashland Hercules)
Jeff Siegel with Mica "Importance of Networking"

Students participated in a wonder paper mill visit to industry leading Domtar Paper Mill. Their mill is highly recognized as a sustainable and clean producing facility, which was a treat for the students to see. The mill visit took place on Sunday afternoon and resulted in many highly spoken words of Domtar and its mill. The outreach of Domtar and its employees with the Student Summit was outstanding and appreciated, as they participated in interviews, presentations, sponsorship, and had a high showing of attendance at the Summit.
Interviewing, showcasing at the trade fair, and providing funds for the Student Summit, our generous sponsors include: OMNOVA, Ashland, Domtar, International Paper, Kruger, Longview Fibre, Nalco, Weyerhaeuser, and Virginia-Carolina Local Section. The Industry Networking & Career Fair and the interview process was exceptional as we had a record high of interviewing companies and many students were offered positions onsite.

On Monday morning, the students battled it out in the Engineering Competition. The project this year was the "Marshmallow Challenge." Each team of 6-7 people had to build a structure consisting of only spaghetti sticks, string, tape, and 1 marshmallow, with the marshmallow having to be on top. The team with the highest measured, free-standing structure won gift cards for Best Buy. This was a fun and challenging competition that highly focused on team work building skills.

Of course the Student Summit is not all hard work and technical sessions, there are also opportunities for the students to network with one another and enjoy their time at a TAPPI event. On the opening night, everyone enjoyed a Casino Night with food and participation from our exhibitors. After the mill tour on Sunday afternoon, the students ventured to a local favorite, "Bays Mountain," to experience some Wolf Howling from live, captive wolves and did a little star gazing in their state-of-the-art planetarium. Following Bays Mountain, everyone enjoyed a Barbecue dinner, billiards, music and dancing at the local pub and restaurant "The Bus Pit," catered by the "Bonefire Smokehouse."

This year's TAPPI-PIMA Student Summit was a fantastic success, offered excellent learning experiences, and left everyone looking forward to next year's event. Congratulations TAPPI on an outstanding Student Summit and the best of luck for next year.


Get some relief at the Shipping, Receiving and Warehousing Workshop and learn ways to improve your bottom line.

Be a part of this dedicated group of mills, carriers, warehouses and printers as they establish standards to reduce in-transit damage to rolls of paper. You can't learn by sitting in your office! Attend the Shipping, Receiving and Warehousing Workshop in Nashville, April 11-13, 2011, and learn new ways to improve your bottom line.

Program highlights include an update on the VoIPcare "qMetrix for Transportation" trial providing real-time roll inspection reports; success stories on reducing roll damage; and networking between the entire paper supply chain (mills, warehousing, shippers, rail, truck and end users.

Registration for this information-packed event is only $265. And for an additional $65 (total of $330) you can become a member of TAPPI - normally $174. TAPPI Membership entitles you to news, publications, conference discounts and a directory of members - the most influential people in the pulp, paper, converting and allied industries.

Learn more about TAPPI's Shipping, Receiving and Warehousing Workshop. 


Once again, PaperCon delivers four days of concentrated technical content and unrivaled networking for industry professionals.

Located in greater Cincinnati May 1-4, 2011, PaperCon 2011 will challenge attendees to Rethink Paper by focusing on lean manufacturing, operational excellence, and environmental performance throughout three unique program tracks, as well as forums on sustainability and tissue.

Learn more about PaperCon.

New this year: Tissue Forum, Recycled Paperboard Technical Association (RPTA) Production-Technical Seminar, Sustainability Forum, Maintenance Workshop

Other highlights: PIMA Management Program, Papermakers Program, Coating Program, Young Professionals Program, PaperCon Trade Fair, Engaging Spouse/Guest Program, Runnability Fun Run. In addition, the Mill Discount Program is back.


"Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work - and realizing what opportunity is and what isn't." — Lucille Ball

Xerium Technologies, Inc.