Voith Paper

Over the Wire


Weekly Spotlight
International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., USA, this week announced that it has proposed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Temple-Inland for $30.60 per share in cash. Under terms of the proposal, the offer represents a 44% premium to Temple-Inland's price as of noon EDT, June 6th, ($21.21). International Paper's offer, which is backed by committed financing from UBS Investment Bank, is contingent on appropriate documentation and regulatory approval, which IP believes can be obtained.  

IP first communicated its proposal verbally to the chairman of Temple-Inland on May 17. Subsequently, there has been a call, a face-to-face meeting between the two sides, and two letters of correspondence from the chairman of IP to the chairman of Temple-Inland. IP was informed in a letter from Temple-Inland's chairman, dated June 4, that the board of Temple-Inland has unanimously rejected its proposal. In response, IP today sent a letter to Temple-Inland expressing its continued interest in pursuing an acquisition.

IP chairman and CEO John Faraci said that "we are very disappointed with the response of Temple-Inland's Board of Directors. We believe that our proposal offers clearly superior and compelling value to Temple-Inland's shareholders. Our proposal  reflects the future business plans and economic outlook for Temple-Inland and for the sector, and incorporates a significant portion of the cost savings resulting from the merger of International Paper and Temple-Inland, while at the same time creating value for International Paper shareholders."

The offer reflects the potential cyclical improvement in Temple-Inland's building products segment and IP's willingness to share a portion of the significant synergies available from the transaction with Temple-Inland shareholders. IP said that it is prepared to consider all alternatives to successfully complete this transaction.

Verso Paper Corp., Memphis, Tenn., USA, this week announced its participation in a partnership with Time Inc., Hearst Enterprises, National Geographic, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and other forest products companies in Maine to promote sustainable forest management principles and initiatives. The partnership is an extension of a pilot project completed last year in Maine that provided support to private landowners by creating a more cost effective certification process and offering resources to support responsible forest management practices.

Last year's pilot project resulted in an additional 620,000 acres certified to the SFI and the American Tree Farm System standards in Maine, an 8.3% increase. This year's partnership effort will use the experience learned from the pilot project and involve a new group of landowners who recognized the value in the improved and thorough process that came out of last year's pilot. This new partnership effort is expected to result in more than 600,000 additional acres becoming certified under the SFI Standard. The project will meet the needs of small and medium-sized landowners by further validating a more cost effective certification process and providing resources to support forest management best practices.

"Verso has strategically taken a leadership role over the years to promote forest certification by developing partnerships and providing support to a variety of stakeholders with similar values," said Craig Liska, VP of Sustainability for Verso. Last year's pilot project and this year's extension have resulted in a growing number of landowners showing interest in this improved certification process. Verso believes the increased awareness and understanding of the value this new certification process offers will prompt others to join the effort and promote further growth of the program in Maine and other states.

"Verso is very excited about this latest partnership and looks forward to seeing the increase in certified acreage in Maine along with the sustainable forest management practices that accompany this certification effort," Liska continued. "As a manufacturer and marketer of paper products, Verso recognizes and embraces our responsibility to support healthy, viable forests as a renewable resource for generations to come."

Domtar Corp., Montreal, Que., Canada, this week announced that it has been selected as one of the Top Three of the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights. An independent and top-ranked Canadian-based media company, Corporate Knights publishes the world's largest circulation magazine that focuses on corporate responsibility. The 50 Best Corporate Citizens List, announced yesterday (June 8), is based on environmental, social, and governance indicators found in the public domain, as well as an assessment of how these companies manage their carbon, energy, water usage, and waste production.

"We are not just a paper company," said John D. Williams, president and CEO of Domtar. "We are ‘The Sustainable Paper Company.' We believe that our ongoing association with major, respected environmental organizations and our sincere efforts in the domain of sustainability were key factors for our inclusion among the Top Three Corporate Citizens in Canada. We look forward to continuing these award-winning efforts and we will continue to raise the bar as a leader when it comes to sustainability in the pulp and paper industry."

Domtar engages with various environmental organizations to promote sustainability and earth-conscious projects, such as the World Wildlife Fund and Rainforest Alliance. Its work with The Nature Conservancy on the Working Woodlands pilot project is helping small forestry owners develop sustainable forest management plans that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The company's award-winning Paper Because Campaign was launched this past year to reestablish paper as a sustainable, personal, and purposeful resource.

Robert L. Nebeling, 77, retired product business manager at Bobst Group and a member of TAPPI since 1970, died on May 29. Nebeling's professional career was spent in the corrugated paper packaging industry, in which he held a range of positions, from manufacturing, to production and machinery design, and finally machinery sales.

In 1999, Nebeling received the TAPPI Corrugated Containers Division Technical Award and the Harry J. Bettendort Prize in recognition of outstanding contributions that have advanced the industry's technology. He served on the TAPPI Engineering Committee from January 1995 to June 2007, and was a career-long member of the TAPPI Chicago (Corrugated) Committee. He participated in many TAPPI Corrugated Conferences, including presentations of technical papers and serving on various panels and roundtable groups.

Beginning his career at Continental Can Co., Corrugated Div., Nebeling advanced to general plant manager, and then manager of production engineering at the company's national headquarters. He worked as GM for new product development at Simon Container Machinery Inc. and later as manager for General Corrugated Machinery Co. in New Jersey. More recently, he worked for Bobst Group of New Jersey and Switzerland as manager of corrugator equipment. His career evolved from manufacturing corrugated packaging products to the design and sales of corrugator machinery on an international scale.

During his career, Nebeling was affiliated with international corrugated packaging companies in England, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. He was granted three patents and was a published author in the trade journals. He is survived by his wife Barbara (nee Armstrong) Nebeling, his two daughters Dr. Linda Nebeling of Germantown, Md., and Wendy Simon and her husband James of Wayne, N.J., two grandchildren Nathaniel and Janine Simon of Wayne, and his sister Evelyn Bible of Oakland, Calif.

Market Roundup
The combined pressures of overcapacity and high input costs in the uncoated woodfree paper market have been impacting producer profitability in Europe, making it inevitable that some European paper machines will face closure, according to RISI's (Brussels, Belgium) new European Uncoated Woodfree Papers Risk of Closure Study. Declining Western European demand and the addition of new capacity in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America could force the closure of up to 25 machines (1.5 million metric tpy of capacity), potentially turning Western Europe into a net importer of uncoated woodfree papers by 2015, according to the new report. .

"It's clear that a lot of uncoated woodfree capacity in Europe will shut, and this study takes the step of identifying the actual machines and mills at risk of closure," said Sampo Timonen director of European Graphic Papers at RISI, and author of the study. Sampo adds however, that while "high pulp, recovered paper, and energy costs threaten the profitability of non-integrated producers, integrated producers and net sellers of pulp or electricity profit from selling the energy they do not require."

To reach these conclusions, Timonen analyzed 65 paper machines and 29 producers of xerographic, printing, and converting papers in Europe. The European Uncoated Woodfree Papers Risk of Closure Study reveals machine risk of closure by company, evaluating which companies may face bankruptcy and which machines might face forced closure, planned closure, or potential divestments, and including companies likely to participate in industry consolidation.

Log prices in the Pacific Northwest have reached a tipping point, according to Forest2Market, Charlotte, N.C., USA. Prices have begun a correction cycle in response to faltering building products market. China—flush with logs—is likely to re-evaluate its aggressive buying strategy. Historical precedent suggests the price correction will shave 10% - 15% from the price of Douglas fir and hemlock logs.

The correction follows a two-year period of generally rising trends for log prices in the Pacific Northwest coastal region. Market price data from Forest2Market's Delivered Price Benchmark shows that hemlock log prices doubled from their 2009 lows on Chinese demand. Douglas fir logs climbed to more than $600/MBF for the first time since 2007 as competition between sawmills and exporters met head on. As a result, prices increased by 35% over 2010 lows.

"Frenzy has driven the market in early 2011," says Gordon Culbertson, Forest2Market's Pacific Northwest Regional Manager. "Prices accelerated too far too fast, and the market cannot continue at that pace."

While a price correction is underway, Oregon and Washington log exports to Asia are still on track to top a billion board feet in 2011; shipments to China will lead the way. Since exports will remain strong, prices are unlikely to fall below last year's levels. The most recent price correction in summer 2010 amounted to a reduction of 15% of log price. Expect a similar contraction this year. With continued competition from Asian buyers, however, prices will settle at levels above those seen in 2010. According to Culbertson, a number of factors have come together to create this price fluctuation.

Russia has historically been China's largest supplier of logs. When Russia threatened higher tariffs on logs in 2008, China sought to diversify its supplier base, in part to demonstrate to Russia that it had other options. Early in 2010, China saw a target of opportunity in depressed U.S. markets and soon began buying Pacific Northwest logs to feed its growth. Intense competition between domestic and export buyers stimulated prices.

Currently, the cost of logs delivered to Chinese sawmills exceeds $1,000/MBF. "China is price sensitive," says Culbertson. "Paying $1,000/MBF appears counter to their long-term buying strategy. High cost logs from the U.S. are no different than high cost logs from Russia. And since China currently has an abundance of logs and lumber from new sources, it is a perfect time for that country to seek a lower price in the future."

China has established itself as a major presence in the U.S. market for logs. Growth for China is projected to continue, so they will remain a major force in the PNW market. When the housing market recovers and lumber demand rebounds, a second round of competition and price escalation will ensue.

Four of North America's five largest producers (Kruger, White Birch, Catalyst, and Norpac) have announced a $35/metric ton price hike for July 1, Mark Wilde, senior analyst with Deutsche Bank reports. AbitibiBowater (No.1 N.A. producer with 40% capacity) has not yet announced a price hike. The key drivers are rising input costs and the strengthening Canadian dollar, he adds. Fundamental demand, however, is weak. Newsprint consumption by U.S. dailies was down 7.4% y/y in April (YTD -3.6% y/y). In May, estimated 30-lb newsprint prices in the West slipped $5/metric ton to $620/metric ton. In the East, estimated prices were flat at $640/metric ton, +7.6% y/y.

More North American producers announced a $20/metric ton price hike on NBSK (northern bleached softwood kraft) pulps for June, Wilde also reports. If implemented, North American NBSK will rise to a record level of $1,040/metric ton, he say, adding that according to PPPC, April pulp shipments were -15.0% m/m, but +3.3% y/y. The m/m decline was mostly due to lower shipments in China after a record March. Inventories rose by one day of supply (+2 on softwood, +1 on hardwood). In Europe, producers have set NBSK at $1,040/metric ton, +$30/metric ton m/m. However, a strong euro has limited margin gains for euro-based mills.

Meanwhile, Asian prices remain under pressure. In China, trade contacts suggest that local NBSK prices have fallen ˜$70 - $80/metric ton from May's $920 - $930/metric ton list price level in recent weeks, Wilde continues. Fall-out of higher pulp prices? he asks. With paper demand sluggish, producers may find it difficult to raise paper prices, forcing non-integrated P&W mills to curtail/shutdown production. Last week's news that Grays Harbor Paper is closing is one such example, Wilde explains.

Pulp & Paper
Domtar and FPInnovations, Montreal, Que., Canada, this week announced that CelluForce is the corporate identity chosen for their new joint venture, launched in July 2010. CelluForce will manufacture nanocrystalline cellulose, a recyclable and renewable nanomaterial that will be commercialized throughout the world. The new company's identity was developed to reflect both the origin of the nanomaterial, extracted from tree cellulose, and one of the multiple properties of the product to be sold by the new company.

Jean Moreau, president and CEO of CelluForce, explained that "our new brand reflects who we are, how we want to position ourselves in our target markets, and the innovation that differentiates us within our industry. The name "CelluForce" reminds us that one of the main characteristics of the nanocrystalline cellulose is the great strength it provides to the materials to which it is added, but the name also represents the strength of our relationships with our shareholders, our partners, and our customers, which is one of the company's core values. It was essential that this feature be one of the key elements of our corporate identity."

The company's mission is "to harness the power of nature's basic elements to transform the performance of its clients' products." The personality of the product itself encourages the development of very strong partnerships with CelluForce customers, who will also be partners in the deployment of multiple specialized applications using nanocrystalline cellulose.

Nanocrystalline cellulose will be produced in a large-scale commercial demonstration plant using cutting-edge technology. The plant is currently under construction on the site of Domtar's pulp and paper mill in Windsor, Que. The construction of the demonstration plant is progressing quickly, and it should be operational in the first quarter of 2012.

"Emerging from a strategic alliance between two leaders in their respective industries, CelluForce creates new partnerships to develop innovative technology in growing markets. Domtar will bring its vast manufacturing experience to the table to produce a green nanomaterial that, like paper, comes from trees. We will therefore develop new applications for our market pulp," said John D. Williams, president and CEO of Domtar.

Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations, added that "thanks to a revolutionary technological breakthrough developed by FPInnovations and an exceptional government-industry partnership, the CelluForce team will benefit from a nanomaterial of high quality, which is stable, abundant, and unique in the world, namely nanocrystalline cellulose, or NCC. With the combined strengths of FPInnovations researchers and Domtar staff, CelluForce will continue to develop new commercial applications and new market areas for NCC. The entire FPInnovations team is working to develop innovative and viable solutions to ensure the competitiveness and transformation of the Canadian forestry industry."

KapStone Paper and Packaging, Northbrook, Ill., USA, reports that it is investing $15.2 million to upgrade its No. 3 paper machine at Roanoke Rapids, N.C. With an annual capacity of 205,000 tons, the lightweight kraft paper products manufactured on PM 3 are primarily sold into the shipping sack, refuse bag, and coating and laminating market segments.

A total of $5.8 million has been invested at the mill during the past three years, resulting in strength enhancements, improved contaminant removal, and reduction in overall process and product variability. By the fall of 2011, an additional $9.4 million will be invested for additional modernization to improve overall energy efficiency, reliability, and performance.

NewPage Wisconsin System Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of NewPage Corp., Miamisburg, Ohio, USA, announced this week that AIM Demolition USA, Macedonia, Ohio, will purchase its shuttered Kimberly, Wis., coated paper mill. The transaction is expected to close this month. AIM Demolition is currently exploring various avenues regarding the potential future of the site.

NewPage indefinitely shutdown operations at the Kimberly mill in August 2008, having acquired it from Stora Enso a year earlier. The mill had been operating two paper machines, Nos. 96 and 97, which produced about 500,000 tpy of coated free sheet. Some 475 employees lost their jobs when the mill was closed, in addition to 125 workers affected by the shutdown of the mill's No. 95 paper machine in May 2008.

NewPage is the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America, based on production capacity, with $3.6 billion in 2010 net sales. The company's product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint, and specialty papers. The company owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nova Scotia, Canada, with a total annual production capacity of approximately 4.1 million tons of paper, including 2.9 million tons of coated paper, 1.0 million tons of uncoated paper, and 200,000 tons of specialty paper.

Orient Paper Co., Baoding, China, " this week reported that it has nearly completed the renovation of one of its idle paper production lines that can be used to manufacture digital photo base paper and other higher profit margin specialty papers. The company also says it is making significant progress towards beginning trial production of its new corrugating medium paper production line in early July.

As previously announced, Orient has been working on renovating a small production line that was idled in 2007. The renovated line is expected to produce up to 10,000 metric tpy of digital photo base paper and/or other high profit margin specialty papers, including security paper with certain anti-counterfeit properties. The company anticipates completing renovation after the installation of new power supply units at the workshop in July. If test operations are successful, Orient expects to begin producing digital photo base paper to supply production of its two existing digital photo paper coating lines by the end of the third quarter this year.

Orient says that its new 360,000 metric tpy corrugating medium paper production line (shown under construction in the photo below) is making significant progress and is on schedule to begin trial production in early July. With the addition of this new production line, the company expects total corrugating medium paper production in 2011 to reach approximately 199,500 - 220,500 metric tons, of which up to 98,000 metric tons are expected to be contributed by the new production line.

According to Orient, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China (MITT) recently ordered the elimination of outdated production capacity for various industries for the year 2011, including the closure of approximately 7.4 million metric tons of paper production capacity. The government mandated closure of paper capacity in 2011 represents some 7.4% of the current 100 million metric tpy of paper production capacity in China, up 72% from 4.3 million metric tpy eliminated in 2010. It is believed that a majority of the paper production capacity to be eliminated is concentrated in northern China and includes cultural paper, low-grade packaging paper, and household paper. The paper production capacity closures in the Henan Province and Hebei Province this year will be approximately 1.9 million metric tons and 1.1 million metric tons, respectively, according to the provincial level allocation by MITT.

Zhenyong Liu, chairman and CEO of Orient Paper, noted that "with the new round of government-mandated closures of regional small and inefficient paper production capacity, we anticipate the pricing pressure will further intensify given reduced supply and stronger demand from our customers in the second half of the year. We believe our new corrugating medium paper capacity, which we expect to come online in July, will play an important role in our ability to meet the increasing market demand. The paper industry in the Henan, Hebei, Hunan, and Guangdong Provinces account for a majority of capacity eliminations, which hopefully will further strengthen our leading market position in northern China. Looking into the future, we plan to develop our expertise to offer new paper products such as security paper with anti-counterfeit properties, to further expand our product portfolio, and increase market share."

KiOR,Inc., Pasadena, Texas, USA, and Catchlight Energy, a 50-50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Chevron Corp. and Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wash., have signed a feedstock supply agreement. Catchlight will supply forestry-based feedstocks required by KiOR's first commercial renewable fuel production facility in Columbus, Miss.

"Securing a feedstock supply agreement for our first commercial facility in Columbus is an important milestone," said Fred Cannon, KiOR's president and CEO. "We are pleased with the progress in securing contracts for the facility's feedstock supply and for the offtake of the facility's output of renewable fuel blendstocks."

This week's announcement follows the fuel offtake agreement signed between the two parties in April, in which Catchlight Energy agreed, subject to satisfaction of product specification criteria and RIN certification of the products as cellulosic biofuels under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, to purchase gasoline and diesel fuel blendstocks from KiOR's Columbus facility. The companies have also signed a Testing and Optimization Agreement to optimize the compatibility of KiOR's blendstocks with Chevron's facilities.

Is the economy slowing? Mark Wilde, senior analyst with Deutsche Bank asks. The 6.9 pt. m/m drop in the ISM index was a huge warning shot for containerboard/box producers, he says. Meanwhile, competitive pricing and rising input costs suggest that the second half of this year will be tougher than expected. Transaction prices were reportedly flat at $635 - $645/ton in May. "However, we believe open market containerboard prices are sloppier. Box prices are down ˜$15 - $30/ton since the start of the year. RockTenn has announced closure of three Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. (SSCC) box plants (see news item below). The big issue, however, is mill capacity. Deutsche Bank expects RockTenn to eventually close two or three SSCC mills," Wilde notes

Wilde further notes that discussions with numerous trade players in the bleached board (SBS) arena suggest that this market is softer than reported. Producers have announced $40 - $50/ton price hikes on SBS, effective late-May/early-June. Demand is OK, but not as strong as last-year, Wilde adds. In May, SBS estimated prices were flat at $1,130 - $1,180/ton, +8.5% y/y. "Based on numerous trade discussions, it appears that the market is transacting well below these levels," he points out.

Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) to China is holding firm at $195 - $210/ton FOB in June, Wilde reports. Key drivers are lower OCC generation in the U.S., strong export demand, and expectation of higher OCC demand from the startup of several new machines in China in the coming months. Demand is a bit soft in both the domestic markets and in China. In May, domestic OCC prices were essentially flat, down $1/ton to $155/ton.

Amcor, Melbourne, Australia, this week announced new reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and waste to landfill. Using FY 2010/11 as the baseline year, Amcor's new environmental targets are:
  • 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity by FY 2015/16
  • 50% reduction in waste to landfill intensity by FY 2015/16
  • 25% reduction in potable water use intensity at Amcor's Australian sites by FY 2015/16 and having active water management plans in place at all other sites by the end of 2011.

In addition to the new short term targets, Amcor will continue with the long term emissions reduction target of 60% by FY 2029/30, using the baseline year of FY 2005/06. Greenhouse gas emissions, include Scope 1 & 2 and Scope 3 and are reported against the ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Standard.

"As the world's largest packaging company, we have the opportunity to take the lead on packaging sustainability. Our approach to sustainability continues to evolve and move beyond compliance and operational efficiencies to one that will drive sustainability across the supply chain of packaged goods," said Ken Mackenzie, Amcor's managing director and CEO.

Hamburger-Rieger GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, has ordered from Metso, Finland, a rebuild of No. 1 paper machine at its Spremberg mill in Germany. Startup of the rebuilt machine is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. The value of the order was not disclosed.

Metso's delivery will include a rebuild of the existing pond size press into a film size press and supply of a TurnFloat air turn as well as a PowerDry Plus air dryer for coating drying. The new film size press with two new applicator beams will enable the mill to produce both surface sized and pigment coated papers.

The applicator rolls will be provided with a CoteFalcon cover, suitable for both film coating and surface sizing. Contactless drying with the high-capacity PowerDry Plus air dryer provides the most efficient solution with respect to paper quality and energy consumption. The maximum trim width of PM 1 is 5,300 mm at a production speed of up to 1,200 m/min.

The Spremberg mill of Hamburger-Rieger has been producing white top testliner grades from 100% waste paper since 2005.

M-real, Finland, reports that it has completed the rebuild of its Simpele mill in Finland, bringing on-stream an additional 80,000 metric tpy of folding boxboard, primarily aimed at meeting increased demand from the food industry. The rebuild was finished on schedule June 1.

In addition to Simpele, M-real is increasing capacity at its Äänekoski and Kyro mills, planned for completion in late 2011 and spring 2012 respectively. As a result of the rebuilds, M-real will increase its total folding boxboard capacity to around 935,000 metric tpy and further strengthen its position in the market.

M-real is also investing at its Kemiart Liners mill and in the construction of a bio power plant at Kyro. In total, investment in the Consumer Packaging business area will exceed EUR 100 million during 2010-2012, Simpele being the first phase of the investment program.

M-real Simpele is already considered the most efficient cartonboard mill in Europe and Simcote the most efficient board grade as defined by its consistency and yield. The EUR 26 million invested at Simpele will increase production capacity by 80,000 metric tpy to 300,000 metric tpy and sheeting capacity by 40,000metric tpy to 230,000metric tpy.

RockTenn, Norcross, Ga., USA, this week announced that it will close three former Smurfit-Stone corrugated container plants in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011. The plants are located in Birmingham, Ala., Jonesboro, Ark., and Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Existing business will be transitioned to nearby RockTenn facilities.

"This action is a necessary first step in realigning the box plant system of RockTenn following the acquisition of Smurfit-Stone. We plan to take many actions in the next year to maximize the efficiency of our manufacturing processes as well as to reduce costs and eliminate redundancies throughout our operations as we move forward to achieve the operating synergy that we anticipate from the Smurfit-Stone acquisition," said Jim Rubright, chairman and CEO.

Jiangsu Fuxing Paper Co., Foshan, China, has ordered from Andritz, Graz, Austria, a stock preparation system for its duplex board machine. Startup is scheduled for June 2012. The scope of supply includes a:
  1. 180 metric tpd NBKP/LBKP (northern bleached kraft pulp/leaf bleached kraft pulp) line for the top ply
  2. 160 metric tpd OMG/MOW (old magazines/mixed office waste) line for the under top ply
  3. 750 metric tpd MW (mixed waste) line for the filler ply
  4. 160 metric tpd ONP (old newsprint pulp) line for the back ply
  5. Five-layer Paper Machine Approach system
  6. Broke system
  7. Sludge handling system.

The FibreFlow® drum pulper ordered by Jiangsu Fuxing Paper will be the 200th unit delivered by Andritz Pulp & Paper.

With a productivity increase and enhancement of applications, the nanofiber market size will grow to about $4 billion by 2020, according to Kial Gramley of FibeRio Technology Corp.  Edinburg, Texas, USA.  Gramley, VP of Marketing and Business Development at FibeRio, introduced advancements in the Forcespinning nanofiber production at the recent 2011 Spring Materials Interest Group meeting of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

FibeRio debuted a mechanical method of nanofiber production called Forcespinning last year. The process is aimed at increasing productivity to enhance the scope of nanofiber application in a wide array of products. In a question on the productivity comparison with other existing methods of nanofiber production, Gramley said the centrifugal force method of FibeRio technology is at least one order magnitude higher in productivity.

Wellesley, MA-USA based BCC Research in June of last year estimated the current nanofiber market size to be about $140 million and is expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2020.

New Products
Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., USA, has announced a new printing breakthrough that produces a metallic finish without using the costly and time consuming de-metallization process. The company notes that its Mirorink process produces a distinctive mirror finish to attract consumers' attention on store shelves while providing consumer packaging goods companies (CPGs) cost savings, improved environmental sustainability, and increased speed to market, .

The new process uses a proprietary metallic pigment made from real metal flakes that produce a mirror-like sheen when properly aligned. By registering the metalized ink only where necessary, the process eliminates the waste stream of highly corrosive elements resulting from traditional de-metallization methods. The process also reduces water and energy consumption, making it more environmentally friendly. By skipping the time-consuming de-metallization process, products also are delivered to market more quickly.

Enhanced and more impactful graphics are another significant benefit of the metalized ink alternative. "Confectioners, in particular, require products that not only appeal to consumer taste preferences, but are also packaged so they're just as tempting to the eye. It's essential that packaging resonate with shoppers' senses and influence them to choose a product over the dozens of options on the shelf," said Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioner's Association.

Published Pricing
Ahlstrom, Finland, will increase prices of its graphics and packaging products worldwide, effective July 1. The increases will vary up to 10%, depending on products and markets. The company attributes the increase to rising costs of raw material, chemicals, and energy. Ahlstrom's graphics and packaging products are part of the Label and Processing Business Area and their end-use applications include metalized wet glue labels, flexible packaging, envelope windows and repositionable notes.

Rio Tinto Minerals, Denver, Colo., USA, has announced a 5% price increase, effective July 15, for talc products from its Montana, Vermont, and Canadian operations. The company noted that the increase will help offset the effects of a continuous rise in energy and fuel costs directly related to mining, processing, packaging, and transportation.

"We have a strong track record of improving operating efficiencies and these efforts will continue," says Kent Cutler, VP Sales – Americas. "At the same time, it is essential that we adjust our pricing to offset cost increases beyond our control in order to maintain the service levels and product quality that make a difference to our customers."

Rio Tinto's talc business employs some 1,000 people at 24 locations in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. It supplies approximately 20% of the global demand for talc under the Luzenac brand. On February 23, the company received a binding offer from Imerys (France) to acquire its talc business for an enterprise value of $340 million. A period of exclusivity with Imerys has been agreed, and Rio Tinto says it will respond to this binding offer following consultation with the relevant European works councils.

Fisher International, South Norwalk, Conn., USA, reports to have expanded its presence in Asian countries with the appointment of Amy "Yuanyuan" Chu and Neo "Ziniu" Wu to the region. Amy and Neo represent one of the initial steps of Fisher's Asian expansion initiatives and commitment for increased local presence in support of their product improvement.

"These appointments mark the next step in our emerging market strategy and will help propel Fisher's penetration in Asia. I am extremely pleased to have Amy and Neo join Fisher to bolsters our already strong research, client support, and product management teams in Asia to better support our clients and FisherSolve™ users in the region" said Stanley Okoro, GM of Fisher International.

Chu will work in the product management group on FisherSolve Cost benchmarking. She has more than three years of experience working in global pulping and paper consulting collecting and analyzing production asset data specifically modeling cash cost and asset competitive benchmarking in Asia Pacific. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in pulp and papermaking engineering from Nanjing Forestry University and a Master of Science degree in pulp and papermaking engineering from South China University of Technology.

Wu will provide client support and share responsibility for Fisher's data research and quality in Asia. He has experience in the global pulp and paper industry collecting and analyzing asset data, researching bio-refinery auto-hydrolysis of wood chips before pulping, binuclear manganese catalyst in final peroxide bleaching of softwood kraft pulp, and on kinetics and mechanisms of chlorine dioxide bleaching. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Nanjing Forestry University, a Master of Science degree in pulp and paper technology, and an international business strategy degree from Helsinki University of Technology.

Chu and Wu are both in Connecticut thru June obtaining training and getting acquainted with Fisher's systems and processes, and meeting the team members with whom they will work.

RockTenn, Norcross, Ga., USA, has announced two key changes to its operational organization after the completion of its recent acquisition of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. Mike Kiepura has been named president, Consumer Packaging. Kiepura will continue to lead the company's Consumer Packaging businesses, Coated Paperboard and Folding Carton, and will now have oversight responsibility for the company's Merchandising Displays and Specialty Paperboard businesses, which will now be reported as part of the company's Consumer Packaging Segment.

Jim Porter has been named president, Corrugated Packaging and Recycling. Porter will have leadership responsibility for the company's Corrugated Packaging, Containerboard and Recycling and Waste Solutions businesses.

"Mike and Jim are outstanding leaders, consistently leading our businesses in producing outstanding results," said Jim Rubright, RockTenn's chairman and CEO. "Our acquisition of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. provides Mike and Jim the opportunity to create value for our shareholders on a much larger scale given the significant increase in the scale of our business and the much broader opportunities before us."

Mike Kocurek, Professor of Paper Science & Engineering at North Carolina University, will be again leading one of TAPPI"s more popular courses in Norcross (Atlanta), Georgia on August 8-9.
Past attendees of this course have agreed that the course format provides an excellent introduction to kraft pulp mill operations, and allows them to provide stronger input on operations after returning from the course.

After successfull completion of the course, participants should be able to:
  • Describe and define kraft pulp mill processes, equipment, operating variables, and terminology, in order to increase ability to improve operations and pulp quality.
  • Recognize how one part of the process affects other operations, in order to increase awareness of thinking on a mill wide scale.
  • Interpret how the process variables affect pulp quality, in order to improve pulp quality and troubleshoot variations in quality.
  • Extend awareness of the complex environmental challenges associated with kraft pulp production.

    In addition, 13.3 continuing education credits are awarded upon completion of the course.

Learn more and register to attend at www.tappi.org/11kraft2

The TAPPI Tissue Properties & Manufacturing Course will be held in Atlanta on August 10-11.
The overall objective of this course, led by Mike Kocurek, Professor Emeritus of North Carolina State University, is to increase understanding of tissue performance properties and manufacturing. It is designed for participants who desire an intermediate level, comprehensive, and structured course on tissue properties, and the effect of manufacturing processes on product performance properties.

Completion of this course earns participants 14 CEU's.

To learn more and to register

Course topics will cover:

  • Tissue properties & tests and how these relate to sheet structure
  • Performance effects of fiber raw materials, pulp mill and recycling operations
  • Stock prep refining for Tissue
  • Chemicals for Tissue
  • Tissue machine wet end operations & effects on sheet structure & properties
  • multilayer headboxes, formation, fiber orientation, dewatering, and fabrics for sheet forming and sheet structure
  • TAD and Yankee drying & effects on properties
  • wet felts for obtaining desired sheet structure
  • Creping, Calendering, Embossing
William "Bill" Whitsitt, 84, passed away on Saturday, May 28, 2011.

Bill worked as a Chemical Engineer in the paper industry at the Paper Institute and was known for the research he did on corrugated paperboard. He joined TAPPI in 1964 and became a TAPPI Fellow in 1990. Bill was active in TAPPI's Corrugated Containers Division and its Process & Quality Control and Fiberboard Shipping Container Testing Committees. He contributed to a number of test methods and presented several technical papers at the TAPPI Corrugated Containers Conferences.

Have you registered yet for the TAPPI Hands-On Workshop for Pulp and Paper Basics? This course takes place June 13-17 at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

This is an essential course that teaches the basic concepts in pulp and paper manufacturing. It's for anyone wanting to improve their role in operations.

Previous participants found the workshop a very valuable experience:

"The information was detailed and easily understood by both engineers and non-engineers. I will definitely suggest the course to others!"

"I'll be able to understand the wood and pulping process in order to determine the costs associated with them."

"I enjoyed the course very much. I wish my machine operators and other technicians could take it."

"This is a very good course. The course tied a lot of things together for me."

"This is an excellent course; providing an intense overview of the entire papermaking process."

"The experiments that were conducted were very supportive of the lecture component of the class and made a big difference in my level of understanding."

"The lab experiments were great. It really helps to understand the system when you can work with it 'hands-on.' The course material and information were excellent."

CEUs Available
TAPPI will award 3.7 continuing education units (CEUs) to participants who attend at least 80% of the education sessions and complete a final program evaluation.

TAPPI is still accepting applications for the William L Cullison Scholarship . Scholarship funds are currently awarded in increments up to $4,000 per academic year for the last two years of a student's undergraduate program. The deadline has been extended to August 1, 2011. All candidates will be notified of their application status by September 1, 2011.

Potential candidates must meet all of the following eligibility criteria to be considered. It is important to note that financial need is not a requirement to be eligible.
• Major in a pulp and paper science course of study at a college or university. Many of these colleges and universities sponsor a TAPPI Student Chapter.
• Maintain a 3.5 grade point average or better (on a 4.0 scale) through the first two years in a four-year program, or first three years in a five-year program.
• Demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities.
• Demonstrate significant interest in the pulp and paper industry.

TAPPI's selection committee has created a new, expedited process for applicants to submit their application. It recognizes that while students are seeking additional ways to cover the cost of their education, they also appreciate electronic solutions to facilitate application submission. The committee is happy to oblige and the online process is fairly straightforward.

For further information and to apply go to Scholarship Information


July 19 will be here before you know it! Register for the TAPPI Extrusion Coating Course before July 19 and you'll be able to save $200 on your TAPPI registration and on most flights with a 21-day advance booking. This course takes place August 16-18 in exciting Nashville, Tennessee.

Who benefits most from this course?
Extrusion engineers, supervisors and operators, technical directors and superintendents, technical assistants and R&D personnel would all appreciate the curriculum planned for this course.

Attending this course will help you:
• List various product structures and their potential uses in packaging applications
• Identify and discuss the physical properties and processing issues for a variety of extrusion coating resins
• Discuss the capabilities, specifications and limitations of various extrusion coating equipment
• Explain and discuss the extrusion process that includes web handling, polymer processing, purging and troubleshooting, using the aid of video and literature
• Recognize the various surface treatment options that are available and their applications
• Identify the unique equipment and resin requirements for co-extrusion applications
• Explain the process requirements for making extrusion coated structures
• Identify safety concerns in the extrusion process

View the full Course Schedule to see all the experience being shared by 10 different course instructors.
Book Your Hotel Online at Sheraton Downtown Nashville Be sure to mention "TAPPI" to get the special rate of $139.00 plus fees.

TAPPI member Scott Pantaleo has consistently established his credentials as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in headboxes, forming and approach flow systems throughout his career.

Since joining TAPPI in 1989, he has attended or taught at numerous conferences, courses and classes, and credits TAPPI's Standards and TIPs as being yet another "priceless on-the-job resource." One of the many benefits he has derived from his membership includes the opportunity to network with professionals both inside, and out, of his immediate area of expertise – leading to a new dimension of understanding beyond, but still aligned with his core competencies. For more than 15 years he has served as a course instructor for Wet End Operations, and is currently Chair of the Fluid Mechanics Committee and a member of the Papermakers Committee. He considers his relationship with TAPPI to be a major component in helping to build his SME reputation. Find out the reasons why by reading this month's Member Spotlight (http://www.tappi.org/Membership.aspx).

Spotlight participants are recommended by fellow members and staff. If you would like to nominate a member (or even yourself!) just send their name (or names) to MemberSpotlight@tappi.org. We will forward a Spotlight Questionnaire (http://www.tappi.org/content/membership/spotlightquestionnaire.pdf) to fill out and return. We look forward to seeing you in the Spotlight!

Darren Swales, Ph.D., has been an active, engaged member of TAPPI ever since first joining in 1996. He admits his passion for volunteering was fueled in large part by a university professor, Michael J. Jaycock, who steered Darren toward TAPPI during his pursuit of multiple degrees in chemistry. An ironic twist of events considering it was another academic many years before who had advised Darren not to pursue studies, or a career, in the sciences. Darren soon learned that Professor Jaycock's advice was not without merit, attending his first conference upon relocating to the United States and joining shortly thereafter.

Ask Darren how TAPPI has assisted his career over the last 15 years and he replies simply, but enthusiastically: Networking! "The more you put into membership, the more you get out of it," he advises. As the Applications Group Manager Paper for Kemira Chemicals, Inc., Darren understands the concept of smart work producing great results. So exactly why was this Ph.D. in Chemistry told he would never excel in the profession he has achieved so much success in?

Find out the reason why by reading this month's Member Spotlight

Spotlight participants are recommended by fellow members and staff. If you would like to nominate a member (or even yourself!) just send their name (or names) to MemberSpotlight@tappi.org. We will forward a Spotlight Questionnaire to fill out and return. We look forward to seeing you in the Spotlight!

Nalco Company
Sweed Machinery, Inc