Voith Paper

Over the Wire


Weekly Spotlight
Georgia-Pacific, Atlanta, Ga., USA, today reported that it has received a binding offer from SCA to acquire the Georgia-Pacific EMEA business. Acceptance of the offer is subject to consultations with works councils where appropriate and to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances from competition authorities. The offered price is EUR 1.32 billion ($1.8 billion).

The proposed transaction includes G-P's consumer and away-from-home tissue paper products and personal care businesses and manufacturing assets across Europe, including leading consumer brands as well as away-from-home and private label products developed, manufactured, marketed and sold by 5,000 employees. In the proposed transaction, SCA has agreed to hire all current G-P EMEA employees.

Jim Hannan, CEO and president, Georgia-Pacific, said that "Georgia-Pacific employees in Europe have worked hard over the last few years to make significant improvements in the business. We believe SCA would be acquiring an excellent business with talented people."

Sappi Ltd., Johannesburg, South Africa, today announced a $170 million capital project to convert its kraft pulp mill in Cloquet, Minn., USA, to chemical cellulose (dissolving pulp) used in textile and consumer goods markets. The planned conversion is slated to come online in 2013 and once complete will allow the production of 330,000 metric tons of chemical cellulose per year.

Approved capital plans also call for a $13 million project to upgrade coated paper manufacturing at the Sappi Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine. Sappi notes that these investments reflect the company's confidence that the North American region can play a significant role in the global chemical cellulose market, complementing its already strong market positions in release and fine papers.

"The chemical cellulose conversion project at the Cloquet Mill is consistent with our announced strategy to diversify further into this fast growing segment," said Ralph Boettger, CEO of Sappi Ltd. "The globally low cost position of Sappi's Cloquet pulp mill will provide an attractive platform for growth with our current chemical cellulose customers as well as open up new markets to us."

Sappi is currently the world's largest manufacturer of chemical cellulose out of its Saiccor Mill in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Cloquet project, together with the earlier announced expansion at the Sappi Ngodwana Mill in South Africa will bring Sappi's total chemical cellulose capacity to more than 1.3 million metric tpy.

"We are excited about the new growth opportunities this investment in chemical cellulose brings to Sappi Fine Paper North America, all of our employees, and the Cloquet community," said Mark Gardner, president and CEO of Sappi Fine Paper North America, Boston, Mass. "Our planned conversion will allow the continued production of kraft pulp for maximum flexibility to react to changes in global pulp markets. This project, together with the coated paper investment at Somerset Mill, ensures that we can grow profitably in both cellulose and fine paper markets for years to come."

The Cloquet conversion project will not affect the company's coated paper business at that site. Dry fiber handling systems and improvements to paper machine capabilities approved as part of this project ensure that product quality across all grades will be unaffected, the company pointed out.

Currently, the Cloquet pulp mill produces hardwood kraft (NBHK) pulp for market sales. Sappi will work closely with its pulp customers to ensure an orderly transition, including, where appropriate, making supplies available from its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine.

The $13 million capital project at the Somerset Mill includes upgrades to the existing gap former on PM 3, improving its cost structure, and allowing the production of a broader range of products on the machine. The PM 3 rebuild project is slated for completion in the fall of 2012.

UPM, Helsinki, Finland, this week said that it will permanently cease production at the Myllykoski paper mill in Kouvola, Finland, by the end of this year. During employee negotiations. UPM was unable to establish a way to meet the commercial requirements for continuation of operations at the mill. In addition, the company is cutting down its overlapping operations in paper sales, the supply chain, and its functions in Finland. The mill produces some 600,000 metric tpy of SC, LWC, and MWC grades.

The personnel reductions will affect 371 people at the Myllykoski paper mill and 21 people at Myllykoski Corp. and Myllykoski Sales Nordic. Personnel reductions will start in January. The aim of these cuts is to improve the profitability and cost-effectiveness of UPM's European paper business and adapt the company's paper production to the needs of its global customer base, UPM says.

During the negotiations, issues such as pension schemes, relocations within the company, re-training, and ways to alleviate the effects of redundancies were discussed. UPM will implement a program called "From Job to Job" to support its employees during the transition.

"The Myllykoski mill has been making a loss for several years despite numerous measures aimed at making the operations more efficient. The mill's cost competitiveness is weak. The high costs of raw materials and energy have further increased total costs and permanently damaged the mill's opportunities to reach a profitable level," Jyrki Ovaska, president, Paper Business Group, explained.

The declining economic situation has worsened the mill's situation this autumn, the company added, noting also that alternative, profitable uses for the mill inside UPM's businesses have not been found.

"This is a heavy day for Myllykoski people. However, it's important to face the realities and to look ahead. UPM will support re-employment and training of Myllykoski personnel," Ovaska said.

UPM, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and the City of Kouvola are looking for a new industrial player to occupy the Myllykoski mill. Fields being looked into include bioenergy and the chemicals industry.

UPM says it will not establish a new business park in Myllykoski, but will continue to develop the nearby Voikkaa Business Park by actively seeking new businesses for the area. The excellent logistics, energy solutions, and facilities in the area make the park an optimum location for many different types of businesses, the company points out.

UPM will also establish a business incubator in the Voikkaa Business Park in collaboration with Kouvola Innovation Oy. The purpose of this three-year Protomo project is to encourage entrepreneurs to establish small businesses. It will also support the business startup allowance scheme included in the From Job to Job program.

A panel of industry representatives recently meeting in Macon, Ga., USA, has urged the Georgia Study Commission on Science and Technology to recognize the strategic value of Georgia's unique resources and the industries that develop their economic potential, and to create a welcoming environment for venture capital investments and job creation. Speaking at one of a series of Commission field hearings on developing a plan to enhance science and technology in Georgia, the Traditional Industries in Technology Growth panel called attention to the importance of maintaining and nurturing existing industries, on which rural communities depend, and in which technologies are developing innovative products to compete in world markets. The panelists also stressed the need for a high-level forum to develop priorities for research and development and the encouragement of new business investment.

The panelists were: Dan Floyd, operations manager of Renmatix, a biomass technology company founded in Georgia and with significant operations in the state; Phil Jones, Georgia Mining Association, and director of new ventures and disruptive technologies for Imerys; Norman Marsolan, chair of TAPPI and director of the Institute for Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech; and Randy McRae, Georgia Paper and Forest Products Association and senior regional government relations manager of International Paper.

Panelists advocated five recommendations:

  • Georgia should focus on leveraging its unique home-grown raw material assets where it can develop a strategic advantage over other states, and even the world, to create jobs in rural Georgia. Measures such as ad valorem tax structures to encourage reforestation are an example. Georgia's traditional industries are developing innovative products to compete in world markets, and must be maintained and nurtured. The state should fund a state-of-the-art timber inventory study to obtain accurate and up-to-date information on the state's standing timber resources. The State should also exempt from sales taxes the fuel and energy used in manufacturing.
  • Georgia should initiate a high-level forum with its key manufacturing industries to develop specific research, development, and investment priorities, and back this up with strategic investments.
  • Georgia should support initiatives for education and skill-building among current employees and the labor pool to prepare for advanced manufacturing requirements.
  • Georgia should create a hospitable climate for venture capital investment and job creation, while maintaining and nurturing its existing economic drivers in traditional industries. Policies must be fair to both existing businesses and new entrants as regards raw materials and incentives. Georgia incentives must become more competitive with those of other states.
  • Georgia's investment priorities should reflect the strategic value of its forests and unique mineral resources in rural communities.

The Study Commission was created through passage of Georgia S.R. 68. The Commission is to determine the most important needs of technology stakeholders throughout the state and create recommendations to develop and grow science and technology such that Georgia becomes a top technology state. The Commission's recommendations are due to the state legislature in January.

More information about the Commission, including a summary of the Traditional Industries in Technology Growth, is available online.

Buckman (Memphis, Tenn., USA) employees and TAPPI members Rosy Covarrubias and Lela Simpson Gerald were featured in an article published this past weekend in The Commercial Appeal. The Memphis-based newspaper report focused on Buckman as a national leader in acquiring certified environmental credentials and establishing a global ranking of its environmental footprint.

Buckman became a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2009, formally allowing its business practices and products to be environmentally evaluated and ranked in comparison with other international participants. The annual GRI report examines the so-called "triple bottom line"—the company's performance on environmental, financial, and social sustainability. Buckman's 2010 report shows annual decreases in total carbon emissions and in the overall usage of water and energy since 2000. Nearly every category has a 2015 goal of reducing 2010 usage rates by 15%.

Gerald, Buckman's director of global marketing communications, noted in the article that some customers are already showing strong interest in the specifics of a company's environmental footprint. "You'd be surprised how much a customer like Walmart wants to know about what enzyme a paper manufacturer is using," she said., adding that "they are looking so far down the ingredient list (on the products they buy), it's frightening -- or exciting, I should say."

A copy of the entire article is available online.

Market Roundup
Global pulp prices continue sliding, reports Mark Wilde, senior analyst with Deutsche Bank, New York, N.Y., USA. Wilde says that major North American mills have dropped U.S. NBSK (northern bleached softwood kraft) prices by $30/metric ton in November. Declines in China are bigger, he points out.

Mercer has announced a $700/metric ton level for NBSK to China in November, according to Wilde, who adds that Ilim dropped its softwood pulp to China by $80/metric ton for November. During October, most producers were at $780 - $790/metric ton, he notes.

North American UFS demand is weak and prices continue drifting slowly lower, Wilde says. October offset estimated prices fell $10/ton to $920 - $940/ton, -1.1% y/y. Cut-size estimated prices fell $10/ton to $1,065 - $1,115/ton, -2.7% y/y. Even with recent capacity closures, there appears to be excess UFS supply in the domestic market, according to Wilde.

October estimated uncoated mechanical prices were flat m/m, Wilde continues. Demand trends remain weak, he says, with overall shipments -20.1% y/y (YTD -11.8% y/y). However, SC demand appears better (October +7.1% y/y) and the market is tight. This is driven by recent capacity moves in the U.S. and Europe (Newpage's 360,000 tpy PM 2 at Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, Verso Paper's 103,000 tpy at Sartell, Minn., and UPM's mill shutdown in Finland). These moves should aid prices, according to Wilde.

LWC demand remains soft and prices are under pressure, Wilde reports, noting that No. 5 40-lb offset roll estimated prices are down $5/ton to $905 - $945/ton, and in September shipments were -12.7% y/y and -8.1% YTD (AF&PA figures). Citing "demand headwinds" and rising input costs, Verso recently announced the shutdown of 90,000 tpy PM 2 at Bucksport, Maine.

Pulp & Paper
Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper, Novodinsk, Russia, has ordered a biomass-fired BFB (bubbling fluidized bed) power boiler, including main auxiliary equipment for boiler and site advisory services, from Metso, Finland. The new boiler, replacing an existing power boiler, further increases the mill's energy independence and cuts current electricity costs. Startup of the new biomass boiler is scheduled for the first quarter of 2014. The value of the order was not disclosed.

Bark and sludge will be used as fuel in the new boiler, which has a capacity of 60 MWth. By replacing old coal boilers with a new biomass boiler, the Arkhangelsk mill will produce an additional amount of its own steam and electricity and the company expects a fast return of investment by reducing electricity costs to more than 216 million rubles a year.

"We are very excited about this project, in which we help our customer to use their mill residuals to produce energy in an efficient and environmentally friendly way," says Kari Remes, GM of Capital Sales, Metso.

Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2010, is one of the leading wood chemical enterprises in Russia and Europe. The company specializes in the production of paperboard and market pulp, fiberboard, paper, and paper stationery products. According to 2010 results, the company had net sales equivalent to approximately EUR 320 million.

In Canada, C$42 million in federal funding for the pulp and paper industry's "green transformation" was announced last month. The 15 associated projects will be among the last to receive funding from the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, which was established in 2009 by the Canadian federal government and concludes in March 2012.

In the west, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Co., Quesnel, B.C., is receiving $5.5 million to make the facility's processes more green and lower its environmental footprint by reducing the amount of chemicals delivered to the mill. West Fraser Mills Ltd., also in Quesnel, is receiving $2 million for its Quesnel River Pulp mill Waste Water Heat Exchanger Upgrade Project to improve the mill's energy efficiency through the installation of four heat exchangers. West Fraser Mills is also receiving $5.1 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the energy efficiency of its Slave Lake Pulp mill, in Slave Lake, Alta. Tolko Industries Ltd. in The Pas, Manitoba, is receiving $2.5 million for three projects to reduce steam consumption and fossil fuel use.

Four companies in Quebec will also proceed with PPGTP projects. Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. in Thurso is receiving $9.9 million to generate more renewable thermal energy and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Kruger Wayagamack Inc. in Trois-Rivières is receiving $6.3 million for five projects to improve environmental performance through upgrades to mill processes. Domtar Inc. in Windsor is receiving $5.5 million for two projects that together are expected to reduce the mill's water use and energy consumption while improving energy efficiency and increasing production of renewable electricity. Fibrek S.E.N.C. in Saint-Félicien is receiving $5.1 million to increase the mill's energy efficiency and environmental performance.

Collectively, these 15 projects are expected to generate enough renewable energy to power nearly 5,600 homes. They are also expected to save enough energy to heat an additional 18,000 homes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 49,000 metric tpy.

Finnish pulp production in January-September was up 2%, while paper and paperboard production was down 1% from the corresponding period of 2010, according to a report this past week by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation. Sawn timber production increased 5% from the corresponding period of the previous year.

"The uncertain economic situation of the main market area in Europe led to weakened demand for forest industry products in the third quarter. In the current volatile economic climate, it is important to ensure the stability of the domestic operating environment and look after our cost-competitiveness," Timo Jaatinen, director general of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, noted.

"It is also crucial for the forest industry, as well as for the entire export sector, that moderate, competitiveness-boosting wage solutions are negotiated for the export industry and that industrial peace is maintained throughout the delivery chain," Jaatinen stresses.

Paper and paperboard production totaled 8.7 million metric tons in January-September. This is about 1% less than in the previous year. Finnish pulp production amounted to 5.1 million metric tons, up 2% from 2010, while sawn timber production totaled 7.6 million cubic meters in January-September, which represented an increase of 5% from the corresponding period of 2010.

More information and data from the interim report is available online.

Norske Skog, Norway, this week reported that it has made progress in negotiations with a potential buyer of the Norske Skog Parenco mill and the recovered paper business of Reparco Group in the Netherlands. The company said that it has filed a request with Parenco's and Reparco's work councils for their advice on a proposed sales transaction.

If an agreement with the potential buyer is reached, the mill will be converted out of publication paper after 2012. Norske Skog says it will provide more information when a transaction is presented to and approved by all of the relevant governing bodies of the two parties.

Norske Skog Parenco has a total publication paper capacity of 265 000 metric tpy.

Resolute Forest Products, Montreal, Que., Canada, (formerly AbitibiBowater), this week began the rollout of its previously announced new company name and identity. When communicating in French, the company is using the name Produits forestiers Résolu.

"The launch of our new identity, Resolute Forest Products, underscores our forward momentum," said Richard Garneau, president and CEO. "Our 10,000 employees are united and ready to deliver on Resolute's vision of continued sustainability and profitability."

The company's new name and associated visual identity now appears on all marketing materials and communications. AbitibiBowater Inc. and its subsidiaries will not change their legal entity names until the company obtains shareholder approval, as required by law, at its 2012 annual general meeting.

For Resolute's customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders, little will change beyond how the company refers to itself. Until it obtains shareholder approval to change its legal entity names, the new company name will not be used on invoices, checks, contracts, product names, company stocks, and stock market listings.

Resolute Forest Products owns or operates 18 pulp and paper mills and 24 wood products facilities in the U.S., Canada, and South Korea.

Sonoco Recycling Inc., a subsidiary of Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., USA, has been awarded a 10-year contract to operate the Onslow County, N.C., materials recovery facility (MRF). The company plans to invest $1 million in facility upgrades.

We are very excited to work with the County," said Jim Brown, VP, Sonoco Recycling. "Residents of Coastal North Carolina will now have access to expanded, single-stream, or commingled, recycling, increasing the types of materials they are able to recycle. We also plan to build an education center at the County's MRF, developing recycling education efforts in and around Onslow County through partnerships with local schools and public education programs at the facility."

With locations worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects more than 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals, and plastics. In addition, the company has experts who provide secure, reliable, and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers.

Currently, Sonoco Recycling operates six MRFs and serves more than 125 communities in which curbside-collected residential and commercial materials are processed. The company also provides recycling programs that identify waste reduction opportunities for reducing operating expenses at many of the largest consumer product companies in the U.S.

The West Linn Paper Co., West Linn, Ore., USA, will invest more than $3 million in major capital improvement projects that will get underway in the first half of 2012. The company has committed to several projects but the two most prominent will focus on increasing production and energy conservation.

One of the two projects will address moisture content and sheet strength on the mill's No. 1 paper machine and is expected to improve the quality of the mill's heavyweight products, while increasing production on this machine by 13% or more. PM 1 produces coated free sheet web rolls that range from 70 lb – 146 lb basis weights, as well as matte reply card.

The second of the planned projects will provide cleaner whitewater that will better enable reuse throughout the mill and reduce associated heat loss to the effluent. This project is expected to reduce fuel costs and has the potential to reduce effluent flows by as much as 20%.

"The coated paper market is extremely volatile right now, but West Linn Paper has been able to successfully adapt to changing conditions. We believe that strategic investment in the appropriate areas will help us continue to remain competitive," says COO Brian Konen. "An increase in machine efficiency, product quality, and energy savings is a solid investment and a win for both the mill and our customers."

The bulk of the work is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012, requiring a machine outage of less than a week. The company does not expect that the minimal down time will affect customer shipments.

West Linn Paper is an independent manufacturer of coated free sheet web paper and is the oldest and only active free sheet manufacturer in the western U.S.

Since the end of June this year, Iggesund Paperboard, Sweden, reports that it has begun rerouting some shipments from its mill in Sweden from sea to rail. Before this summer, the company's flagship product Invercote was mainly transported to the European mainland by ship across the Baltic Sea. Now between 80,000 and 90,000 metric tpy are being transferred to the rail network. The amount corresponds to some 35% – 40% of the company's previous sea-borne shipments.

"It isn't just a matter of keeping our costs in check but also very much about improving our customer service," notes Christina Törnquist, director of Logistics, Iggesund Paperboard. "With the rail network, we can supply our customers in central and southern Europe more quickly and efficiently. The environment will also benefit. In terms of emissions per ton kilometer, the European rail network as a whole produces much less fossil carbon dioxide than Baltic Sea transports. The Swedish railway system in particular produces almost no fossil emissions because it is powered solely by renewable energy sources. In addition, our simulations show that by using rail, we should be able to halve our road shipments on the Continent – and thereby halve the associated exhaust emissions."

Despite the partial switch to rail, Törnquist says that Iggesund has no plans to completely abandon the maritime transport system that the company helped to build up. "However, the severe disruptions caused by the ice build-up in the Baltic during the past two winters made us realize that we must have alternative transport routes to make us less weather dependant."

Iggesund is coordinating its rail shipments with a number of other Swedish forest product companies that also want to find cost-efficient alternatives to sea-borne transport. "This joint project involves some very large-scale logistics," Törnquist says. "When fully implemented, the project will ship about 40% by volume of the total goods shipments by rail across the Öresund Bridge from Sweden to Denmark for onward destinations on the Continent."

The partial rerouting to the rail network required an investment of SEK 20 million (approximately EUR 2.2 million) at Iggesund Mill. The Holmen Group, to which Iggesund belongs, has also gone in as a part-owner of the rail shipping transport and logistics company, ScandFibre Logistics.

Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., UISA, reports that it has completed the acquisition of Tegrant Corp., a provider of engineered protective, temperature-assured, and retail security packaging solutions, from Metalmark Capital for $550 million. According to Harris E. DeLoach, Jr., Sonoco chairman and CEO, the acquisition has created a North American leader in multi-material protective packaging with more than 40 years of industry experience. Sonoco's Protective Packaging businesses operate nearly 40 manufacturing, design, and testing facilities in the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ireland, with estimated annualized net sales of $540 million.

"We are pleased to welcome Tegrant's businesses and its more than 2,000 employees to the Sonoco family," said DeLoach. "Sonoco's new Protective Packaging segment combines our strong application engineering capabilities and problem-solving expertise to help deliver custom-engineered protective packaging solutions to a variety of growing consumer and industrial markets. Sonoco Protective Packaging now has leading positions in fast growing markets, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, automotive components, and health and beauty products, along with expanded access to a variety of industrial markets."

Sonoco's new Protective Packaging segment includes four businesses. Protexic Brands, the largest business, is a manufacturer of molded expanded foam serving a number of industries, including high technology, consumer electronics, automotive, appliances, and medical devices. ThermoSafe Brands is a provider of temperature-assured solutions, primarily used in packaging temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and food. Alloyd Brands is a manufacturer and designer of high-visibility packaging, printed products, and blister packaging machines for retail and medical markets. Sonoco's existing protective packaging business provides paper-based packaging solutions for household appliances, heating and air conditioning units, home and office furniture, lawn and garden

Stora Enso, Finland, reports that its Packaging Business Area plans to increase cost competitiveness and respond to market demand by restructuring its core and coreboard operations in Finland, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. and streamlining corrugated packaging production in Finland. The planned restructuring measures would reduce approximately 80 employees in corrugated packaging operations in Finland and approximately 70 employees in core and coreboard operations mainly in Germany, Finland, the U.K., and the U.S. In addition, the plans include possible temporary lay-offs at corrugated packaging operations in Finland.

Stora Enso's Packaging Business Area plans to reduce annual costs by approximately EUR 6 million, starting during the first quarter of 2012, with all planned actions to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2012. Stora Enso will record a restructuring provision and an inventory write-down of approximately EUR 4 million in the Industrial Packaging segment in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"In core and coreboard markets, the main customer is the board and paper industry. Decreased demand for paper mill cores in mature markets has made the market situation tighter, and in the current financial situation the outlook is uncertain. Corrugated packaging markets are very local and closely related to national economies. In Finland, demand is still clearly below pre-crisis levels, and there are no signs of sustained recovery. The planned restructuring and streamlining measures, including some development investments, will enable us to better meet customer and market expectations and ensure our competitiveness by being more cost efficient and streamlining our operations," says Mats Nordlander, EVP, Stora Enso Packaging Business Area.

New Products
Invensys Operations Management, Plano, Texas, USA, has introduced the next evolution of its Foxboro I/A Series distributed control system. As the core DCS component of the company's InFusion Enterprise Control System, the latest I/A Series system includes an Intelligent Marshalling solution and Foxboro Control Software and Simulation software, which reduce total cost of ownership and expand traditional DCS functionality.

With traditional control systems, field wiring must be sorted out in a marshalling cabinet before it is connected to the main I/O module terminal strips of the DCS panel. It's an inflexible approach that often leads to expensive indirect costs. But because the I/A Series Intelligent Marshalling solution features the Universal Fieldbus Module, a per-channel, configurable I/O module that supports a variety of analog and digital signal types, it eliminates the need for marshalling entirely.

Foxboro Control Software 3.0 embeds the company's ArchestrA System Platform and Wonderware InTouch HMI within the Foxboro I/A Series system, applying common object technology from process control up to the business system level and out to any third-party system. This allows users to integrate all of their plant devices, systems, databases, and software applications. Additionally, enhanced integration with the latest advanced software applications from Invensys, including its mobile workforce management and workflow offerings, provide more systems flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness, helping to drive lower total cost of ownership. By enabling real-time access to critical plant and business data, users are better able to balance competing strategic objectives related to controls, assets, environment and safety, and people to optimize their overall business and achieve operational excellence.

More information is available online.

Xerium Technologies Inc., Raleigh, N.C., USA, a global manufacturer of industrial textiles and rolls used primarily in the paper production process, this week announced full global availability of Impact TS, advanced tissue felt technology, as part of its clothing (PMC) technology designed to improve operating performance and reduce energy consumption, both which are vital to the manufacturing of tissue grades. With Impact TS, Xerium continues to take the lead in advancing the technology of PMC, which is critical to tissue machines' overall energy efficiency and product quality as it is produced. PMC products are highly engineered synthetic textile belts that are used to transport raw paper along the length of the paper-making process, as it is formed, pressed, and dried, keeping in constant contact with the paper as it is formed.

Impact TS incorporates a combination of innovative raw materials and highly compressible base structure elements, topped with Xerium's premium needling technology. Impact TS technology utilizes hydrophilic base yarns aligned perfectly parallel to provide a combination of pressure uniformity, exceptional dimensional stability, and immediate nip saturation. These features provide immediate startup, lower energy consumption, and optimum steady-state performance, the company notes.

"Through innovations such as Impact TS, we continue to lead the market with technological solutions that boost efficiency and lower the cost of manufacturing paper," said Stephen R. Light, president, CEO and chairman. "

Published Pricing
Thiele Kaolin Co., Sandersville, Ga., USA, will implement a price increase of up to 8% on kaolin products for all markets as contracts allow, effective January 1. Eric Tillirson, VP and director of sales, marketing, and technical services, noted that "Thiele must adjust prices to help offset the rapid escalation of variable costs, including power, transportation, and chemicals."

Tillirson added that "Thiele remains committed to aggressively seeking out and implementing cost savings measures whenever possible to minimize the need for future increases."

Mission NewEnergy Ltd., San Antonio, Texas, USA, a producer of environmentally sustainable biofuels, reports that it has materially completed its 2011 Jatropha tree planting season, adding 40,264 new acres and 14,331 new Jatropha contract farmers. The company reported strong progress on the expansion of its acreage profile and now has a total of 234,587 acres under contact around the world, representing a total of more than 164 million trees.

Over the lifespan of each acre, Mission anticipates receiving 115 barrels of Jatropha oil. By adding acreage, it increases the company's crude Jatropha oil supply (a comparable concept to crude oil well reserve). "As our acreage matures," the company notes, "our harvest yields expand (a comparable concept to crude oil well flow rate)."

"We are delighted to be steadily growing our acreage and we see no impediment to future expansion. Our contract farming business model, coupled with advanced management technology, allows us to effectively plant on otherwise unusable land, giving Mission access to land at no capital cost," said Nathan Mahalingam, group CEO of Mission NewEnergy. "We expect significant year-on-year Jatropha oil yield growth into the foreseeable future, from the combination of continual acreage expansion and Mission's already maturing acreage profile. We look forward to reporting our 2011 harvest yields in the coming months."

This planting season Mission has, on a trial basis, planted high yielding varieties from third parties including JOil and Quinvita. It is expected that these higher yielding Jatropha varieties will also significantly reduce the maturation cycle. Mission says it will monitor the relative progress of all varieties planted and roll out the best performing varieties in future planting seasons.

Jatropha Curcas grows on the most arid, marginal lands, producing an inedible seed containing oil that is an ideal biofuels feedstock. The Jatropha tree begins to yield seeds from the third year and provides an annual supply of oil for 30 years.

Operating in Asia, India, Australia, Europe, and North America, Mission NewEnergy is a biodiesel producer and one of the world's largest Jatropha plantation companies. At full capacity, it can produce 105 million gal of biodiesel and have more than 234,587 acres of plantation, representing a sustainable, non-edible oil supply of an estimated 27 million barrels.

Mark Lunabba, president of SCA Laakirchen, Austria, has been named managing director of Aylesford Newsprint Ltd., U.K., replacing Bengt Blomberg, Lunabba will remain president of SCA Graphic Laakirchen AG, and Helmut Sageder, production manager, will assume day-to-day responsibility for operations in Laakirchen.

Aylesford Newsprint is jointly owned by SCA Forest Products and Mondi Group. It produces some 400,000 metric tpy of newsprint from 100% recovered paper.

Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Nashville, Tenn., USA, this week announced that EVP Curt Stevens, L-P's CFO since 1997, will move into the interim position of EVP and COO, newly created by the L-P board of directors for the purpose of implementing its orderly management succession plan. Sallie B. Bailey will join LP as EVP and CFO.

On December 5, Stevens will become responsible for the company's sales and marketing, operating units, and support functions, while Bailey will oversee financial matters. Both will report to CEO Rick Frost.

Stevens is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is also a member of the board of directors for Quanex Building Products Corp.

Bailey has held a variety of senior finance roles including CFO at Ferro Corp. from 2007 - 2010, and SVP, finance and controller, with Timken Corp.

Thiele Kaolin Co., Sandersville, Ga., USA, reports that Chris Fagouri has joined the company as market development manager. In this newly created position, Fagouri will lead Thiele's efforts in market diversification by identifying and prioritizing new markets for the company's kaolin products and developing strategies to successfully penetrate those chosen markets.

Fagouri received his Bachelor of Science degree in industrial chemistry from Keene State College in 1988. Since that time, he has held positions in research and development, technical sales, and global marketing management focused in the adhesives, elastomers, and building and construction industries.


Scheduled to be released in 2012!

The Bleaching of Pulp
By Peter W. Hart and Alan W. Rudie

Previous editions of The Bleaching of Pulp have provided comprehensive information on the technology used to bleach wood pulps. The 5th edition will continue this tradition as the premiere industry text on bleaching technologies but will be more focused on the modern industrial processes with less emphasis on fundamental science.

New or more comprehensive sections are included on elemental chlorine free bleaching, enzymes, acid treatments for hexeneuronic acids, control of mineral scale and multi-stage modeling as used to optimize bleaching among multiple stages.


Collaborative R&D Initiatives Will Help Grow Tomorrow's Technologies

The paper & pulp industry needs innovations in manufacturing processes and products to remain competitive, but as all know, the ongoing declines in R&D investment is creating a current and future lack of capacity for innovation and is raising serious concerns about where tomorrow's technologies will come from.

One of the best methods for addressing this reduction in technology investment is to bring the industry together for the co-development of new technologies.

The central focus of a new initiative, Agenda 2020, is to promote and encourage collaborative R&D as a public/private partnership.

Join an upcoming webinar on December 7 to learn more about the Agenda 2020 initiative and the R&D funding opportunities that are available for your organization.

Click here to learn more about the webinar speakers.

To reserve your space at this seminar, go to our registration page.


A panel of industry representatives, meeting in Macon, Ga., on  Oct. 28, urged the Georgia Study Commission on Science and Technology to recognize the strategic value of Georgia's unique resources and the industries that develop their economic potential, and to create a welcoming environment for venture capital investments and job creation.

The panelists included representatives of firms engaged in forest products, mining and biomass technology. Speaking at one of a series of Commission field hearings on developing a plan to enhance science and technology in Georgia, the Traditional Industries in Technology Growth panel called attention to the importance of maintaining and nurturing existing industries, on which rural communities depend, and in which technologies are developing innovative products to compete in world markets.

The panelists also stressed the need for a high-level forum to develop priorities for research and development and the encouragement of new business investment.

Further details on the panel's recommedations and the work of the commission are available on the TAPPI homepage.


Lakes States TAPPI/North Central PIMA Energy Forum and TAPPI Yankee Dryer Meeting in Neenah, WI.

Over 100 people visited Miron Construction in Neenah Wisconsin on Wednesday Nov. 2nd, as they generously served as host for two TAPPI meetings. The Lakes States program was sponsored by Focus on Energy and featured mill case studies on energy reduction. The Yankee Dryer Safety and Reliability Committee is a global gathering of yankee dryer owner users and suppliers who meet together twice annually to develop tools to improve safety and reliability of these important tissue making assets. Hats off to Miron and all the organizers for a great pair of programs!


For 20-year member Tom Dunn, personal access to industry professionals and online access to tens of thousands of scientific and technical documents via TAPPI's e-Library were key components in establishing a very successful career. That accessibility to information created the means to research and learn beyond the confines of his chosen field.

"I recognized early on that TAPPI provided access to both technical information and the experts who have that information in ways that helped me do my job better," says Tom. "The organization's approach to teamwork and sharing provides members – individuals and companies – with much more than they could achieve on their own." Find out more by reading this month's Member Spotlight .

Spotlight participants are recommended by fellow members and staff. If you would like to nominate a member 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!


Specialty Papers Europe to Provide Global Market Update

Rod Fisher, President of Fisher International, a leading paper industry consulting firm and operator of FisherSolve™, the industry's premier analytical tool, provides the following overview of the specialty papers market: "While only 3% of total global paper volume, nearly 13% of the world's mills make Specialty papers. Europe is the leading region producing specialty papers at 47% of world share, Asia is second largest at 25% and growing, according to FisherSolve™."

A more in-depth overview of global specialties and insight into finding new business in specialties will be presented by Rod Fisher at Specialty Papers Europe, November 29- December 1, 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Register for this event using the promo code TAPPI and save 15%! Learn more about this event and register before November 15 to avoid the late registration fee.


Upcoming Courses That Make Training Maintenance Teams as Easy as 1-2-3!

Three upcoming courses in December will help to train your Maintenance Teams on processes that help to sustain equipment, minimize production downtime, and increase safety procedures.

In partnership with TAPPI, IDCON will be holding these courses in Raleigh, NC. The three courses include:

  • Planning & Scheduling
    December 5-7, 2011
  • Reliability-Based Spare Parts & Materials Management Training
    December 8, 2011
  • Practical Root Cause Problem Elimination
    December 13-14, 2011

Learn more about these courses at the TAPPI website.

Xerium Technologies, Inc.
Sweed Machinery, Inc