Voith Paper

Over the Wire


Naylor, LLC
Weekly Spotlight
Resolute Forest Products, Montréal, Qué., Canada, reported this week that it will make a formal take-over bid to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Fibrek Inc., also of Montréal. Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Resolute, noted that the acquisition is consistent with his company's strategy. "As we continue to focus on building a sustainable and profitable company, growth in expanding global pulp markets is the right move, at the right time, for Resolute Forest Products. The range of optimization opportunities that we expect from this acquisition will, over time, deliver increased value to our shareholders," he said.

Fibrek is a producer of virgin and recycled kraft market pulps. The company operates three pulp mills in North America, one in Saint-Félicien, Qué., and two U.S. mills at Fairmont, W. Va., and Menominee, Mich.. Its annual combined production capacity is 760,000 air-dried metric tpy. Fibrek has approximately 500 employees.

As Resolute explains, the offer would contemplate that holders of Fibrek shares could elect to receive, for each Fibrek share:

  • Cash and Share Option—C$0.55 in cash and 0.0284 of a Resolute share 
  • Cash Only Option—C$1.00 in cash (subject to proration, as described below) 
  • Shares Only Option—0.0632 of a Resolute share (subject to proration, as described below).

The maximum amount of cash available will be approximately C$71.5 million and the maximum number of Resolute shares to be issued will be approximately 3.7 million shares. For purposes of calculating the applicable proration, the maximum cash available and the maximum shares available will first be reduced by the amounts necessary to fully satisfy the Cash and Share Option. The Cash Only Option and the Shares Only Option will each be subject to proration in the event aggregate elections exceed the remaining cash or the remaining shares, respectively. If proration applies, the remaining consideration will be delivered in Resolute shares if the Cash Only Option is prorated, or in cash if the Shares Only Option is prorated.

The offer will contain customary conditions for transactions of similar nature, including, among others, a 66⅔% minimum tender condition, waiver or termination of all rights under any shareholder rights plan(s), receipt of all regulatory, governmental and third-party approvals, consents and waivers, Fibrek not having implemented or approved any issuance of shares or other securities or any other transaction, acquisition, disposition, capital expenditure, or distribution to its shareholders outside of the ordinary course of business, and the absence of occurrence or existence of any material adverse effect or material adverse change.

Resolute has entered into lock-up agreements with three significant shareholders of Fibrek, including Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and Pabrai Investment Funds, holding, directly or indirectly, an aggregate of 59,502,822 Fibrek shares (representing approximately 46% of Fibrek's issued and outstanding Common Shares). Under the Lock-up Agreements, each of the locked-up shareholders has agreed to tender, or cause to be tendered, all of its Fibrek Common Shares to Resolute's offer, subject to certain conditions. The Lock-up Agreements provide, among other provisions, that Resolute commence a formal take-over bid on or before December 30, 2011, provided certain conditions are satisfied, including there not having occurred any material adverse change with respect to either Resolute or Fibrek. Under the Lock-up Agreements, which are being filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also available on the Canadian SEDAR filing system, the Locked-up Shareholders have no ability to withdraw any Fibrek Common Shares to tender to or facilitate any competing transaction.

The offer represents a premium of approximately 39% over the closing price of Fibrek's shares on November 28, 2011, and a premium of approximately 31% over the volume-weighted average trading price of the shares on the TSX for the 20 trading days ending on that date.

Full details of the offer will be included in the formal offer and the take-over bid circular to be filed with the securities regulatory authorities and mailed to Fibrek shareholders.

Based on Fibrek's public disclosure, it has 130,075,556 issued and outstanding Common Shares (on a non-diluted basis), valuing the offer at approximately C$130 million, or approximately $126 million. Resolute currently owns no Fibrek Common Shares.

This week Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership (CPLP), Vancouver, B.C., Canada, presented the first installment of grants totaling $150,000 over three years to faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The awards were the first in a grants program announced in June to foster collaborative research between CPLP and UNBC and UBC.

During the award ceremonies at UNBC, Joe Nemeth, CEO of CPLC, presented an award to Professors Steve Helle and Michael Rutherford for research on value-added ash utilization. This project will investigate opportunities for using bio-energy ash currently disposed as landfill for use as soil amendment in forestry and agricultural applications. Nemeth noted that this project was important because "it not only addresses an environmental issue related to ash disposal from our mills, but seeks to turn this to advantage in enhancing our forest resource. We look forward to collaborating with UNBC in the work."

In opening remarks at the ceremony, Dr. Iwama, president of UNBC, thanked CPLP for its forward-looking program, noting that it "will increase links between UNBC and CPLP whose three pulp mills are a key economic engine of our Prince George community."

At UBC, Nemeth presented a similar award to Professors Andre Phillion and Mark Martinez to study the three-dimensional structure of pulp fibers using X-Ray tomographic microscopy. Nemeth noted that "this project will help us better understand our fiber, and it complements a project on pulp refining we are now supporting in the UBC Pulp and Paper Centre." He added that an additional benefit was the opening a link to the Engineering Program at UBC-Okanagan (Prof. Phillion) and commended the collaboration between these two campuses of UBC.

Professor James Olson, director of the UBC Pulp and Paper Centre, said that "Canfor Pulp's investment will directly support faculty and graduate student research aimed at serving the needs of current and future industry. This university-industry research partnership is a shining example of how we can work together to ensure BC leads the transformation into forest based bio-materials, energy, and products economy."

More information is available online.

The TAPPI Kraft Recovery Course, January 9 - 12, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla., USA, can be equally beneficial for mill veterans and industry "newbees" in the critical chemical recovery island of today's kraft pulp mill. A relative newbee attendee at last year's course, Maggie Gerhart, a reliability engineer at International Paper's Courtland, Ala., mill, says the course gave her some practical, highly valuable take-backs that will enrich her career development for many years to come.

With a degree in Paper Engineering from Western Michigan University, Gerhart interned with International Paper and co-op'd with PCA at Tomahawk, Wis., before starting in the power area (including chemical recovery) at Courtland in late January 2010. "Before taking the Kraft Recovery Course this past January, I was somewhat familiar with chemical recovery operations, having learned about the processes in school together with six months of experience from my rotation in the power house," she says.

Gerhart's goal in attending the 2011 Kraft Recovery Course was to build on what she already knew, to acquire more in-depth knowledge in areas she was not that familiar with. "I knew some kraft recovery technologies fairly well, but there were other areas where I knew a little terminology but didn't know much else. I wanted to gain the fundamentals in all areas and get the resources I needed to learn more."

A particularly effective element of the course, according to Gerhart, was the problem solving focus on real, operating floor issues brought to the discussions by the attendees themselves. "After each course topic, we had a question and answer session where attendees were able to discuss equipment or process topics that interested them, from chronic issues to application of new technology. I discovered that a lot of us have similar questions and concerns. It was beneficial to hear how others worked through their issues successfully. I think we all came back with good ideas that we could try at our own mills."

Though she thinks that newbees especially can benefit from the course, Gerhart believes, from what she observed, that experienced mill operations people at all levels also found some very valuable take-back information. The course's networking element is a key feature in this regard, she notes, adding that no matter how much experience a person has, no one is totally experienced in all areas. "We can always learn more from each other."

The course instructors "were the industry's top experts and the right people to be teaching it," Gerhart points out. "And the course materials that I took home are extremely helpful. The binder and CD are well organized. I use these materials at the mill frequently, going back over my notes and adding new notes every time I come back from a project. I think I will probably use these notes forever. I was the only one from my mill to attend the course this year, but I think it helped others here who didn't attend."

Market Roundup
Total U.S. printing and writing (P&W) paper shipments decreased 4% in October compared with October 2010, according to AF&PA's (Washington, D.C., USA) recently released October 2011 Printing-Writing Paper Report. All four major P&W grades posted decreases compared with last October. U.S. purchases (shipments + imports – exports) of P&W papers decreased 3% in October. Total P&W paper inventory levels decreased 5% compared with September 2011.

Some points of interest from the report include: 

  • September exports of uncoated free sheet (UFS) decreased year-over-year 
  • Shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) decreased year-over-year for the eleventh consecutive month 
  • Coated mechanical (CM) purchases increased year-over-year for the second time in 2011 
  • Uncoated mechanical (UM) shipments decreased year-over-year for the seventh consecutive month following 15 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
With weaker demand for lumber around the world, sawlog prices fell in a majority of the 21 markets tracked by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), Seattle, Wash., USA. The Global Conifer Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) declined in the third quarter for the first time since the first quarter of 2009, to $90.18/cubic meter. With a few exceptions, prices fell in both local currencies and in U.S. dollar terms. The only region that saw any substantial price increase in the third quarter was British Columbia, where prices were up 5% - 7% from the second quarter. This region has benefited from higher lumber exports and production has increased during 2011, according to WRQ.

Pulpwood Prices
A strengthening of the U.S. dollar against many currencies resulted in lower wood fiber costs in U.S. dollar terms for the pulp industry in the third quarter, according to WRQ. As a result, its Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) fell by less than 1% to $108.90/ovendry metric ton (odmt), which was the first decline since the second quarter of 2010. In addition to the exchange rate adjustments, prices also fell in the local currencies in Russia, France, and Spain, WRQ notes.

The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) rose for the fifth quarter in a row, reaching $117.91/odmt, an increase of 14% since early last year. The biggest increases from the second quarter occurred in Chile, Japan, Indonesia, and Brazil. A premium of $9.01/odmt for the HFPI over the SFPI has never been higher than in the third quarter.

Pulp Markets
The global demand for market pulp has been weakening the past four months, particularly for hardwood pulp. Pulpwatch reports that global shipments of bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) fell from 1.76 million metric tons in June to 1.41 million metric tons in July. Although shipments picked up in August and September, the outlook for the next six months is for lower demand and reduced pulp production compared with the same period one year ago.

The softwood market pulp NBSK (northern bleached softwood kraft) price has fallen from its record high in June earlier this year. In just four months, the price has come down almost $100/metric ton to $930/metric ton as of early November, according to FOEX.

Lumber Markets
Although there is limited production data available for the full third quarter, there are early reports indicating lower production levels in the U.S., Eastern Canada, the Nordic countries, Russia, and a number of countries in Europe. In addition, a number of the largest lumber-consuming countries in the world imported less lumber in July and August than they did in the previous months. Some of these countries included the U.S., the U.K., and Germany. Even the fast increase in imports to China seen earlier in the year slowed down during the fall.

In British Columbia, sawmills have been running at an 83% utilization rate thanks to continued strong exports to Asia. Production during the first eight months reached 8.2 million cubic meters, which was 7.2% higher than the same period in 2010. Softwood lumber imports to Japan are up 9% so far this year. Total imports for the year may reach around 6.8 million cubic meters, the highest import volumes since 2007.

Biomass Markets
Prices for woody biomass, whether sawmill byproducts, forest residues, or urban wood waste, were lower in 2011 than the previous two years in most regions throughout the U.S., reports the North American Wood Fiber Review. The expansion of pellet capacity in Europe over the past five years has been much faster than demand. Pellet prices in Sweden fell for the first time in almost three years. In Germany and Austria, pellet prices only changed a few euros. The price discrepancy between the three largest markets in Europe is currently the widest it has been since 2007.

More information is available online.

Market pulp prices continue to weaken, according to Mark Wilde, senior analyst with Deutsche Bank. U.S. NBSK (northern bleached softwood kraft) estimated prices fell $30/metric ton to $920/metric ton in November, he says, adding that real prices appear much lower. Reports suggest that NBSK pricing in China is in the $650 - $680/metric ton range. "At these levels, we think marginal cost producers may be near ‘cash-cost.' Hardwood is even uglier. November estimated list prices were down $40 - $50/metric ton m/m. Reports suggest that BEK (bleached eucalyptus kraft) spot prices are ˜$530 - $550/metric ton," Wilde reports.

November estimated North American containerboard prices were flat m/m at $635 - $645/ton, Wilde continues. However, pressure on domestic prices is mounting, he says. "We're forecasting a drop of $5/ton q/q in the fourth quarter and $40 - $45/ton y/y in 2012. There are three key issues: 1) export demand has weakened (especially in Southern Europe), and prices are down $20 - $50/ton, with sharper declines in some markets; 2) OCC has fallen sharply in the past month (-$50/ton m/m); and 3) domestic demand is tepid and entering the seasonally slower winter months."

Hilco Industrial
Pulp & Paper
ABK Group, France, a designer and manufacturer of complete machines and specialized equipment for the paper and board industry, has announced the setup of a new company, ABK Italia S.p.A. (formerly Over Meccanica S.p.A.), with plant facilities based in Verona, Italy. The new operations strengthen ABK Group's presence worldwide, offering high technology equipment to the tissue market in addition to its existing line of equipment for paper and board producers.

ABK Italia, in addition to its highly automated machining facilities, also includes a modern, well-equipped foundry that provides the company independence from third parties for casting of all parts, especially drying cylinders and big size yankee dryers.

Canfor Corp., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, this week signed an agreement to acquire Tembec Industries' southern British Columbia interior wood products assets, for a purchase price including working capital of $60 million. Canfor will purchase Tembec's Elko and Canal Flats sawmills and approximately 1.1 million cubic meters of combined Crown, private land, and contract annual allowable cut. The transaction will include a long-term agreement to provide residual fiber supply for Tembec's Skookumchuck mill.

"This acquisition is a key step in our ongoing approach to strengthening Canfor's fiber position in British Columbia and deepens our ability to meet the needs of our valued global customers," said Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne. "We are very pleased to have worked with Tembec President and CEO Jim Lopez in advancing the strategic objectives of both companies."

Over the next few years, Canfor intends to make capital investments in excess of $50 million to enhance productivity and cost performance in its B.C. Southern Interior mill facilities. The Elko and Canal Flats mills will provide an additional 420 million board feet to Canfor's annual capacity, bringing Canfor's total capacity in North America to greater than 5 billion board feet.

"Canfor is not only acquiring mills and fiber supply in this agreement, but also a talented employee and contractor group" said Don Kayne. "We expect to continue Tembec's legacy of strong community and First Nations relationships. Canfor is readying itself to supply the growing demand from Asia Pacific markets that we, the Province of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada have worked so hard to build, as well as key strategic customers in North America. Our decision to make a significant new investment in British Columbia is premised on the province's stable, cost-conscious policy environment and exceptional commitment to market development."

Canfor expects to engage with the Forest Stewardship Council in relation to maintaining FSC certification of the forest tenures. When that process is complete, the company will have fiber certified to all three major North American forest certification systems, including the Canadian Standards Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and Forest Stewardship Council.

Clearwater Paper Corp., Spokane, Wash., USA, has completed the sale of its Lewiston, Idaho, sawmill to Idaho Forest Group of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The transaction included the sale of Clearwater Paper's sawmill, planer mill, dry kilns, and related assets along with log and finished goods inventories and timber under contract, in the aggregate amount of approximately $30 million.

As part of the transaction, the two companies entered into a long-term residual fiber supply agreement with the goal of delivering consistent supplies of chips and sawdust to Clearwater Paper's Lewiston pulp mill from Idaho Forest Group mills.

Clearwater Paper produces consumer tissue, away-from-home tissue, hard roll tissue, machine glazed tissue, bleached paperboard, and pulp at 15 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Fortress Paper Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, reports that it has initiated the final stages of its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill conversion project. The mill has begun the startup phase with final process testing, which includes cold and hot water trials, together with the testing of safety systems scheduled to occur over the coming days. Production of dissolving pulp beginning with wood chips cooking is expected to commence shortly thereafter.

The company notes that minor delays in completing the project resulted from an unexpected walkout in October by contractor construction employees, the extra time subsequently required after return of the workers to fully ramp-up construction activities at the site, completion of infrastructure improvements to buildings, supports, and the chip tower inter-connection, and enhancements to the mill's safety and control systems.

Chad Wasilenkoff, chairman and CEO of Fortress Paper, said that "we look forward to the imminent production of dissolving pulp, which will signify an important milestone in the history of Fortress Paper. We believe that the implementation of supplemental process control testing will provide for a more efficient ramp-up to commercial production."

Completion of the conversion project is currently on budget, Fortress notes, with the exception of costs related to the construction worker walkout, which remain to be quantified. The cogeneration project at the mill is proceeding on schedule, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012.

Fortress Paper is a producer of security and other specialty papers and products. The company operates three mills—the Landqart Mill in Switzerland, the Dresden Mill in Germany, and the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Quebec, Canada. Fortress Paper's security papers include banknote, passport and visa papers and its specialty papers include non-woven wallpaper base products, and graphic and technical papers. The company's pulp business includes specialty pulp produced at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill, which is currently in the process of converting this capacity into dissolving pulp production along with the construction of a biomass based cogeneration plant.

To mark the U.N. International Year of Forests, Metsa Tissue, Espoo, Finland, reports that it is offering personnel training on themes related to sustainable development, providing a comprehensive briefing on forest issues. Training is being given as a team effort between Metsaliitto, Metsa Tissue, and WWF Finland.

Metsaliitto Group signed a cooperation agreement with WWF Finland earlier this year. Within the agreement, Metsa Tissue, part of Metsaliitto Group and a European tissue and cooking paper products supplier, has offered training to almost 100 employees in three different regions on themes related to sustainable development, such as water and carbon footprint, forest certification, eco-labeling, and environmental management systems. WWF representatives have joined the dialog, offering insights mainly on the status of the world's forests.

"We have organized four full-day training sessions in three of Metsa Tissue's European regions. The fifth will be organized in January 2012 in Scandinavia. Additionally, an electronic self-learning tool prepared by WWF will be distributed to employees via the company intranet," says Riikka Joukio, SVP, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs.

"The training emphasizes the fact that a sustainable way of working is the foundation of all activity in both Metsaliitto Group and Metsa Tissue. Sustainability is part of every employee's daily work," notes Hannu Kottonen, CEO. "We also welcome dialog between WWF and our employees. The best ideas seldom come from just one individual or a homogenous group of people. Cooperation and different angles on common concerns are required," he adds.

MeadWestvaco Corp., Richmond, Va., USA, will spin off its Consumer & Office Products business and has signed a definitive agreement to merge the business into ACCO Brands Corp., one of the world's largest office supply manufacturers. The tax-efficient transaction is valued at approximately $860 million to MWV and its shareholders on a pre-synergy basis.

MWV Consumer & Office Products is a manufacturer and marketer of school supplies, office products, and planning and organizing tools – including the Mead, Five Star, At-A-Glance, and Tilibra brands. The business has operations in the U.S., Canada, and Brazil. With the addition of this business, ACCO Brands will add to its existing portfolio of top-brands. ACCO Brands also will be able to expand its global footprint, including to the attractive market in Brazil, and create additional value through $30 million of estimated annual cost synergies. The transaction will enable MWV to sharpen its focus on profitable growth opportunities in large and growing global packaging markets, including food, beverage, healthcare, personal care, tobacco, and home and garden.

MWV expects the separation to occur through a "spin-merge" transaction in which the MWV Consumer & Office Products operations will be spun off in a new entity and then that entity will be immediately merged into ACCO Brands. At closing, MWV shareholders will receive 50.5% of the shares of ACCO Brands stock and MWV will receive $460 million of cash. In total, this transaction represents an aggregate value of approximately $860 million (pre-synergies) to MWV and its shareholders (based on ACCO Brands' closing stock price of $6.96 on November 16). MWV shareholders will receive approximately one share of ACCO Brands for every three shares of MWV held as of the record date.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012. ACCO Brands has obtained committed financing to effect the transaction, which is subject to approval by ACCO Brands' shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including a favorable ruling from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The combined business will be managed by ACCO Brands' executive team and board of directors. MWV will select two directors to join ACCO Brands' board at closing of the transaction. ACCO Brands' headquarters will remain in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Rayonier, Jacksonville, Fla., USA, this week completed its acquisition of approximately 250,000 acres of timberlands from Joshua Timberlands LLC and Oklahoma Timber, LLC for $330 million. The acquisition was funded using cash, Rayonier's revolving credit facility, and the assumption of existing debt of the sellers.

"The acquisition of these quality timberlands aligns with our strategy to grow and diversify Rayonier's timberland ownership," said Lee M. Thomas, chairman and CEO.

The timberlands are located primarily in Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Alabama. With the completion of the acquisition, Rayonier now owns, leases, or manages some 2.7 million acres in 10 U.S. states and New Zealand.

Södra, Sweden, reports that it will take market-related downtime at its Södra Cell Tofte pulp mill in Norway for the remainder of the year beginning with week 50 in December. The downtime is in response to weakened demand for pulp due to international financial unrest, the company notes.

Södra also decided to stop production at the Södra Cell Folla pulp mill in Norway at the same time. In addition, Södra Cell Mörrum in Blekinge began extended maintenance shutdown for the same reason from November 19 to December 7.

Visiongain, London, England, says that its latest report titled The Paper Packaging Market 2011 – 2012, provides a comprehensive view of the global paper packaging market, on both the supply- and demand-side. In 2011, according to the report, the global paper packaging market will reach $236.46 billion, a figure forecast to rise significantly as demand continues to grow within the lucrative emerging markets.

Although the performance of the paper packaging industry, like every industry, is tied intimately to global economic trends, the report notes, it has proven itself to be relatively resilient against the backdrop of the economic crisis of 2008. "Indeed, despite the reverberations still being felt in the economic markets, paper packaging is enjoying a second wind driven by convenience, affordability and recyclability," Visiongain points out.

Paper-based packaging has very strong environmental credentials and with further improving papers barrier properties, the industry is increasing its viability as a packaging material, Visiongain continues. As technological improvements continue to progress, providing packaging tailored to the consumers needs, the continuous growth of paper packaging is further driven by its eco-friendly nature and emerging acceptance amongst consumers, it adds.

The Paper Packaging Market 2011-2021 report discusses these trends in detail, Visiongain says, revealing the multitude of reasons why paper packaging fulfils the needs of the consumer and why the outlook remains positive for the industry. "Over the next decade, the paper packaging industry is expected to exhibit corresponding growth, driven by escalating demand for sustainable packaging goods, with enhanced recyclability feature and consumers' preference for healthy lifestyles worldwide," the company notes.

Buoyed by lucrative new markets in the rapidly emerging economies of China, India, and Brazil, globalization has brought accessibility and greater reach to the industry, according to Visiongain, which adds that these emerging markets, with their vast new potential consumer bases, are leading to an increase in mergers and acquisitions with companies keen to gain a foothold in these areas.

The paper packaging industry is witnessing unprecedented opportunity and growth, the report points out. Ever increasing consumer demand, especially in North America, Europe, and the new economic powerhouses of China and India, combined with an increased emphasis on recyclability due to the evolving regulation in the packaging industry, are driving the industry. Meanwhile, changes in lifestyle, demographics and consumer habits are constantly influencing paper packaging and its consumption.

As supermarkets and hypermarkets continue to flourish, it is becoming increasingly important for packaging manufacturers to differentiate their products and make them stand out on the crowded shelves. The advancements made in processing technologies have driven specialization within the industry, resulting in an ability to produce specialty products that effectively meet customer requirements. As paper grades and printing qualities steadfastly improve, paper packaging is able to diversify and meet customer needs aesthetically and in terms of functionality and convenience, the report emphasizes.

Changing global demographics are also a key driver for growth in the paper packaging industry, according to the new Visiongain report. The increased lifespan and reduced birth rates in the developed markets are providing new packaging challenges for companies keen to expand their customer base by catering to the expanding over-60s generation. In addition, youthful populations in the emerging markets are focusing the attention of packaging manufacturers on lightweight, attractive, and colorful packaging for this new, consumer orientated generation.

Sample pages of the report are available online.

Bellwyck Packaging Solutions, Toronto, Ont., Canada, a producer of premium and pharmaceutical folding cartons, has acquired Ace Packaging Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont. Ace operates a state-of-the-art, 30,000 sq ft facility that produces secondary packaging of over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals as well as health and beauty products.

Bellwyck's Healthcare Division currently operates a contract packaging facility in Mississauga, Ont., that specializes in solid dose primary and secondary packaging of over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals. Major activities include encapsulation, bottling, blistering, pouching, labeling, and cartoning. Bellwyck also offers full service clinical trial packaging and logistics services. Its Healthcare Division also operates a pharmaceutical folding carton facility in Owen Sound, Ont., and a label facility in Langley, B.C., Canada.

Jeff Sziklai, CEO of Bellwyck, noted that "the acquisition of Ace is a great addition to Bellwyck. We will now be able to offer the current customers of both Bellwyck and Ace a broader suite of products and services and continue to expand Bellwycks' one-stop fulfillment concept. We are pleased that Judy Ingram, owner and president, will continue to be involved with Ace in the future."

With the acquisition of Ace, Bellwyck will now have more than 300 employees.

M-real, Finland, reports that it has successfully completed the rebuild of its Kyro mill in Finland, where it makes the folding boxboards Carta Elega and Avanta Prima used especially for beauty care and healthcare packaging. The rebuild increases the mill's capacity by 40,000 metric tpy to 190,000 metric tpy, and is part of M-real's investment program targeted at improving availability and service to customers.

"The increased capacity will allow us to offer our customers better service, with shorter lead times on orders and greater availability," says Mika Joukio, SVP and head of M-real Consumer Packaging. "We believe demand for our fresh forest fiber products will continue to increase, due to their purity, light weight, and sustainability."

In a separate joint venture, M-real is building a new biopower plant next to the Kyro mill, to replace fossil natural gas with wood, predominantly bark, chips, stumps, and other discarded wood, together with mill broke. The biopower plant will also provide heating for the neighboring district of Hämeenkyrӧ. After startup of the plant in autumn 2012, carbon dioxide emissions from the Kyro mill will be reduced by approximately 100,000 metric tpy, equivalent to the annual emissions of around 60,000 cars.

M-real's investment program, which will increase its total folding boxboard capacity by 150,000 metric to 935,000 metric tpy, also includes a rebuild at the Simpele mill finalized in June 2011, and the rebuild of its Äänekoski board machine due for completion in spring 2012. Together with EUR 16 million invested at M-real Kemi to improve the quality of its white-top kraftliners and the biopower plant, total investment in the Consumer Packaging business area will exceed EUR 100 million during 2011 - 2012.

New Products
Cascades Tissue Group, Waterford, N.Y., USA, has launched Elite high-end hardwound roll towel for the away-from-home (AFH) market. The hand towels are made with the Atmos manufacturing technology used exclusively by Cascades in North America. Originally developed by Voith Paper's Tissue Process Technology Center in Brazil, this "TAD equivalent" (TADe) process produces a soft feeling, strong, and absorbent paper requiring fewer sheets to do the job.

Voith's Atmos yields a product similar to the fluffy and absorbent towel offerings made with TAD (through-air-dried) technology, which utilizes mostly virgin fiber. Unlike TAD, however, Voith Atmos can work with 100% recycled fiber and less chemical products.

Cascades' TADe technology also generates 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional TAD products. In addition, the company's chlorine-free whitening process uses 80% less water than the North American paper industry average.

The TADe Elite hand towels complement the Cascades Tandem series of hand towel dispensers that feature a controlled paper release, significantly reducing consumption, and an end-of-roll transfer system that eliminates stub roll waste and allows for a customizable advertising window. New to the Tandem dispenser family is the stainless mechanical No Touch.

Published Pricing
DuPont Titanium Technologies, Wilmington, Del., USA, has announced a net price increase of $200 per metric ton for all DuPont Ti-Pure® titanium dioxide grades sold in Asia Pacific. The increase becomes effective Jan. 1, 2012.

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


After almost 37 years with Voith Paper, Germany, Kurt F. Brandauer, president of the company's Paper Machines Division and a member of the Voith Paper Board of Management, retired effective yesterday, November 30. His successor will be Andreas Endters.

Brandauer has been central to the development of Voith Paper over the past decades. His corporate career at the company began in 1975, after successful completion of his studies in mechanical engineering. After only three years at the Heidenheim, Germany, headquarters, he was sent to Voith S.A. in Brazil to take over as manager of the engineering department. Over succeeding years, he was responsible for various areas, including "Paper Machine Technology." In 1992 he became director of Voith S.A. Brazil and a short time later was appointed to the Paper Technology Board of Management. Eventually, from 2000, Brandauer directed Voith's paper business in all of South America. During this time, he vigorously pursued the company's re-entry into the tissue market.

In August 2002, Brandauer returned from Brazil to Heidenheim to become the president of Voith Paper GmbH & Co. KG. In this position, he was also director of sales. In 2004 he was appointed to the Voith Paper Board of Management, responsible for what was then the Graphic Machines Division. In the past few years, the Ravensburg, Düren, Heidenheim, Krefeld, and St. Pölten locations were consolidated as one organizational unit under his direction. Now called the Paper Machines Division, it has total annual sales of EUR 1.1 billion worldwide and has 4,400 employees.

Endters takes office today, December 1. An industrial engineer, he started his professional career in 1991 at Sulzer-Escher Wyss in Ravensburg. Four years later he joined Voith Paper, where he eventually led what was then the Rolls Division from 2004 to 2008 and also represented this division as a member of Voith Paper's Board of Management. During the past few years, he has been a member of the Management Board of the Voith Hydro Group Division.

Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc., Alpharetta, Ga., USA, reported this week that its CFO, Peter Thompson, is resigning and that a search has been started for his replacement. Thompson, the EVP for finance and strategic planning, will remain available as a consultant during a transition period, Schweitzer-Mauduit said.

Thomson served as treasurer and CFO from August 2006 until August 2008. In January 2009, he stepped back into the finance chief position for a limited time to meet certain strategic objectives. Now that those goals are accomplished, he is stepping down, the company noted.

Mark Spears, who has served as corporate controller since March 2008, will take over as interim CFO while a permanent replacement is sought. Spears has been with the company since 1995 in various roles in the controller department. Previously, he worked as an audit manager for the former Coopers and Lybrand.


TAPPI member William "Bill" Bittle says that membership offers the best professional tools, experiences and training to help you get ahead of the competition, while at the same time making you more valuable and effective no matter what segment of the industry you are in.

"TAPPI presents a great networking experience that cannot be duplicated elsewhere," Bill says, and it is for that reason he always urges his "reports and peers to join TAPPI and tap into its knowledgebase, publications, training, and conferences." 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!


TAPPI Buyers Guide Going up? Take your search to the next level with three TAPPI members' recently enhanced profiles! We are thrilled to announce that the SUN Automation Group, Hydro Technologies Inc., and NDC Infrared Engineering have all added their enhanced listings to the TAPPI Buyers Guide.

Guide users can effortlessly find company descriptions, products and services, contact information and links for all three of these excellent companies with just a single click.

Find all the products and services you're looking for all in one place with the TAPPI Buyers Guide. To purchase a listing in the Buyers Guide or to learn more about advertising options, e-mail TAPPI@MultiView.com*

*MultiView produces the TAPPI Buyers Guide and is an approved TAPPI partner


An Update from TAPPI's International Nanotechnology Division Officers

Division Chair: Sean Ireland – Verso Paper

Division Vice-Chair: Phil Jones - Imerys

Division Secretary: Ted Wegner – USDA Forest Service- Forest Products Laboratory

As the leadership team for TAPPI's new International Nanotechnology Division, we are really excited about the challenges of leading the Nanotechnology Division as it works to advance a broad range of activities to expand education, standards development and networking opportunities. Nanotechnology has great potential as a key technology to enable the development of a new generation of products based on traditional forest products as well as a range of other applications and renewable materials.

While much has been accomplished, we are only just beginning to see the commercial results of ongoing research and development efforts that illustrate the great potential of this technology. There are many opportunities to learn, get involved, and stay informed of new technical advances. Here are three.

International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials

In its seventh year, TAPPI's annual nanotechnology event has been renamed to reflect both the expanding applications of cellulose beyond its fledgling origins in the pulp and paper industry, to the medical and automotive industries as well as application in the military. This year's event will take place in Montreal, Canada 5-7 June 2012. Visit the event website for speaking opportunities, program details, and more.

International Standards Development

Launched late in 2011, the Division's first committee will work with international experts on coordinating standards development for nanotechnology. As nanotechnology moves from the research labs to industrial manufacturing to consumer products, new issues and discussion arise. Standards play a huge role in commerce and societal benefit. Find out more and join.

Advancements in Nanocellulose Research, Development and Commercialization

TAPPI is recruiting volunteers for the International Nanotechnology Division who can help identify advancements in renewable nanocellulose materials research, development and, most importantly, commercialization.

To learn more or join this exciting new division of TAPPI, email Mary Ann Cauthen, TAPPI Member Group Coordinator.


The TAPPI Board of Directors elections begin today, December 1, and will conclude on January 15, 2012.

Learn more about the TAPPI Board of Directors

 In March 2012, three directors will complete their terms. To fill these vacancies, a slate of three candidates has been proposed by the Nominating Committee:

  • Michael Exner, Senior Vice President and General Manager - Containerboard Mills, RockTenn ·
  • Steven J. Shifman, President and CEO, Michelman Inc.
  • E. Clayton Teague, Former Director (Retired), National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

Elections have begun and conclude January 15, 2012. All TAPPI members are encouraged to vote.

Biographical profiles and candidate statements for these candidates are included on the online voting site. You may vote for or against the entire slate or for or against each candidate.

To vote online, follow these three easy steps:

1. Click on Election Services Corporation voting site and log in to vote.

2. Follow the steps to log in to the voting site:

A. Enter your Election Validation Number

B. Use the tab key or use your mouse, place cursor in the text box next to "Member Number". (Do not use your Enter key.)

C. Enter your TAPPI Member Number

D. Use the tab key or use your mouse to place the cursor over the "Login" button.

E. Click on the "Login" button. 3. View biographical information about each candidate (make sure your pop-up blockers are turned off) and cast your ballot.

If you have any questions about voting online, or wish to request a paper ballot, please contact Election Services Corporation by e-mail at tappihelp@electionservicescorp.com or call toll-free 1-866-720-HELP (4357), 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Can't find your member number? Contact TAPPI's Member Connection Center at +1-770-446-1400 or memberconnection@tappi.org The results of the election will be reported on www.tappi.org  in mid-January 2012 and in the March 2012 issue of Paper 360.


The 24th Pulp and Paper Reliability and Maintenance Conference will be held March 12-15, 2012 in Raleigh, NC. The goal of this conference is to continue to be the marketplace for Reliability and Maintenance solutions for the pulp and paper industry. And it promises to provide an arsenal of improvement solutions to help your plant improve financial performance and survive long term.

Since its inception in 1986, the Pulp and Paper Reliability and Maintenance Conference has developed a devoted following of Reliability and Maintenance professionals representing Operations, Maintenance, Stores and Engineering. Over 400 speakers have shared their knowledge and experiences along with over 3,000 conference delegates.

Learn more about this conference and register to attend at the TAPPI conference page.



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

 The industry needs innovations in manufacturing processes and products. The forest products industry's investment in R&D has been declining as a result of low profit margins and the cost of developing new technologies. Collaborative R&D with cost-sharing among the companies on broad industry technology needs is the best way forward. The forest products industry's Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance is the organization best positioned to provide the nexus of industry, government, and academia to advance the industry's research priorities.

Agenda 2020 promotes and encourages collaborative R&D as a public/private partnership, an approach increasingly encouraged by government agencies and other funding mechanisms. Agenda 2020's collaborative approach also provides rich networking opportunities among experts in the fields of most interest to the industry. There is no other organization in the US taking this broad view of what the industry needs technologically to succeed, and how to drive progress.

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.


Rethink Trees in Less Than Four Minutes

Having trouble grasping nanotechnology as it applies to the paper industry? Or, do you need help in getting coworkers or customers to understand the nature of trees that make them uniquely suitable for renewable nanotechnology? Do you have about four minutes?

Developed by a team of industry volunteers to raise awareness of the potential of trees using nanotechnology, a four-minute video was developed to highlight the many current uses of tree fiber in countless products, as well as the potential for new products and new uses realized through nanotechnology. This video is available for viewing and downloading.

Thanks to the following companies for their contributions which made this video possible: Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresources Engineering, ArborGen, Fibria, Georgia-Pacific, Nalco, Verso, Kemira, NewPage, MWV, Sappi, International Paper, IPST @ Georgia Tech, U.S. Forest Service.

Xerium Technologies, Inc.
Sweed Machinery, Inc