Our News - Industries

Progroup launches a state-of-the-art corrugated sheetfeeder board factory

Here we go! The first corrugated cardboard sheets have officially left the Progroup PW14 factory’s production line, located in Stryków, Poland.  They are off to a successful start! This new factory will produce up to 200,000 tonnes of corrugated board every year. With the nearby PW07 plant, the total production capacity will increase to 825 million square metres per year. Stryków is one of the largest corrugated board production sites in the world. Progroup has invested nearly 72 million euros in this project which covers around 28,000 square meters. Almost all standard grades of corrugated board can be produced in the PW14 factory with a working width of 3.35 metres and a production speed of 400 metres per minute.   At the heart of the corrugator machine is the Modul Facer MF-A concept which was developed by BHS Corrugated Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH. This is the first time at Progroup that this module has been installed with a width of 3.35 meters. MF-A concept delivers a highly efficient production process and corrugated board of the very finest quality. It produces high-quality single and double-wall Next Board corrugated board sheets with B, C and E flutes in all combinations. In comparison to conventional types of corrugated board, the Next Board® products benefit from much lower use of energy and raw materials and reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of corrugated board by 26 per cent on average – and also deliver better strength figures.


Published on 19/01/2023

Wepa doubles production capacity in UK

The hygiene specialist Wepa has started a new paper machine at its Welsh site in Bridgend, doubling its production capacity for the UK market. The paper produced is transformed into toilet paper and paper towels for the British consumer market where Wepa plays a leading role. The investment has created more than 50 new jobs on the site. The new paper machine has a production capacity of 70,000 tonnes of tissue paper per year and is designed to manufacture toilet paper products from virgin fibres as well as 100% recycled fibres. Thanks to its high energy efficiency, the new fabric paper machine from the manufacturer Valmet also contributes significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions and water consumption. The Bridgend site has been part of the Wepa group since 2013, initially as a joint venture before being fully acquired in 2018. With this investment, the Wepa Group is strengthening its competitiveness as one of the three largest European manufacturers in the toilet paper market. With a total of 22 paper machines, the group has a production capacity of approximately 850,000 tonnes per year.


Published on 19/01/2023

Carton board: The Santa Lucia site started up again after 4 months of forced shutdown

Italian carton board producer Reno de Medici took over its Villa Santa Lucia mill’s business at the beginning of the new year. This came after more than four months of a forced stoppage. The mill, which produces about 220,000 tonnes/year of white-lined chipboard (WLC) on a single machine, was shut down at the end of August. RDM Group CEO Michele Bianchi (interviewed in December in Pap'Argus) warned that the start-up would not be easy given the many difficulties caused by the imposed production shutdown.


Published on 19/01/2023

Stora Enso invests in specialty pulp qualities

Stora Enso continues to strengthen its focus on specialty pulp grades by investing EUR 38 million in the production of unbleached kraft pulp (UKP) at its Enocell site in Finland and €42 million in improving fluff pulp production at its Skutskär site in Sweden. These investments support increasing consumer demand for unbleached renewable packaging materials and hygiene products. By increasing UKP’s share in its pulp portfolio, Stora Enso is pursuing its strategy of developing more specialized Nordic pulp grades while optimizing its share in standard market pulp. Their strategy is simple, long-term trends indicate a consumer preference for renewable packaging products based on less bleached or brown fibre. As a result of this investment, the Enocell site will be able to flexibly produce UKP and NBSK pulp. Due to the reduced use of bleaching chemicals, the carbon footprint per tonne of UKP produced will be more than 20% lower than the equivalent amount of bleached pulp produced at the Enocell site. The investment is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2024. Specifically, the investment in improving fluff pulp production at the Skutskär site is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024. The annual capacity of the Stora Enso Enocell site is 630,000 tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp. The annual capacity of the Skutskär site at Stora Enso is 545,000 tonnes of fluff, softwood and hardwood pulp.


Published on 22/12/2022

The Prinzhorn group plans to enter the Italian market

 Here’s the latest from the Italian market, the Prinzhorn Group is considering a strategic investment by acquiring the corrugated packaging producer Scatolificio La Veggia. Prinzhorn and SLV will take the necessary steps in the coming months to prepare and close the acquisition, which is expected in 2023 after a court ruling. With 10,000 employees in 16 countries, the Prinzhorn Group is a major player in the European packaging, paper and recycling industry. With an annual turnover of 2.3 billion euros, it is #3 in Europe in this segment. The family-owned Prinzhorn Group is headquartered in Vienna, Austria and is has three divisions: Dunapack Packaging (corrugated board packaging solutions), Hamburger Containerboard (corrugated board production) and Hamburger Recycling Group (collection and trading of secondary raw materials).


Published on 22/12/2022

Cepi ContainerBoard (CCB) has updated its European list of corrugated papers

The European Association of Corrugated Cardboard Paper Manufacturers, Cepi ContainerBoard (CCB), has updated  its “European List of Corrugated Paper,” the only industry reference document, for the sixth time since the first version was created in 1992. Based on 30 years of practice, this new edition reflects improved knowledge and understanding of how the properties of paper influence the corrugated board packaging characteristics and the corrugators performances. Its purpose is to define the paper and board grades used by the corrugated board industry in Europe and to give a brief technical description. It also allows the identification of paper grades marketed in Europe along with indicating the general conditions for guaranteeing the technical specifications of the papers. Las, but not least, it presents future trends and technical developments. Note that in this update, emphasis was placed on the definition of “white coatings” (coated and uncoated). In addition, new compression properties ‘STest’ for materials based on corrugated board (based on recovered paper) have been defined. A chapter on dual-use recycled paper is also available on the CCB website.


Published on 22/12/2022

WestRock bought Grupo Gondi

American board manufacturer WestRock has completed the acquisition of Mexican corrugated board company Grupo Gondi. Grupo Gondi has been operating in Mexico since 1954. WestRock bought the remaining stake in Grupo Gondi for $970 million. Thanks to this, WestRock has strengthened its presence in Mexico. The acquisition includes four paper mills, nine corrugated board packing factories and six high-quality graphic mills across Mexico that produce sustainable packaging for a wide range of end markets in the region. WestRock also announced that it was divesting its interest in RTS Packaging and selling its remaining interest to Sonoco for $330 million. As a result, Sonoco will own 100 % of RTS, formerly operated as a joint venture between Sonoco (35 % stake) and WestRock (65 % stake). The Atlanta-based packaging producer has also signed a final agreement to sell its uncoated recycled board (URB) plants in Eaton, Indiana, and Aurora, Illinois, for $50 million to Ox Industries. In its last fiscal year, WestRock recorded an increase of 13.4% to $21.3 billion (€20.5 billion) and net income of 12.6% to $945 million.


Published on 22/12/2022

APP Sinar Mas wants to build a new mill in Dherand

The construction of a giant paper mill in India is looking good! A feasibility study is currently underway for this program, which would allow a board capacity of 1.2 million tpa in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas provide quality products to meet the growing global demand for tissue, packaging and paper. It produces over 19 million tonnes per year. The company estimates the capital costs of the project at about $1.2 billion. The e expected to be commissioned in 2025, depending on the positive outcome of the feasibility study and licensing process. The site could move to full production in 2027. APP is one of the world’s leading producers of pulp, paper and packaging based in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Published on 22/12/2022

RDM’s Santa Villa Lucia recycled board mill’s production continues to decline

The Villa Santa Lucia factory of the Italian cardboard maker Reno de Medici (RDM) in Italy has been out of production for more than three months now. It is still unclear when the mill (with a capacity of 220,000 tpa) will start up again. The company is still waiting for the adjustment and development of the treatment units ordered by the Cassino courts. There are also concerns that the reactivation of mills will have to cope with the additional costs in the meantime, particularly the energy bills that have increased. Reno De Medici (RDM) specializes in recycled board, coated board and carton board.


Published on 22/12/2022

Stora Enso acquired De Jong Packaging

Stora Enso has acquired De Jong Packaging, based in the Netherlands, for approximately €1,020 million. The De Jong Packaging company is one of the largest producers of corrugated board packaging in the Benelux. This acquisition will enable Stora Enso to strengthen its market share in renewable packaging in Europe. Thanks to this move, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division will increase its corrugated board packaging capacity from approximately 1,200 million m2 to over 2,000 million m2. In the medium term, after 3 years, the acquisition should generate average annual synergies of 30 million euros over the cycle, mainly through sourcing, optimisation of the integration of cartons and commercial opportunities. If Stora Enso decides to convert the paper production site in Langerbrugge in Belgium to corrugated board, further synergies will be possible. De Jong Packaging’s sales for 2022 are estimated at around €1 billion.


Published on 22/12/2022

Aurelius’ buyout of three Sappi factories has been approved

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of the Sappi paper mills in Kirkniemi, Maastricht (see photo) and Stockstadt by the German private equity firm Aurelius Group. The transaction was announced at the end of September and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2023. According to the Commission, the transaction was examined under the simplified merger procedure and the competent authority concluded that the proposed acquisition would not pose any competitive concerns. The three mills have a total capacity of 480,000 tpa of coated and uncoated paper woodfree paper and board and 750,000 tpa of coated mechanical paper. The company was valued at €272 million in the transaction.


Published on 22/12/2022

Huhtamaki increased the capacity of its Spanish mill

The Finnish packaging group Huhtamaki invested €20 million in the extension of its Nules site in northern Valencia, Spain with a goal is of doubling its production capacity. The Nules site specializes in board solutions. The 12,500 m 2 extension was built to match the world-renowned BREEAM 1 sustainability standards. This is in line with Huhtamaki’s 2030 sustainability objectives, including the use of 100% renewable electricity and it is on track with a virtual power purchase contract covering approximately 80% of Huhtamaki’s current electricity consumption in Europe signed in December 2021. Thanks to the installation of an advanced HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) which controls air quality, temperature and humidity, the plant also meets high standards of thermal comfort for its employees. Production in the new buildings will start in January 2023. Huhtamaki’s investment reflects the growing demand for renewable and recyclable paper packaging to replace rigid plastics and it is not their only one. Earlier this year, Huhtamaki announced that its manufacturing site in Alf, Germany, was concentrating plastics on smooth molded fibre products to meet the growing demand for plastic-free alternatives for the food packaging industry. When fully operational, the state-of-the-art automated manufacturing facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fibre products per year. This is the first large-scale production capacity in Europe.


Published on 22/12/2022

CEPI reassured by the European Commission’s draft statement

There were lots of discussions during last week’s CEPI’s Paper & Beyond conference in Brussel about the European Commission’s directive proposal on packaging and in particular regarding reuse and recycling. The Commission took into account the paper industry comments (and fears) and proposed building a circular model where reuse and recycling are complementary. This was a relief to many people, considering that earlier leaks feared that reuse would become the norm and that recycling would eventually be banned from circular economy. According to CEPI, “Reuse systems have to become as efficient as recycling in the paper and board industry. The targets set in the new directive proposal should focus on markets where circular performance should be improved, and decisions to choose recyclable or reusable packaging should be based on independent scientific evidence of their respective environmental benefits.” We must be opened to the two options since the paper industry, very efficient in terms of recycling (85% at present, 90% in 2030) is not the best equipped for the reuse process.


Published on 08/12/2022

The deadlines are being met for UPM’s Paso de Los Toros mill

Good news for UPM! The construction site preparing to start its new pulp mill in Paso de Los Toros, Uruguay, is on schedule. UPM will begin testing the recovery boiler, which is considered one of the most important preparatory steps for commissioning the mill. The boiler, nearly 100 metres high, will provide energy for the entire pulp production process, while playing a key role in the recovery of chemicals. UPM also reported that the first ships carrying chemicals have arrived and that the new pulp terminal at Montevideo’s port has been inaugurated and is up and running. The terminal has rail access and is directly connected to the pulp mill. The company will operate the pulp terminal, which has a capacity of over 2 million tpa and can accommodate about 100 ships per year, as a long-term dealer. The Paso de los Toros mill will produce more than 300 MW of renewable energy, which, according to UPM, is equivalent to 15% of Uruguay’s energy production. UPM estimates that the total amount of investments for the project in Uruguay is nearly $3.5 billion. Pulp production is expected to start at the end of the first quarter of 2023. The new eucalyptus pulp mill will have a capacity of 2.1 million tpa.


Published on 08/12/2022

South Korea: Autajon acquires Pacific Package

The South Korean company Pacific Package that has just been taken over by Autajon specializes in the manufacture of folding cases and boxes for cosmetic products. It is now called Autajon Packaging Pacific and its purchase strengthens the Autajon Group’s presence in Asia where two of its label companies, Autajon Labels Shanghai & Autajon Labels Guanghzou are already present in China. Last month Autajon took over the American company ZappPackaging based in California which specializes in folding boxes. Autajon already has three production sites in the United States.


Published on 08/12/2022

The EC gives its green light to the PHO P’s acquisition of the Maxau mill

The European Commission gave the green light to PHO P, a newly established company belonging to the German Schwarz group to acquire Stora Enso’s Maxau magazine paper mill. The Commission cleared the transaction stating that '’the proposed acquisition would not pose any competition problems, given the limited vertical links between the two companies.” The € 210 million transaction was announced at the Maxau mill in Karlsruhe, Germany where there are two paper machines with an production capacity of up to 530,000 tpa of supercalendered paper (SC). Schwarz is mainly active in food retailing in more than 30 countries through its distribution chains Lidl and Kaufland. Its subsidiary Prezero, is also active in the collection, recycling and marketing of recovered paper and other materials.


Published on 08/12/2022

Rossmann celebrated its 100th birthday!

One hundred years old and still going strong! Congratulations to the dynamic and always evolving family-owned industrial group Rossmann (estimated turnover for 2022: 905 million euros). It all started with Lucien Rossmann, the current president’s father, who started a packaging factory in Strasbourg making shoe boxes in 1922. Bernard Rossmann took over in 1972. Today, the group is present in Europe and Africa and has 4 paper mills and 20 corrugated board factories.  What an inspiring success story for France France!


Published on 08/12/2022

SCA opens the new CTMP mill in Ortviken earlier than planned

The Swedish paper group SCA will be start up its new CTMP mill earlier than expected at the site of the recovered paper mill in Ortviken, Sweden. When the mill is fully operational, it will produce 300,000 tpa of CTMP. This mill cost around 150 million euros to get up and running.


Published on 02/12/2022

Heinzel Laakirchen implements reconstruction plans

Austrian paper manufacturer Laakirchen Papier AG has commissioned the technology provider Voith to implement the complete reconstruction of its PM 11 at its Laakirchen site. The company, part of the Heinzel Group, is planning to convert the production mill from graphic paper to packaging board. The reconstructed production line work will start in the second quarter of 2024. This reconstruction program will increase the production volume from 350,000 tpa of SC papers to 500,000 tpa of corrugated board per year. The newly reconstructed machine will be able to produce papers with a weight of 70 g at high production speeds. Heinzel, based in Vienna, Austria, is a major player in the pulp and paper industry, with production sites in Austria, Germany and Estonia.


Published on 02/12/2022

New production shutdown at the Duino paper mill

Burgo an Italian printing, writing and publishing paper manufacturing group, has once again stopped the production of LWC and MWC paper at the Duino paper magazine mill near Trieste (Italy). The company justified its decision by the lack of orders in a weak market.


Published on 02/12/2022

Spain: Smurfit Kappa acquires Pusa Pack

And one more factory in Smurfit Kappa’s portfolio! This time, it is Pusa Pack, a bag-in-box packaging factory located in Onda (in the Valencia region) which specializes in the manufacture of large flexible bags, from 200 to 1500 litres, used for the storage and transport of bulk food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other liquid and semi-liquid products. Thierry Minaud, Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box’s CEO, justified this operation saying, ‘’We are seeing more and more companies moving away from plastic or intermediate bulk containers (IBC) made of stainless steel in favour of more durable corrugated board solutions.” Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box has been active in the heavy packaging market since 2002 providing high-capacity bags and high-quality corrugated cardboard containers through its sales office Liquiwell based in Wülfrath, near Düsseldorf, Germany. Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box is the European leader of Bag-in-Box solutions and its Vitop tap is the world leader in wine taps.


Published on 24/11/2022

FOLBB started up its carton board machines again at both sites

The fresh fibre carton producer FOLBB has restarted operations on its carton machines in Eerbeek, the Netherlands, and in Baiersbronn, Germany. The company reported that the Eerbeek mill restarted production in week 43 after being shut down for reconstruction on September 13th. The reconstruction will help the Dutch plant to reduce its natural gas consumption by at least 5%. The Baiersbronn mill resumed operations on October 31st. Both machines have a total production capacity of up to 245,000 t of folding box board.


Published on 17/11/2022

The new SCA PM 2 at the Obbola site is underway

The new SCA kraftliner PM 2 machine at the Obbola mill in northern Sweden is up and running! According to the company, testing began in the third quarter and the machine went into continuous production (24/7) in the fourth quarter, slightly earlier than originally planned. The fine tuning of the machine will continue in the coming quarters as SCA plans to operate the machine at full capacity in 2026. For the record, SCA has been present in Obbola for over 100 years. Initially, only kraft pulp was produced there. Note that SCA will introduce a new Renewable Energy reporting segment as of January 1st, 2023. This decision is in line with SCA’s stated ambition to develop and realize commercial opportunities in the renewable energy sector. Typically, sales of tall oil, a pulp production by-product, will be reported in the renewable energy segment as of January 1, 2023.


Published on 17/11/2022

Food packaging: Guillin has acquired Italian Ciesse Paper

The European leader in plastic trays, Guillin, now has 31 subsidiaries in Europe thanks to its latest transaction and the success of its latest external growth operation. The group, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, is continuing its diversification towards card board packaging by buying Ciesse Paper, the number 1 Italian manufacturer of carton board trays for fruits and vegetables. It offers a complete service that integrates the technical and graphic design, manufacture and sale of carton board packaging for fruit and vegetable producers and packers. The Ciesse Paper site is located near Mantua, an ideal location for supplying the main fruit and vegetable production areas in Italy and Europe. The family group Guillin, located in the East of France, had consolidated sales of 741 million euros in 2021. Ciesse Paper posted a turnover of 28 million euros in 2021. Elisa and Lorenzo Govi, current executives of the family company will remain shareholders at 10% and continue their operational roles within the company.


Published on 17/11/2022

Palm paper manufacturer acquires corrugated board packaging plant in Italy

The Italian market, known to be very fragmented with many large SME’s (50 to 150 million euros in turnover) in the board sector, is definitely consolidating. If further proof was needed, there was the recent external growth operation carried out by the German group Palm which bought Orsini Imballaggi ‘s corrugated board mill located in the south-east of Milan which produces packaging for the Italian market. Thanks to this recent purchase, Palm now owns two corrugated board mills in Italy. The Palm family business celebrated its 150th anniversary this year at a ceremony held at its headquarters in Aalen Neukochen. 2022 was also the year when the company integrated the PM 5, the world’s most powerful paper machine for lightweight corrugated backing.


Published on 17/11/2022

Antalis saves Arjowiggins renowned Premium Fine Papers brands

Antalis announced that it acquired a worldwide portfolio of brands, including the well-known Conqueror, Curious Collection, Keaykolour, Pop’Set and Rives from its former long-term supplier Arjowiggins Scotland Limited, which went bankrupt in September 2022. Together with the Olin brand, this acquisition demonstrates Antalis’ commitment to continue to offer an attractive Premium Fine Papers range of Text & Cover, Letterheads, Textured boards, Premium Colored Offset, Labels and Envelopes to its customers, printers, brand owners and creative agencies. While waiting to find producers for these special papers, Antalis bought the Scottish factory’s remaining stocks. Antalis, the French-Japanese distributor, says it can deliver to customers while it searches for a new manufacturer. This should take place in the first quarter of 2023.


Published on 17/11/2022

The German group Schumacher Packaging takes over the Italian stationery company Cartiere Modesto Cardella

The German paper and packaging group Schumacher Packaging has acquired a majority stake in the Italian manufacturer of recycled corrugated board, Cartiere Modesto Cardella. According to the company’s announcement, the Cardella family still retains a significant stake and will continue to manage the company. The financial details of the agreement have not yet been revealed. Cartiere Modesto Cardella operates a paper mill near Lucca and employs 100 people. The mill houses two paper machines with a total capacity of 200,000 tpa of recycled corrugated board. At the end of 2021, Schumacher Packaging announced a €700 million investment plan to expand its paper and corrugated board capacity. Last year, this packaging solutions supplier of corrugated board and cardboard, had a turnover of 857 million euros, an increase of 27% compared to the previous year.


Published on 10/11/2022

Suzano acquires KimberlyClark Brazil’s tissue assets

Suzano, the world’s largest market pulp producer, with a capacity of 11 million tonnes of BEKP marketable pulp, will acquire Kimberly Clark Brazil’s tissue assets. The main asset covered by the agreement is a Sao Paulo mill with an annual production capacity of approximately 130,000 tonnes. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. Suzano has also acquired the 'Neve' brand and the rights to use the international brands currently used by KC Brazil. At the same time, the Brazilian pulp manufacturer is continuing its investment towards a new mill in Ribas do Rio Pardo (the Cerrado project) which will increase its annual capacity by 2.55 million tonnes to reach a total of 13.6 million tonnes. The plant is expected to begin operating in the second half of 2024.

 


Published on 10/11/2022

Guarro Casas, Arjowiggins Spanish paper mill, bought by the Italian paper manufacturer Fedrigoni

Surprise! While the British subsidiaries of Arjowiggins, placed under judicial administration, are in search of a buyer, another subsidiary of the group, Guarro Casas was taken over by the Italian paper maker Fedrigoni. This one, like the Chinese subsidiary, does not have to abide by the procedure that affects the British subsidiaries. Based in Gelida (near Barcelona), the Guarro Casas mill, founded in 1698, specializes in the production of fine papers. This acquisition reinforces Fedrigoni’s offer in the special paper sector.


Published on 03/11/2022

UPM’s Uruguay pulp mill will start up in the first quarter of 2023

The new eucalyptus pulp mill of the Finnish UPM in Uruguay will begin commercial production in the first quarter of 2023. Located in Paso de los Toros, this mill will increase its pulp business by more than 50%. UPM employs 17,000 people worldwide and its annual sales amount to approximately €9.8 billion.


Published on 03/11/2022

Finland: Stora Enso invests €1 billion in its Oulu site

Packaging is a growth sector. That is the motor behind Stora Enso’s effort to spend €1 billion to convert the remaining unused paper machine at its Oulu site into a FBB and CUK board production line. It is scheduled to start in early 2025 and its total annual capacity will be 750,000 tonnes of cardboard. The target segments are food and beverage packaging, especially frozen and chilled, along with dry food, primarily in Europe and North America. Bear in mind that the paper manufacturer already converted a machine, from paper to kraftliner, at the Oulu site in 2021.


Published on 03/11/2022

The paper & board industry is the third most dependent on intermediate energy consumption

The industry is suffering from the energy and inflationary crises. The Banque de France recently stated that the first problems appeared in September. Despite this, the banks said normally the French economy should have done rather well in the third quarter, with 0.25% expected growth. However, not all companies are equal in the face of the energy shock. Which ones are the most impacted? According to INSEE, in terms of industries, (excluding energy producers), the chemical industry is the most dependent on intermediate energy consumption. Metallurgy (9%) and the paper and board industry (8%) followed.


Published on 27/10/2022

The world’s biggest paper machine might be built in Kaskinen!

We mentioned it in our September newsletter, but things seem to clearer now. The Finnish paper manufacturer Metsä Board might build the world’s largest paper machine which would have a production capacity of around  800,000 tonnes of folding carton board (FBB).  Initial studies are being launched at the Kaskinen site in Finland. The mill currently produces approximately 390,000 tonnes per year of bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP).


Published on 27/10/2022

Corrugated board: The Belgian group VPK inaugurated Halden mill

Equipped with the latest technology, the Halden mill incorporates industry 4.0 principles such as artificial intelligence and a high degree of advanced automation. In addition, the factory is completely CO2 neutral by using biogas for steam production and heating. Energy efficiency is further increased thanks to a heat recovery system on the inverter. The plant’s strategic location on the Norwegian-Swedish border makes it geographically attractive and close to potential customers in Scandinavia and Europe, making it even easier to deliver packaging solutions to customers. High quality and protective corrugated board packaging is mainly used for consumer goods, food and beverages, e-commerce and industrial packaging. VPK is the first packaging company in Norway to build a fully automated and integrated warehouse. With a storage capacity of 16,000 pallets, the high-bay warehouse is unique in size and technology. In 2021, the VPK Group achieved a turnover of €1.75 billion, an increase of 28%.


Published on 27/10/2022

Cepi Cartonboard and Pro Carton will merge

A merger and a nomination! That’s the big news in Krakow, Poland where members of the two industrial associations CEPI Cartonboard and Pro Carton announced their intention to merge into a joint alliance under the name Pro Carton. At the annual general meeting, Michele Bianchi (RDM’s CEO and CEPI Cartonboard’s President since June 2020) became Pro Carton’s new President. He said, “We are confident that the new organisation will be the right platform for the future of the European cardboard and cardboard industry. We expect that our alliance will support the sustainable growth of our industry through increased member engagement.” Michele Bianchi has been RDM’s CEO since 2016. RDM is one of the leading manufacturers of recycled carton board and the largest producer in Italy, France, the Netherlands and the Iberian Peninsula.


Published on 27/10/2022

WestRock will close its St. Paul, Minnesota plant

WestRock recently announced that it will permanently close down the corrugated board manufacturing operations at its recycled paper mill in St. Paul, Minnesota. The corrugated board machines at the St. Paul site would require significant capital investment to be maintained and improved in the future. As a result, the mill will be closed. The shutdown of these assets will result in a reduction of 200,000 tonnes of annual corrugated board production. Approximately 130 jobs will be lost as a result of this closure. WestRock is committed to improving its return on investment and maximizing the performance of its assets.


Published on 20/10/2022

Pixelle Specialty Solutions will close factory in Jay, Maine

Pixelle Specialty Solutions announced that its Jay Maine site will close in the first quarter of 2023. To date, the factory employs around 230 people. The factory produces special labels and non-stick papers, as well as industrial and packaging solutions for e-commerce and food services. Its two paper machines have a capacity of 230,000 tons per year. 'Pixelle will continue to manufacture high-quality specialized solutions for our customers in our three specialized factories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio', said David E. Dickerhoof, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing.


Published on 20/10/2022

It's the end of the road for Arjowiggins

The situation is critical for Arjowiggins, who entered insolvency proceedings since September 22nd. Blair Nimmo, Director General of Interpath Advisory and co-administrator-designate for the group said,  “We urge all interested parties to contact the joint administrators urgently, regardless of their interest in the company (or part of it) and/or specific assets.” He noted that the Stoneywood Mill and Chartham Mill sites had maximum exposure to attract the attention of potential buyers who would continue to manufacture paper. In the meantime, the two British paper mills, the Stoneywood Scottish Graphic Paper and Packaging Plant and the Chartham English Innovative Paper and Tracing Plant, have stopped production. 368 of the 463 employees were let go. This will be the end of an era for the paper industry. The group also owns and operates plants in Spain and China through its subsidiaries Guarro Casas and ArjoWiggins Quzhou.


Published on 20/10/2022

Voice of the European printing community

Intergraf is the European association of graphic industry, representing employers in the graphic industry. The European graphic sector is made up of around 112,000 printers (95% of which are SME’s), employing 640,000 people and generating a combined turnover of 82 billion euro (EU27 + UK, Switzerland and Norway). The printing industry belongs to the paper and board value chain. As we know, the paper and board industry, an energy-intensive sector, was one of the first to be hit by rising energy prices. This has led to soaring paper and board prices and critical shortages. The printing industry therefore suffers the double penalty of soaring raw material costs combined with rising energy costs. Due to their SME-based structure, this is a situation that many printing companies will not be able to cope with any longer. Clearly, it is the SME’s that are paying the price of the energy crisis. Intergraf stated,  “It is essential that legislators at both European and national level also support sectors such as ours which are part of Europe’s critical infrastructure. The printing industry is almost entirely made up of SME’s (95%), an energy-intensive manufacturing sector, dependent on energy-intensive raw materials, which plays a vital role in supplying value chains that provide essential services and products to society.”


Published on 20/10/2022

Spanish paper manufacturer Lecta will temporarily shut down several paper mills

Due to the energy crisis, we were worried about production shutdowns which unfortunately are coming true. Faced with high production costs, Lecta, the Spanish producer of fine and special papers has decided to temporarily stop production at several of its paper mills. At this time we do not know which mills will be affected nor when the shutdowns will take place. Note that the company remains confident about its financial outlook for the fourth quarter. Lecta is a major producer of special papers for labels and flexible packaging as well as coated and uncoated papers for publishing and commercial printing, among others. The company operates seven paper mills in Spain, France and Italy, with a combined capacity of approximately 1.7 million tpa.


Published on 13/10/2022

UPM inaugurated its new pulp terminal in the port of Montevideo

A $280 million USD investment is a key component of UPM’s $3.47 billion growth investmentin Uruguay, which includes a state-of-the-art pulp mill in Paso de los Toros, along with a new eucalyptus nursery and local community investmens in the same town. The terminal will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an annual operational capacity of over 2 million tons of pulp and about 100 ships per year, creating a 60% increase in total annual cargo exported from Montevideo’s port. The new 2.1 million-tonne eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay is expected to start production by the end of the first quarter of 2023.


Published on 13/10/2022

A new CEO at La Rochette Cartonboard

Pierre-Yves Guégan, who has managed La Rochette Cartonboard since its takeover by the German investment fund Mutares in May 2021, has passed the baton to Christophe Lloret Linares. The new manager, recruited externally, started his new position at the head of the mill last summer. Christophe Lloret Linares has solid experience in the industrial sector (Zentia, Placo, Groupe Roullier, Brabant, etc). His promotion comes at a time when the carton board production factory based on virgin fibres is modernizing. Around €15 million has been invested in its production facility over the past 18 months.


Published on 13/10/2022

Arjowiggins  is at the end of its road

It is the end for the paper producer Arjowiggins Group (the result of a spinoff of Arjowiggings Creative Papers in 2020 which was part of the dismantling of the Sequana group) is shutting down. Headquartered in Aberdeen (Scotland), the group has been hard hit by the effects of the pandemic and the recent energy and cost crisis. As a result, the British sites (Stoneywood in Aberdeen and Chartham in Kent) and all the group’s commercial structures in the United Kingdom were placed under trusteeship on September  22nd, 2022 as part of an insolvency proceeding. The group also owns and operates a production site in Spain (Guarro Casas) and one in China (Quzhou). They are not currently affected by the procedure.


Published on 06/10/2022

ProGest’s Mantua mill is back in operation

On September 26th, the Italian paper and packaging group ProGest restarted operations in its recycled corrugated board mill in Mantua.  Located in the north of Italy, the mill was stopped several weeks ago.  This mill was one of the many Italian factories that were shut down due to the difficult market situation such as higher energy prices, higher raw material prices, higher transport costs, etc.


Published on 06/10/2022

Buchmann Karton is for sale

An important news flash! The German recycled cardboard manufacturer Buchmann Karton,  one of the leaders in the manufacture of carton for folding boxes, is for sale. The owners and management of the company are looking for a strategic successor to ensure the long-term continuity of Buchmann Karton and to help realize capacity expansion plans at the Annweiler site. In Annweiler, approximately 330 employees produce up to 280,000 tonnes of cardboard each year from recovered paper. The challenges facing production sites in Germany have increased considerably in recent years. In addition to strict regulatory requirements, manufacturers are facing international competition from factories whose raw material and energy costs are currently more advantageous. The sharp rise in energy and chemical costs in Germany in particular requires sustainable and intelligent concepts. “We aim to produce about 400,000 tons of cardboard for folding boxes per year in Annweiler. In addition to the increase in performance, we also deal intensively with sustainability concepts through the most efficient use of raw materials and the reduction of specific energy requirements,” said Daniel Schätzle, Buchmann’s CEO.


Published on 06/10/2022

Aurelius Investment is in the process of buying three paper mills formely owned by Sappi

Sappi concluded an agreement with Aurelius concerning the divestment of its Maastricht mill in the Netherlands, its Stockstadt plant in Germany and its Kirkniemi plant in Finland. The Sappi mill in Maastricht produces 260,000 tonnes per year of wood-free coated paper and board, mainly sold to printers and packaging converters around the world. Sappi Stockstadt is an integrated pulp and paper mill located in Germany, producing 145,000 tpa of pulp that is used to produce 220,000 tpa of uncoated and uncoated woodfree paper primarily sold in the European printing market. Sappi Kirkniemi is an integrated pulp and paper mill in Finland, producing 300,000 tpa of bleached mechanical pulp. This transfer is explained by the fact that the paper manufacturer is reducing its exposure to the declining graphic paper segment and is investing in growth segments such as packaging and special papers, pulp and biomaterials. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. The business value of the sale is approximately €272 million.


Published on 06/10/2022

UPM Raflatac finalized the German AMC acquisition

The acquisition announced in May 2022 was finalized on September 15th, 2022. AMC (Advanced Methods of Coating) employs more than 300 people and has two production sites in northern Germany, in Kaltenkirchen and Hagenow.  It has a turnover of 110 million euros and operates two factories in Germany. Label manufacturer UPM Raflatac expects to achieve significant synergies through this acquisition. New product areas include Viscom/Graphics materials that are currently sold under the Intercoat brand, and removable self-adhesive products under the Global Notes and Print Inform brands. In addition, the transaction will strengthen UPM Raflatac’s position in Central Europe.


Published on 06/10/2022

Smurfit Kappa acquires the Brazilian PaperBox

Let’s talk about the latest external growth operation completed by Smurfit Kappa. The packaging manufacturer is currently buying  a packaging plant called Paperbox located in Saquarema, 70 km east of Rio de Janeiro. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be finalized in late October. Brazil is the largest corrugated board market in Latin America, with 7.4 billion m² produced annually, and the SouthEast region, where PaperBox is located, makes up 46% of this volume. Smurfit Kappa is already present in Brazil, where it currently operates in three other states: Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul and Ceará.


Published on 29/09/2022

Labels: Sappi invests in its Gratkorn mill in Austria

Sappi Europe, the packaging and special paper manufacturer, is set to expand the capacity of its mill in Gratkorn, Austria, which will allow it to also manufacture moisture-resistant label papers. As of the end of next year, the production capacity of label papers will be extended to the Gratkorn mill. Thanks to the central location of the Gratkorn production site, the transport distances will be shorter, saving energy and reducing the environmental impact. At the same time, more efficient and shorter production cycles ensure fast delivery and an even more flexible response to customer requirements. Sappi has other paper mills in Europe (Alfeld in Germany and Carmignano in Italy), as well as the Somerset site in the United States. Also, in mid-2021, Sappi expanded its moisture-resistant wet label paper products portforlio with the new Parade Label Pro. In January 2022, Parade Label SG, a high-performance semigloss paper for self-adhesive labels was added.


Published on 29/09/2022

The German company Varel wants to invest in a new machine for ultra-light recycled corrugated board

And more new production in the future! The German corrugated board producer Varel is planning to build a new factory to manufacture ultra-light recycled corrugated board at an additional site in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. This site would offer all the opportunities for CO2-neutral and resource-efficient production. The new PM would have a capacity of 600,000 tpa and would be designed to produce ultra-light weights from 60 g/m2. The company plans to make a final decision on the project in the first half of next year. The company currently has a total production capacity of approximately 930,000 tpa.


Published on 29/09/2022

The Minister of Economy wants to protect energy-intensive companies in France, such as printing

On September14th, Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, gave a speech on energy prices and the tariff cap on electricity and gas. He invoked the government’s desire to protect companies, especially production capacity. He said, “We have 3 numbers that we want to talk about specifically. First there are 1.5 million companies that are SME’s, that have a turnover of less than 2 million euros, and that have less than 10 employees. These companies have access to regulated electricity rates, with the 4% tariff cap, they will continue to benefit from this access to regulated rates. I repeat, that’s 1.5 million companies. Then you have larger SME’s that have access to 2 million euros of aid based on criteria that I’ve already said are far too complex. We’ll put the new criteria in place as of October 1st. Any SME whose turnover includes at least 3% of its energy bills will have access to this aid up to €2 million once its profits have fallen over the period of one month. To all the SME’s that would have lost money in July, In the past few months, they can reapply to the Public Finance Branch “Window” to access this support in a simplified manner as of October 1. Finally, there are energy companies, those companies that spend even more in energy bills than the 3% of turnover and that can have access to aid up to 50 million euros. These are companies like Aluminium Dunkerque, Arc, in Duralex; printers, chemical sector, steel sector. The European system, which is too complex, must be completely reviewed. These are not small adjustments that need to be made, but rather a complete overhaul of a system that we said from the outset was too complex and is not working today. We are talking with the European Commission. We want these discussions to be finished before the end of 2022, because there is an urgent need for these energy-intensive companies.


Published on 29/09/2022

Burgo will temporarily curb production at the Tolmezzo and Treviso factories

Due to increasing pressure on energy costs, the Italian pulp and paper group Burgo is planning short-time work and pulp and paper production stoppages at its Treviso (just north of Venice) and Tolmezzo (on the borders of Italy, Austria and Slovenia) mills. The Tolmezzo mill has two paper machines with a total production capacity of 180,000 tpa. The PM 3 produces uncoated woodfree paper for offset printing, office paper and envelopes. The PM 1 produces paper for food packaging and technical applications. At the Treviso mill, paper production business would be completely shut down between September 16th and 25th, 2022.


Published on 22/09/2022

Stora Enso sells its Maxau SC paper mill to Schwarz, owner of Lidl

Things are moving at Stora Enso! Last week, the group declared that it was buying the Dutch packaging company De Jong for an enterprise value of €1.02 billion. This time, he announces that he is transferring his Maxau SC paper mill in Germany to Schwarz Produktion. The latter is part of the Schwarz Group, one of the world’s largest retailers, including Lidl. The amount of the transaction is €210 million. The closing is scheduled for early 2023 at the latest, subject to regulatory approvals. Schwarz’s plan is to continue producing paper on the site. For its part, Stora Enso states that it will continue to operate the Maxau site and serve its supercalendered (SC) paper customers until the transaction is closed. The transaction will reduce Stora Enso’s annual SC paper capacity by 530,000 tonnes. Stora Enso also announces that it will continue the sale process for the remaining paper mills in Nymölla, Hylte and Anjala. Stora Enso currently has five printing and writing paper production sites. In total, the Paper division currently employs approximately 2,300 employees. In 2021, the Paper division’s turnover was €1.70 billion.


Published on 22/09/2022

The Russian company Segezha would like to acquire subsidiaries or parts of western companies in Russia

Large international companies in the paper and packaging industry withdrew from the Russian market after the outbreak of the Ukrainian war. Smurfit Kappa, Mondi, Stora Enso, Huhtamaki, Elopak, Tetrapak, Sylvamo… This represents so many opportunities for companies wishing to seize assets that were not previously available. Segezha is one of them. It is one of the largest timber producers in Russia. It is controlled by the Sistema conglomerate. For the record, Segezha entered the Moscow Stock Exchange last year.


Published on 22/09/2022

Swedish-Finnish Stora Enso acquires Dutch De Jong Packaging

This is the first major acquisition of  BTS 2022: the paper manufacturer Stora Enso acquired the corrugated packaging specialist De Jong Packaging for 1 billion euros. This operation will enable Stora Enso to strengthen its position in the European corrugated board market, in particular in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. What does the medium-term outlook look like? In 2025, when the current expansion projects in transforming packaging shifts into high gear, the group expects an additional EBITDA of €40 million. “In line with our strategy, we are investing in renewable and circular packaging solutions. De Jong Packaging has a strong presence in the corrugated board packaging industry and an impressive customer base. The acquisition of their businesses supports our future strategic direction to advance renewable packaging solutions in Europe,” said Annica Bresky, Stora Enso’s CEO. De Jong Packaging currently has 17 sites.


Published on 15/09/2022

Rising electricity costs force Lessebo Paper to stop production

The cost of electricity for Lessebo Paper increased from €3 million a year to €19 million a year. This unprecedented increase  forced Lessebo Paper to stop production on Wednesday, August 31st. A Deciding whether or not to produce will now be made on a daily basis based on the price of electricity. Remember that the spot price of electricity in southern Sweden has increased considerably in recent months. On Wednesday, August 31st, the price of electricity was 518.73 euros per MWh, resulting in a daily cost of electricity of more than 58,000 euros for Lessebo Paper. “Since fall 2021, the price of electricity has gradually increased. Historically, the winter season has resulted in high electricity prices, and the fact that we already have record electricity prices in August is a concern,” said Jens Olson, CEO of Lessebo Paper. Lessebo Paper is a historical Swedish producer of fine papers and specialty papers. This stoppage does not bode well for the graphic grades supply levels in an already stressed market. It will also impact prices. Indeed, it is likely that it is a harbinger of other interruptions in production, both at Lessebo Paper and elsewhere.


Published on 15/09/2022

German Delkeskamp will close its Nortrup paper mill

There is another addition to the list of closures as the German company Delkeskamp plans to close its paper factory in Nortrup at the end of the year, due to the massive increase in energy costs. The packaging manufacturer had already announced its intention to close Nortrup’s paper mill in March 2022, but it was able to continue production thanks to the solidarity of its customers, suppliers and other stakeholders at the time. The Nortrup site produces approximately 135,000 tpa of corrugated board and employs 70 people.


Published on 15/09/2022

Lack of water prevents pulp production in Ence Pontevedra

If energy costs are a scourge for the industry, the lack of water is another. The Spanish pulp and renewable energy company Ence (Energía & Celulosa) has yet to start up its business at the Pontevedra pulp mill after more than a month of forced shutdown. On July 20th   the regional authorities ordered Ence to stop industrial operations on the site after certain ecological parameters of the flow of the Lerez River, when Ence draws water for its production, fell below minimum levels due to persistent dry weather in the region. The situation hasn’t changed  as the water level and the river flow  had still not returned to normal by the beginning of September. The Pontevedra mill has a production capacity of 620,000 tpa of hardwood pulp.


Published on 15/09/2022

The Norwegian company Elopak sold its Russian  businesses  to the local management and has left the market

Following Elopak’s decision to suspend operations in Russia in March 2022, the company undertook a thorough review of all available options. It recently concluded an agreement to sell its Russian business (JSC Elopak) to local management, by selling 100% of its shares. The company sold 100% of its shares to Packaging Management and Investing, which is owned by the JSC Elopak management company. The company will operate independently and be controlled by its new owners. The Elopak plant in St Petersburg was the main supplier of milk cartons to the Russian market. The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Government Commission for Foreign Investment Control in Russia. The company’s busineness in Ukraine and Russia accounted for 9% of the group’s turnover.


Published on 15/09/2022

No break in terms of price increases!

No break in August on the price front! With soaring gas and electricity prices reaching record levels during this BTS time, factories are experiencing unprecedented pressure that is undermining their business and forcing some to stop their production.  This has never been the case before! If we add the dollar which is clearly strengthening against the euro (On Monday September 5th, 2022 the European currency plunged below 99 cents for the first time since 2002).   Thanks to this, pulp, tissue and graphic grades in France saw their prices rise in August. This trend should continue in September.

While the recovered paper sector, impacted by the decline in packaging business, saw ordinary grades prices plummet (-50 to -70 euros/t), CCM and carton board did not record price changes over the period. Between a drop in business and the stratospheric energy prices, this period seems hard to predict.


Published on 08/09/2022

A new paper machine at Mimizan’s Gascogne paper mill

The French paper and sack manufacturer Gascogne plans to install a new paper machine in its mill in Mimizan, in the south of France. This paper machine will replace 3 of the 4 existing paper machines and it will be possible to optimize the quantities of paper produced by making full use of the site’s pulp production capacities, to offer the best qualities of unbleached kraft paper, to better meet the packaging markets demands, improve the site’s energy efficiency and environmental performance, and reduce production costs. This will ultimately lead to an improvement in performance and a significant increase in Gascogne’s EBITDA. In order to finance this ambitious investment program, the Group has drawn up a financing plan involving several players, including investment loans for €175 million and a future capital increase of at least €10 million. The balance will be financed through self-financing. The Gascogne group, which is based on 4 complementary businesses, is the leading multi-specialist wood operator in France, the world’s leading producer of natural machine-glazed kraft paper, the third largest European producer of industrial and consumer sacks and one of the world’s leading producers of packaging and protection complexes. Olivier Tassel, Managing Director of Gascogne Papier, will speak on September 22nd at the Pap'Argus Conference in Paris.


Published on 08/09/2022

Production has started up again at Metsä Tissue’s Kreuzau mill

The Metsä Tissue mill in Kreuzau, Germany, is back in full operation. Production at the site has been at a standstill since the morning of August 28th,2022, when a fire broke out in the area of the steam plant. Thankfully there was more fear than harm, since by the end of the evening on the same day, production limited production restarted. Now just a bad memory, the mill is running at capacity. The fire did not spread to other buildings and no one was injured. This mill has 400 employees and is the largest site in Metsä Tissue in Germany. It operates four paper machines with a combined capacity of 150,000 tpa, nine conversion lines and two de-inking factories.


Published on 08/09/2022

Feldmuehle changes fuel

Say goodbye to gas and hello to oil! The label and packaging paper producer Feldmuehle is investing EUR 2.6 million in its Uetersen mill (Germany) in order to no longer rely on Russian gas and instead use fuel oil.  Their objective was to find a solution to adapt to gas shortages, following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Gentle reminder that Feldmuehle has been owned by a subsidiary of the German investment fund Beteiligungsgesellschaft Kairos Industries since June 2018.


Published on 08/09/2022

Print marketing spending will increase!

This is great news coming from the United States! (And we know that usually what happens in the United States happens in France a bit later). Print marketing will grow!  This is a first in ten years, as reported in the latest American CMO survey, released by the Harvard Business Review. It stated in February 2022 that CMO’s marketing directors predicted that their traditional advertising spending was on the verge of increasing. It is the consumer service companies that are leading this trend towards the return of print media. Business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses expect to see the largest increase in traditional advertising spending, up to +10.2%. Consumer goods businesses also expect to see an increase of +4.9%.


Published on 07/07/2022

Brazil: Chilean Arauco Group to Invest $3 Billion in New Pulp Mill

Arauco plans to invest $3 billion in a new pulp mill in Brazil. With this in mind, the company signed a cooperation agreement last week with the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Arauco announced that this was the first stage of the Sucuriú project, which aims to build a plant with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of hardwood pulp on a site near Inocência. However, the project is still subject to a number of conditions that Arauco is currently reviewing, including environmental impact assessment, board approval, wood supply, future market development, etc. Arauco said the construction of the new mill could start in 2025, with commissioning three years later in 2028. The site 50 km from Inocência would offer several advantages; among them, a large availability of wood nearby and good logistical opportunities for pulp exports. Arauco has been active in Brazil since 2002 and is now planning to start its own pulp production in the country. The group currently has a production capacity of 3.9 million tonnes of pulp, spread over plants in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. The new Arauco pulp line in Chile is almost complete. The line will have a capacity of 1.56 million t of bleached eucalyptus pulp.


Published on 07/07/2022

UPM enters commissioning phase of pulp mill in Uruguay

UPM has received approval from Uruguay an environmental authorities for the start-up of its new pulp mill in Paso de los Toros, Uruguay. The pulp is scheduled to go into production by the end of the first quarter of next year. The new UPM eucalyptus pulp mill will have a capacity of 2.1 million tpa. The new pulp mill is expected to increase UPM’s pulp capacity by more than 50%. Today, the company has four pulp mills (Fray Bentos, Kaukas, Kymi and Pietarsaari) with a combined production capacity of 3.7 million tpa. The company also claims to have invested $280 million in the construction of a new port terminal in Montevideo, which will have the capacity to process approximately 2 million tonnes of pulp per year. The plant’s eucalyptus pulp will be shipped to customers around the world. Once the mill is up and running, Uruguay will be the world’s fifth largest pulp producer.


Published on 07/07/2022

UPM Raflatac invests $10M in Mills River Mill

Label specialist UPM Raflatac is strengthening its position in the US market with a new cutting machine and increased automation of production at its Mills River mill. This $10 million investment will increase the strong production capacity of UPM Raflatac’s three US-based plants and eight cutting and distribution centres across the Americas. This will improve the quality of the company’s film products, while reducing the need for manual handling. UPM Raflatac continuously invests in technology, equipment and its personnel to increase capacity and advance the production capacity of its global network of 10 factories and 27 terminals. UPM Raflatac has been in operation in Mills River for 20 years. Located in North Carolina, the mill now employs more than 200 people. UPM Raflatac employs around 3,000 people and had a turnover of 1.7 billion euros in 2021.


Published on 07/07/2022

Hakim Serhir is the new French Director of International Paper

Hakim Serhir is responsible for the International Paper Group in France which is dedicated to the production of board for industrial and food packaging business. Hakim Serhir will lead a team of plant managers and support functions and will be responsible for the continued strategic and commercial development of International Paper in France. He has been working with the group for thirteen years and has held several senior positions in Morocco, France and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Recently, he managed the three Normandy factories of International Paper (Saint-Amand in the English Channel, Cabourg in Calvados and Saint Langis-Lès-Mortagne in Orne). In France, International Paper has approximately 750 employees and operates 5 corrugated board packaging plants. Don’t miss the interview with this new leader in Pap'Argus’ next issue!


Published on 30/06/2022

European Parliament shows ambition on forest wells, not on material substitution

Recently the European Parliament approved a very ambitious, but realistic target for the European forests to reduce the amount of CO2 in the air. The goal can only be achieved by adapting our forests in Europe to the climate change threats and by increasing their annual growth, including through afforestation. Legislators rejected a proposal to combine the agricultural and forestry industries in the tabled revision of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulations (LULUCF). This should ensure that forests are not used to offset emissions from agriculture, which is known to be a "hard-to-decarbonize sector."  The LULUCF settlement vote sent a positive signal regarding the role of forestry in mitigating climate change, stressing that forests must not become a tool for other sectors, including agriculture, to compensate for insufficient emission reductions. The Cepi, a representative confederation of the European pulp and paper industry, welcomes this decision. Parliament members also supported the European Commission’s proposal to achieve net removal of 310 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. This new goal can only be achieved if climate adaptation practices from active forest management receive political support. Beyond simply safeguarding existing forests, the paper sector represented by Cepi has also pledged to support the EU’s goal of planting an additional 3 billion trees by 2030.

Another aspect of the forest carbon accounting voted by Parliament is the possibility of considering certain categories of products as temporary means of carbon storage. The forest fibre and paper value chain is already exploring new business models based on these biogenic carbon cycles. Unfortunately, Parliament’s vote limited these categories to "long-life" products only, missing the opportunity to recognise the level of storage permanence that can be achieved through more traditional paper and pulp products, including through their recycling. More than just carbon storage, pulp and paper also reduce emissions by replacing fossil products in a number of strategic sectors, such as construction, textiles and packaging. These substitution effects are currently reducing EU emissions by 410 Million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year by replacing fossil or CO2-intensive materials with wood-based products.


Published on 23/06/2022

Start of Arauco’s new BEK pulp line delayed

Arauco’s new BEK pulp line will not start in June. Arauco, a company that produces wood-based products, has once again postponed the start of its new bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEK) line in southern Chile. It will have a capacity of 1.56 million tonnes per year.


Published on 23/06/2022

Fibre Excellence Saint-Gaudens is closed for its regular annual maintenance check up

This annual maintenance operation is currently being carried out by the pulp mill Fibre Excellence Saint-Gaudens, located at the foot of the Pyrenees. This means that the site will be shut-down for about about ten days depending on the company. This is a large-scale operation that requires the presence of more than 120 companies and 700 specialists with an investment of about 4.5 million euros.


Published on 23/06/2022

Disruptions in natural gas supply would paralyze paper production in Germany

A 30% bottleneck in natural gas supply would have a huge impact on, or even severely perturb paper production in Germany. This is according to an ongoing survey conducted by the association Die Papierindustrie among its members. According to the survey, if the amount of gas was reduced to 30%, only 39% of the usual amount of paper, cardboard and cardboard could be produced.


Published on 23/06/2022

Belgium: Finnish company Stora Enso plans to invest €400 million in Langerbrugge

Stora Enso has started a feasibility study at its paper production site in Langerbrugge, Belgium in terms of the conversion of one of the two paper machines into a large-volume recycled board machine. To date, the Stora Enso site in Langerbrugge has two paper production lines, one for newsprint and one for super-calendered magazine (SC) paper. The study will focus on converting the site’s newsprint line. The conversion would allow Stora Enso to further develop its capacity for recycled and recyclable packaging materials and meet the growing demand in end-use segments such as manufacturing, e-commerce, furniture and electronics. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Depending on an investment decision, the converted line should be in production during 2025. The annual capacity would be 700,000 tonnes of recycled testliner and recycled fluting and would generate sales of approximately 350 million euros at full capacity. The total investment for conversion is estimated at around €400 million. “A conversion to Langerbrugge would allow us to establish a competitive position in Western Europe as well', said Hannu Kasurinen,  Stora Enso’s Packaging Materials Division’s Director, referring to the company’s existing presence in the Eastern European market through its corrugated board production in Poland.


Published on 16/06/2022

Sustainable packaging drives VPK growth

2021 was a busy year for the Belgian Group VPK which already had a strong balance sheet, up 28% with a turnover of 1.75 billion euros. The group’s paper recycled 1.4 million tonnes of recovered paper. However, due to inflationary pressure on the essential components of raw materials, the increase in EBITDA was limited to 7% or 212 million euros. Net current income remained stable at EUR 88 million. Last year, VPK invested in further integrating its sites and expanding its European presence. The new corrugated board processing site near Wroclaw, Poland has been commissioned. Thanks to the two other Polish production sites, this investment will help meet the growing number of customers in this promising market, through new solutions for corrugated board packaging. Closer to home, remember that in June 2021, VPK signed an agreement to acquire Alizay’s 75-hectare industrial site. What’s on tap?  The printing paper machine will be transformed into a production unit for recycled corrugated paper with an annual production capacity of 450,000 tonnes. In addition, the site is preparing to create a corrugated board that will be dedicated to producing innovative corrugated board in «Folded in Z».


Published on 16/06/2022

Bobst is getting ready for its future

The Swiss manufacturer Bobst rebounded strongly in 2021 with a turnover similar to 2019 (1.563 billion Swiss francs) and solid prospects for 2022. The Mex group near Lausanne shared its future objectives using a united management style led by the CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst, with Alain Berger in charge of manufacturing, Raphaël Indermühle, in charge of services and Attilio Tissi, head of finance. The factory was overhauled from top to bottom for more automation and an optimized lean management. This is done to maintain and strengthen its leadership in its major business areas such as not only printing and shaping of corrugated packaging, but also of carton board and flexible packaging, as well as in the conventional and digital printing label sector. They are also launching Bobst Connect, allowing its customers to better manage their equipment performance and maintenance. Bobst also announced the construction and installation of a giant warehouse in Belgium that will serve as a spare parts hub for the entire EMEA region. Finally, in terms of sustainable development, Bobst has set up a repair and upgrading plant in Italy near Lake Garda, thus extending the life of its machines and thus reducing their carbon impact. (Pictured here is the Speedpack, released last summer, for the packaging and shipping of formed boxes)


Published on 16/06/2022

Labels: UPM Raflatac will take over AMC

UPM Raflatac is accelerating its growth in labelling materials by acquiring AMC AG (Advanced Methods of Coating),  based in Germany, best known for its ‘Intercoat’ brand. This acquisition will expand UPM Raflatac’s product offering. “This acquisition will strengthen our position in Central Europe and expand our offer to new self-adhesive product lines,” said Antti Jääskeläinen, UPM Raflatac ‘s Executive Vice President. The transaction is expected to be completed by Q3 2022.  Founded in 1996 with roots dating back to 1959, AMC AG has two production sites, Kaltenkirchen and Hagenow, located in northern Germany. AMC’s business includes the Intercoat, Global Notes and Print Inform brands. The company employs over 300 people. In the last financial year, its turnover amounted to 110 million euros. UPM Raflatac employs around 3,000 people and had a turnover of 1.7 billion euros in 2021.


Published on 09/06/2022

Bracell’s production of dissolving pulp has begun at the Lençóis Paulista mill

In September 2021, the Bracell mill (part of the Royal Golden Eagle Group) in Lençóis Paulista completed the assembly and commissioning of two lines designed for a capacity of up to 2.8 million tpy of BEK pulp or 1,5 million tpy of Eucalyptus Fibre Based Dissolving Pulp (DP). Andritz is the main supplier of Bracell’s Project Star to Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo. The company also delivered a recovery boiler, a wood processing machine, two fibre lines and a pulp drying system made up of two pulp drying lines. Additional ‘key technologies’ such as an evaporation machine and a white liquor machine were supplied by Valmet. RGE acquired the Lençóis Paulista plant in Lwarcel in 2018. In addition to the two new fibre lines, the mill also houses an old 250,000 tpy BEK pulp line.


Published on 02/06/2022

Kerala Paper launches newsprint mill in India

New newsprint capabilities have been put online in India. How? By restarting the Hindustan Newsprint papermill, located in the south of the country, which had been closed for more than three years. Kerala Paper is behind this re-start. At the end of the recovery program, the mill will be able to start newsprint and printing paper production. The final phase will focus on the restructuring of existing machines towards kraft paper packaging grades production. For initial production trials, the site uses its own de-inked pulp and pulp purchased from Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited. It should be noted that plans are underway to roll out a paper collection program as well.


Published on 02/06/2022

RDM to increase its GD production

RDM will increase its GD production capacity by up to 200,000 t over the next 3 years. To do this, the manufacturer will increase the capacity of existing mills, including the French Blendecques mills. The unit’s start up is scheduled for early next year. The goal is to meet European demand, which has increased over the past 18 months. RDM Blendecques is a manufacturer of recycled carton board, located in the north of France near Saint-Omer. RDM is the largest producer of recycled carton board in Italy, France, the Netherlands and the Iberian Peninsula.


Published on 25/05/2022

Germany: CCL Industries announces major expansion of its factory near Leipzig

Clearly, the label industry continues to make noise. The Canadian label giant CCL Industries will invest 70 million euros in a new 8-metre-wide multi-layer co-extrusion line for its German plant, which is based near Leipzig and managed by its subsidiary Innovia Films. The goal is to produce high-quality, low-thickness labels to meet the growing demand for low-resin materials. The annual capacity of the new production line will be approximately 36,000 tonnes. Production is expected to start in the second half of 2024. Guenther Birkner, Innovia’s President said: "The new line in Germany will provide finer films for the label market, closer to where many customers are located." CCL Industries employs approximately 25,100 people and operates 204 production facilities in 43 countries.


Published on 25/05/2022

STORA ENSO HAS SOLD ITS RUSSIAN PACKAGING BOARD MILLS

Stora Enso has sold its three corrugated board packaging mills (Lukhovitsy, Arzamas and Balabanovo) in Russia. Their total annual production capacity is estimated at 395 million m² of corrugated board packaging. It should be noted that the sale of its mills, which had a turnover of 35 million euros in the first quarter, will have no significant impact on Stora Enso’s annual sales and operational EBIT. As a reminder, the paper manufacturer announced on March 2nd that it would stop all production and sales in Russia until further notice. Last year, Stora Enso had a turnover of 10.2 billion euros.


Published on 25/05/2022

Sylvamo confirms its intention to sell its Russian operations

In its latest press release, Sylvamo announced that it is currently in the process of selling its Russian businesses. It plans to complete this process quickly, including obtaining approval from its board of directors, as well as the government approvals required to complete the transaction. Sylvamo, which is the spin-off of International Paper’s printing paper business, owns the Svetogorsk pulp and paper mill in Russia’s Leningrad region. The Svetogorsk plant employs more than 1,700 people and produces printing papers, carton board for liquid packaging and innovative BCTMP. The plant is also the main supplier of water and electricity to the city of Svetogorsk. In 2021, Russian operations accounted for about 15% of Sylvamo’s total turnover. For the record, Sylvamo announced at the beginning of March that it would suspend its operations in Russia until further notice. Sylvamo is a global paper producer with mills in Europe, Latin America and North America. Its net sales for the past 12 months, ending June 30,th  2021, reached 3.2 billion USD


Published on 25/05/2022

Sappi Stockstadt to replace coal with biomass and natural gas

The response to climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Sappi is committed to this and is focused on decarbonizing its operations. To do so, Sappi will abandon the use of coal at its German site in Stockstadt where it will operate only with renewable biomass and natural gas. The Sappi mill in Stockstadt was founded in 1898 and is one of Sappi Europe’s  ten production sites. Coal removal is expected to reduce annual emissions in Stockstadt by at least 100,000 tonnes of CO2. This corresponds to about 1/3 of the previous fossil emissions. In addition, the project is expected to have many positive environmental benefits in terms of reduced traffic, noise and waste. This transition began in late 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2022. As a reminder, Sappi’s decarbonization targets for 2025 include reducing specific greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and increasing the share of renewable energy in Europe to 50% (compared to 2019). Sappi’s decarbonization roadmap includes nearly 80 projects to be implemented in all European factories between 2021 and 2025.


Published on 25/05/2022

CMPC announces the end of production at several pulp mills

In the turbulent context of ongoing blockades in southern and central Chile, the pulp producer Empresas CMPC has stopped production in its three Chilean pulp mills. As a result, pulp lines with a total capacity of 2.3 million tonnes are currently shut down. But other entities in the group are also affected. The production sites affected by its stops are as follows: the Loncoche sawmill, the Santa Fe pulp mill (celulosa), the Villa Mininco plywood mill, the Mulchen sawmill, the Los Angeles refurbishment plant, the Laja mill (celulosa), the Pacifico plant (celulosa), the Nacimiento sawmill and the Coronel reconditioning plant. Overall, more than 3,000 employees are involved.


Published on 19/05/2022

5 reasons why the pulp market  price is so high

Global average prices for softwood and hardwood pulp increased significantly in 2021, with spot prices soaring in the second quarter.  Despite a decline, they remained significantly high; in 4Q 2021, softwood prices rose by 25% and hardwood prices rocketed by 35% compared to 4Q 2020. According to Fisher International, there are the five main explanations. The first is related to supply chain problems. Shipping times increased by 4% between December 2021 and February 2022 and 21% from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second reason is the fact that South American producers are having difficulty modifying contracts for shipping from Asia to Europe, where prices are more attractive. The third reason is the market for recovered paper. Many expect a difficult year of export for recovered paper in terms of export. The fourth reason is the recent strike in the UMP Finnish factories. Finally, the fifth factor is the war in Ukraine, which, because of the embargoes on the Russian markets, leads to a drop in the tonnage produced on European territory.


Published on 12/05/2022

UPM mills start- up again

After a 16-week strike, UPM’s Finnish paper mills could bring a new twist to the supply-demand relationship in the European print and writing paper markets. After the end of the strike in the UPM mills in Finland on Friday, April 29th, UPM started to be operational right after. Sources close to the company indicated that the Jämsänkoski paper mill (630,000 tpy of SC paper and label/packaging paper) started to produce and sell paper on Thursday, May 6th. The Rauma paper mill, which has a capacity of 665,000 tpy of LWC magazine paper, began operation in early May too. The UPM mill in Kymi (700,000 tpy of coated and uncoated woodfree paper) was expected to enter service in mid-May, while the start-up of the Kaukas paper mill could be slightly delayed due to ongoing maintenance work at the pulp mill.


Published on 12/05/2022

Spain: Successful reconstruction of Papresa’s PM5 in Renteria

In March 2021, Papresa, one of the leading newsprint manufacturers in southern Europe, commissioned Voith to convert its PM5 at its Rentería mill in Spain. One year after the order was placed, the machine was successfully put into service. The machine’s capacity is approximately 205,000 tpy of testliner and fluting, at a design speed of 1200 m/min. This conversion is part of the company’s new strategic plan, launched in 2021, which focuses on paper production for the packaging segment without giving up newsprint, which until 2020 was Papresa’s main activity. Production is concentrated on lightweight packaging between 65 and 140 g/m². The mill’s PM6 machine produces newsprint.


Published on 12/05/2022

EU imports of kraft paper and pulp from Russia are now banned

Sanctions against Russia continue to accumulate. The European Union now includes trade in paper, board and pulp. Depending on the grade of the paper, this can affect imports and/or exports. The regulation, which went into effect the day after it was published on April 8th in the Official Journal of the European Union, contains a number of exceptions, such as commercial contracts signed before April 9th. Article 3i now prohibits the importing products in category 4804, consisting of uncoated kraft paper and board, in rolls or sheets, other than 4802 or 4803. This also applies to products in category 4705, namely wood pulp obtained by a combination of mechanical and chemical pulp reduction processes (CTMP). At the same time, EU producers are not allowed to export to Russia exports of kraft paper and kraft board, testliner, filter paper, special paper and printing and writing paper such as LWC. The ban also applies to exports of carton board and folding boxes, recycled paper (4707 10 and 4707 30) and chemical pulp (4701, 4703 to 4706). Belarus is not directly affected by these sanctions.


Published on 05/05/2022

Mayr-Melnhof Kotkamills modernizes its PM 1 and increases its capacity

After acquiring the Kotka cardboard factory from Kotkamills, Mayr-Melnhof plans to expand the site. MM Kotkamills, part of the Mayr-Melnhof group, will increase the capacity of this factory located in Finland. The company announced that it would upgrade its PM 1 at the site, which can currently manufacture up to 170,000 tpy. The reconstruction work will be carried out by the German engineering company Bellmer. The pre-drying section will also be renewed. Mayr-Melnhof acquired the Kotkamills site last year and stated that it would expand it. In addition to its PM 1, the factory operates a cardboard machine, which was built in 2016 and has a capacity of 400,000 tpy of FBB in virgin fibre and of FSB (Food Service Board). MM Kotkamills said last year that its medium-term goal was to increase the sales volume of its BM 2, which at the time was about 260,000 tpy. The Kotka factory employs 500 people.


Published on 05/05/2022

The Van Genechten packaging factory in Hungary is up and running

Van Genechten Packaging (VGP) has opened its second packaging factory in Komárom, Hungary. The factory started production in April. VG Komárom II, another VG factory, consists of a 10,000 sqm production building, offices and warehouses for raw materials and finished products. Once fully operational, VG Komárom II will create more than 100 jobs. Zsolt Horvath, the director of the VG Komárom I factory, will also be the director of this one. With this factory, VGP is answering the growing demand for alternatives to plastic packaging along with sustainable and recyclable packaging materials. Van Genechten Packaging, headquartered in Turnhout, Belgium, is a large folding box company with ten processing factories and an extrusion site in seven countries. The company employs more than 1,500 people and has an annual turnover of 350 million euros.


Published on 05/05/2022

Corrugated board: the new version of the FEFCO code is available

The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO) has announced the release of the 12th FEFCO code. This code is the internationally applied system for the design of corrugated board packaging. It was developed by the FEFCO in the late 1960’s to replace complicated discussions on packaging design and create a common basis for communication with customers around the world. The code’s evolutions aim to keep up with developments in the corrugated board industry, new technologies used and market developments. More than 100 new designs were integrated, especially in the retail and e-commerce fields.


Published on 05/05/2022

The strike at the Finnish UPM mills is over

Finally! UPM and the Paperiliitto Paper Workers' Union have finally found common ground. Both agreed to the settlement proposals submitted by the conciliator after the negotiations were suspended on April 14th. “We are very pleased that the parties have approved all settlement proposals and that the long strike of the paper workers' union is ending. UPM and the union made history together by agreeing on five company-specific collective labour agreements, which replace the old paper industry agreement. dating back to the 1940’s,” said Riitta Savonlahti, UPM’s Executive Vice-President of Human Resources. The strike concerned UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels sites located in Finland. It began on January 1st, 2022 and lasted 112 days. The company also stated that it would resume deliveries to customers as soon as possible. The duration of the new agreement’s contract is four years. Salary revisions will be negotiated after the first two years.


Published on 28/04/2022

Germany: Mayr-MeInhof plans to reduce its GD carton production in Neuss

The Austrian group Mayr-Melnhof will reduce its GD carton production at its Neuss, Germany mill. The company announced that its GD carton production will be reduced by 50,000 t as of June 2022. At the same site, Mayr-Melnhof plans to increase its recycled liner.


Published on 28/04/2022

Cepi gives an overview of the paper situation in Europe

Like all industries, the paper industry, which is already experiencing supply difficulties and shortages, is feeling the brunt of the Ukraine conflict. Bernard Lombard, Trade & Industrial Policy Director of Cepi (pictured here), gave Pap'Argus an overview of the situation in Europe, which was published in the French version of Pap’Argus last month, along with an analysis from Paul-Antoine Lacour, Copacel’s General Delegate, specifically tailored to the French market. Finland (20%), Germany (15%) and Poland (13%) account for about half of the EU‘s  paper and board exports to Ukraine, with around 212,000 tonnes of products. They are closely followed by Hungary (10%), Austria (9%) and Sweden (8%). Germany and Sweden account for 55% of EU pulp exports to Ukraine. Finland is by far the largest paper and board exporter to Russia, contributing 54% of all EU exports to Russia. Germany (16%), Poland (6%) and Sweden (6%) also export paper and paperboard to Russia, but at much lower volumes. As for pulp, almost 70% of EU exports to Russia come from Finland (45%) and Sweden (25%). To date, the EU-Ukraine trade in pulp and paper is almost one-way, with approximately 440,000 tonnes of paper and paperboard imported from the EU. Ukraine’s exports are very limited. Belarus is similar, importing even less volumes, 60,000 tonnes of paper and board from the EU. As far as Russia is concerned, that is another story. About 900,000 tonnes of paper and board are imported by Russia from the EU, while Russia exports nearly 700,000 tonnes to the EU. Italy (23%), Germany (19%) and Poland (8%) account for 50% of Russian exports to the EU. About two-thirds are packing grades, with boxes accounting for 43% of all exports. As far as pulp is concerned, EU-Russia trade is fairly balanced with around 400,000 tonnes traded in total.


Published on 21/04/2022

Mayr-Melnhof has stopped carton board deliveries to Russia

The Austrian group Mayr-Melnhof (MM), one of the main producers of carton board and folding boxes in Europe, is no longer supplying Russia with carton board. The group also announced a global, financial and overall support program for its employees in Ukraine and their families. According to the Mayr-Melnhof Packaging website, the MMP site in the village of Villozi south of Saint Petersburg which includes MM Polygrafoformlenie Packaging and MM Polygrafoformlenie Rotogravure, is the largest producer of folding boxes in the region as well as the market leader in the Russian Federation. The factories mainly supply the food, personal care and cigarette packaging markets. Including their most recent acquisitions, the MM Group generates a turnover of around 3.2 billion euros and employs 12,500 people.


Published on 21/04/2022

Lila Kagit increases its tissue production capacity

The Turkish paper and hygiene manufacturer Lila Kagit, founded in 2006 by the Lila conglomerate group, is continuing its rapid expansion. In mid-February, Lila Kagit started up its fourth paper machine at the Corlu mill and expanded its production capacity to a total of 270,000 tonnes of tissue per year. As a result, it is  one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of toilet paper. The four paper machines come from the Finnish machine manufacturer Valmet. The TM 4 can reach up to 2,200 m/min and can produce up to 70,000 t/year of fresh fibre toilet paper.


Published on 14/04/2022

Finnish paper manufacturer Stora Enso wants to sell four graphic paper mills

Breaking news! The Nordic paper manufacturer Stora Enso has started a process to possibly sell four sites that produce mostly coated and uncoated for publishing, newsprint and improved newsprint for the press. This is in-line with the group’s strategy to focus on the long-term growth potential of its renewable products in packaging, construction solutions and biomaterials innovations. More specifically, the paper production sites to be sold are the following: Anjala in Finland, Hylte and Nymölla in Sweden and Maxau in Germany. The Stora Enso site in Langerbrugge, Belgium will remain within the group. Stora Enso currently has five paper production sites that are supported by sales, management and divisional administration functions. In total, the Paper division currently employs approximately 2,200 people. In 2021, the Paper division’s turnover was €1,703 million.


Published on 07/04/2022

A major fire broke out in Blendecques' RDM board mill

From 4 pm to 10 pm on March 22nd, firefighters battled a fire that spread through the RDM cardboard mill (formerly Cascades) in Blendecques, in Pas-de-Calais, near Saint-Omer. They were finally able to contain the fire. According to witnesses, the fire started in a storage building, at the level of a baling press before spreading to the paper roll stock and the cutting room. Luckily, none of the 72 employees present were injured and the paper machine was not touched. The Italian recycled cardboard producer RDM to reassured its teams by stating that although the plant’s production was temporarily suspended, the main production line was not damaged. Under normal circumstances, RDM Blendecques has an annual production capacity of 140,000 tonnes.


Published on 07/04/2022

Cartiera Giacosa started a kraftliner PM at the Front Canavese papermill in Italy

Andritz successfully started the rebuilt kraftliner paper machine PM2 for Cartiera Giacosa in its mill in Front Canavese, Italy. With a design speed of 400 m/min, it produces kraftliner in the range of 170 to 225 g/m². Andritz also received an additional order to further improve the machine’s performance. Marco Roscio, Cartiera Giacosa’s CEO, said: "Thanks to this successful reconstruction, we can now produce our kraftliner more efficiently and sustainably. Our PM2 offers potential for further improvement, especially in terms of better quality and profiles - so it is no surprise that we have partnered again with Andritz." Cartiera Giacosa was founded in 1961 and specializes in the production of decorative paper production and kraft paper for laminated plastic, mainly used in furniture.


Published on 07/04/2022

ND Paper is converting the Biron paper machine B26

ND Paper, the American subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper, like many of its competitors, is now making packaging products. At the ND Paper plant in Biron, Wisconsin, USA, the company announced that it will convert its B26 paper machine. The Biron division employs over 300 full-time people and operates two paper production lines with a combined annual production capacity of approximately 530,000 short tons. Its B25 paper machine produces about 270,000 short tons per year of corrugated board and linerboard for packaging applications, while its B26 machine produces about 260,000 short tons per year of lightweight coated mechanical paper for uses such as catalogues, magazines and retail inserts. Once the conversion is complete, the machine and plant will have increased annual production capacity. The B26 machine will have a capacity of over 500,000 short tons of wrapping paper, and the plant, in total, will have a capacity of over 800,000 short tons. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2022 with start-up expected by the end of 2022. These changes support the Biron Division’s strategic transformation. In recent years, demand for packaging qualities, such as kraft paper and paperboard lining, has grown substantially due to a shift towards e-commerce along with the consumer demand for more sustainable products. This growth should logically continue in the future.


Published on 07/04/2022

Liansheng Pulp & Paper invests in new pulp mill in Zhangzhou

Andritz received an order from Chinese pulp and paper producer Liansheng Pulp & Paper to supply the most value-added and resource-efficient technologies for a new pulp mill in Zhangzhou located in Fujian province, China. The new site is scheduled to start in mid-2024. Liansheng Pulp & Paper is a new production facility of Liansheng Paper.  It was created in April 2020 to enter the domestic paper production industry. Liansheng Paper is Fujian’s largest wrapping paper manufacturer in China.


Published on 07/04/2022

Mayr-Melnhof has stopped carton board deliveries to Russia

The Austrian group Mayr-Melnhof (MM), one of the main producers of carton board and folding boxes in Europe, is no longer supplying Russia with carton board. The group also announced a global, financial and overall support program for its employees in Ukraine and their families. According to the Mayr-Melnhof Packaging website, the MMP site in the village of Villozi south of Saint Petersburg which includes MM Polygrafoformlenie Packaging and MM Polygrafoformlenie Rotogravure, is the largest producer of folding boxes in the region as well as the market leader in the Russian Federation. The factories mainly supply the food, personal care and cigarette packaging markets. Including their most recent acquisitions, the MM Group generates a turnover of around 3.2 billion euros and employs 12,500 people.


Published on 31/03/2022

Norske Skog Bruck Publishing Paper Mill Starts Producing Again

The war in Ukraine continues, but the gas market is stabilizing. This helps explains Norske Skog’s decision to resume operations at its Bruck site in Austria. The paper manufacturer stopped producing newsprint and magazine paper on March 9th due to operational difficulties caused by the significant energy price increases. The company also announced the upcoming opening of a new waste-to-energy facility at the Bruck plant. This should reduce the plant’s exposure to gas prices which is certainly a wise move these days.


Published on 31/03/2022

Ankutsan to increase its corrugated board production capacity in Turkey

Several new corrugated board capacity projects are being implemented in Europe. The Turkish company Ankutsan has announced a new PM for fresh fibres and recycled corrugated board. In January, the Turkish paper and packaging producer began construction of the second production hall at its site in Adana, Turkey. The company is investing 60 million euros in its expansion project and plans to put its new corrugated board machine into service in the fourth quarter of 2023. This new equipment will produce kraftliner, kraftliner substitute, corrugated board and testliner in the weight range from 80 to 270 g/m².


Published on 25/03/2022

Ukrainian Pulp and Paper Industry shuts down

It was a foregone conclusion: with Russia’s war against Ukraine, virtually all Ukrainian pulp and paper companies stopped production in the afternoon of February 24. Eduard Litvak, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Pulp and Paper Industry Association (UkrPapir), based in Kiev, made the announcement. He explained that the military operations that were taking place throughout the country had led to a break in the supply chains and that, for the sake of safety for the employees, the factories had been temporarily closed.


Published on 17/03/2022

Italian Pro-Gest suspends production of all its factories

The war in Ukraine and exorbitant energy prices left their first traces in the paper industry. The ProGest packaging group has announced a temporary halt in the production of all its paper mills in Italy. As a reminder, the Italian producer operates nine machines in its six paper mills. We see that the price of natural gas today is more than ten times higher than it was twelve months ago and has tripled in just over a week. We will do our best to accompany our customers by assessing the delivery situation on a case-by-case basis. We sincerely hope to be able to resume production as soon as the situation allows,' the company said in a statement. To date, the Pro-Management Group employs around 400 people in Italy.


Published on 17/03/2022

Norske Skog suspends production at Bruck plant

Due to the unaffordable nature of operations in the current energy environment, temporary shutdowns have been initiated at the Norske Skog paper mill in Bruck, Austria. The publishing paper manufacturer temporarily stopped production at this plant. Norske Skog Bruck houses two machines with a production capacity of 120,000 tpa of newsprint and 260,000 tpa of coated magazine paper (LWC).


Published on 17/03/2022

Germany: Delivery times for virgin fibre board increase from 4 to 16 weeks

The latest report from Fachverband Faltschachtel-Industrie (FFI), the German association that represents folding box companies, shows that communication in the supply chain has improved significantly compared to the pre-Covid era for almost 90% of the 40 participating folding box manufacturers, though not in the same way for all customers.  “A fundamental change in mindset is needed, especially among brand owners and retail customers,” observed Andreas Helbig, the FFI’s board of Directors spokesman. He added, “Folding boxes are becoming increasingly popular. As at the moment, we think the demand for recyclable and durable folding boxes will also increase in the post-Corona era” At the same time, current peaks in demand are meeting supply that is working at full load.  He told customers in the folding box industry that “what we need is the safety and predictability to be able to plan. Now we need much more open communication between suppliers, processors and customers to rebalance the demand for folding boxes and the carton and board supply.“ According to the survey, only 12.5% of participants believe that current delivery times for virgin fibre board among existing customers have not changed since October 2021. By the same token, 77.5% of folding carton manufacturers report extensions of between 4 to 16 weeks. The same goes for recycled cardboard. No surprises on prices: they have increased! The majority of survey respondents reported price increases of at least two digits, regardless of fibre type. Price increases since October 2021 have gone up to 25% for recycled board, and in some cases more than 30%. For virgin fibre board, price increases since then have increased up to 25%.


Published on 11/03/2022

Several Finnish UPM papermills continue to be on strike

Intense negotiations between UPM and the paper workers' union continue… as well as the strikes.  The announcement was recently made by the Paper Workers' Union and it suggested a three-week extension of the strike in most Finnish UPM factories until April 2, 2022, unless new collective agreements are concluded by then. For the record, the union strike in the UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac mills in Finland began on January 1, 2022. As a reminder, in 2020, strikes causing the closure of UPM’s pulp and paper mills for two weeks and its wood and plywood mills for four weeks cost them an estimated 30 million euros.


Published on 11/03/2022

Sappi wants to increase its Carmignano site production capacity

The South African paper manufacturer Sappi will invest at least €10 million to expand its Italian mill in Carmignano dedicated to special papers. What is its objective? The company wants to support the thermal sublimation industry’s current growth. Even in 2018, Sappi recognized the importance of sublimation paper for digital transfer printing. The company had even taken over Cham Paper Group’s specialty paper business with high-performance mills in Carmignano and Condino (Italy). The opening of the Digital Solutions Center in Carmignano a year later supported the launch of other product innovations in the sublimation printing field - such as the Transjet Tacky Industrial and Transjet Drive. "By expanding our Carmignano mill, we can offer a complete in-house solution for sublimation papers, from development and production through conversion to shipping. This will allow us to maintain the highest quality standards in all stages of production and provide world-class service to our customers, while having a positive impact on our CO2 emissions", said Pierluigi Masi, the Carmignano paper mill’s director. Site work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.


Published on 11/03/2022

Georgia-Pacific Will Invest Over $500 Million in its Green Bay Plant

Georgia-Pacific has announced significant investments totalling more than $500 million for its Green Bay, Wisconsin, mill which will significantly improve the company’s retail paper and towel business. Investments in the Green Bay plant include the construction of a new paper machine which will use “through air-drying” technology. (TAD), as well as the additional associated converting equipment and infrastructure. The new machine is scheduled to be operational in the first half of 2024. Approximately 150 jobs will be created to operate the new paper mill complex, in addition to the 850 current employees. To date, the Green Bay Broadway mill operates seven paper machines and several processing operations which manufacture toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and tissues for retail and away- from -home use. Remember that Georgia-Pacific withdrew from the European market about ten years ago by selling its tissue business to SCA.


Published on 04/03/2022

Russia: Arkhbum-Upak LLC wants to become the leading paper bag producer

Russian Arkhbum-Upak LLC, part of the Austrian Pulp Mill Holding, increased its paper bag production by 162% to 71 million units in 2021. The company has also expanded its export range. Deliveries are now destined for both markets in the CIS countries and European countries, such as Germany and France. Arkhbum-Upak LLC currently specializes in the production of kraft paper bags with a 140 to 540 mm width that have twisted and flat handles. Their customers are mainly large domestic and foreign chains, such as McDonald’s, KFC, Adidas, in particular, along with   others. The company recently acquired a factory in the city of Kolomna to create a single modern production complex. After moving to a new site and installing additional equipment, the company’s productivity will increase to 120 million eco-friendly packagings per year.  That will depend on the current political situation.


Published on 04/03/2022

Stora Enso has doubled its production capacity in Hylte

Stora Enso is investing €8 million to double its European shaped fibres production capacity. With new machines in Hylte, Sweden, Stora Enso will be able to meet the growing demand for shaped fibres. This investment further strengthens Stora Enso’s position as a leading supplier of renewable materials that replace fossil materials. Stora Enso’s shaped fibre products are currently used in food packaging such as bowls, trays and lids. The technology is also used for the development of fibre bottles. Once the investment is complete, the annual fibre capacity of the Hylte site will increase from 50 to approximately 115 million product units, making Stora Enso one of Europe’s leading suppliers of shaped fibre. Shaped fibre is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and can be used to replace plastics in a wide range of applications. PureFiber from Stora Enso is thus a range of shaped fibre products that do not contain perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and have a CO2 footprint up to 75% lower than than alternative packaging materials such as plastic and bagasse. In addition to shaped fibre products, Stora Enso produces newsprint in Hylte with a yearly capacity of 240,000 t.  Stora Enso is committed to offering 100% regenerative products and solutions by 2050.


Published on 24/02/2022

Leipa to restructure Schrobenhausen site

The German paper manufacturer Leipa is reorienting its businesses by optimising and structurally modernizing its sites. The family business, led by CEO Peter Probst, announced its intention to transform its Schrobenhausen site based near Munich. The projects include the permanent closure of the site’s paper machine, which currently produces mainly envelope papers. Investments will also include extensions and upgrades to the carton & board machine. The restructuring plans also include the construction of a power plant in Schrobenhausen.


Published on 24/02/2022

A new corrugated board factory to be built in Washington State

Word on the street is that the paper & board packaging manufacturer Westrock has decided to build a corrugated board box factory in Longview, Washington. What is their objective? They hope to meet the growing demand of clients in the Pacific  Northwest. The new factory will serve all segments of the industry in the Pacific Northwestern markets. Once completed, this new factory will replace the company’s current corrugated board operations in Longview.


Published on 24/02/2022

Norske Skog Golbey awarded the ecological transition award

Bérangère Abba, Secretary of State for Biodiversity, presented the Norske Skog Golbey site located in the Vosges with the ‘Ecological Transition’ Award during the 3rd edition of the ‘Choose France 2021’ Awards. Organized by Business France, this award recognizes international investors and their contribution to the France Relance plan. In this case, it rewarded the Box project, created to convert one of the newsprint production lines to corrugated paper. Norske Skog Golbey was selected among 50 entrees! Don’t forget that Norske Skog diversified its production towards CCM. Specifically, Norske Skog will enter the European packaging market at the end of 2022, when the converted PM 3 from Norske Skog Bruck in Austria will begin producing CCM. Almost a year later, Norske Skog Golbey will follow suite, when its converted PM 1 will be fully operational. At full capacity, the two paper machines will produce up to 760,000 t/year of testliner 3 and recycled flute grades.


Published on 17/02/2022
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