Our News - Industries

Kimberly-Clark is pleased with its 2023 record

Kimberly-Clark’s CEO Mike Hsu expressed his satisfaction with the company’s annual performance. The American consumer products group, known for its Huggies, Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle brands, posted a 1% increase in sales to $20.4 billion, with organic growth of 5%. It’s annual operating profit was $2.34 billion in 2023, compared to $2.68 billion in 2022. In 2024, the Kimberly-Clark company which turned 150 last year, expressed confidence in its strategic foundations and financial position.


Published on 15/02/2024

Spain: Smurfit spends €54 million to double the capacity of its Ibi Alicante Bag-in-Box factory

There was a new announcement from Smurfit Kappa that it will invest 54 million euros in its Ibi Alicante Bag-in-Box factory.  What are their objectives? To double the factory’s capacity and to strengthen the sustainability of factory operations and product portfolio. Bag-in-Box Ibi Alicante has a strong track record in recycling and has several state-of-the-art systems to identify and separate by-products. For the record, 90 million euros has been spent in the Ibi factory over the past decade. Bag-in-Box Ibi creates a wide range of products for wine, dairy products, liquid eggs, cooking oils and water. Smurfit Kappa is the leading supplier of Bag-in-Box in Europe.


Published on 15/02/2024

13.5% decline in French paper and board production in 2023

According to the latest COPACEL statistics, the production of paper and board in France fell by 13.5% in 2023, with 6.13 million tonnes produced compared to 7.09 in 2022. The decline affected the entire industry, particularly the graphics grades, which fell by 36.1%, with 760,500 tonnes produced in 2023 compared to 1.18 million the previous year. The packaging segment fell by 8.3%, with carton board at -18.5%. The sanitary and household paper segment fell the least, to -7.5%. In this context, pulp production fell by 18.9%, and the consumption of paper and recycled board by 5.3%. It should be noted, however, that this downward trend has been declining since March 2023, when the sector recorded a 20.9% decline in production.

You can find all the December 2023 statistics for the French paper and board production on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 15/02/2024

Stora Enso announced new job cuts

Due to the continued weak and uncertain market environment, Stora Enso plans to launch a new plan, which could result in a potential reduction of around 1,000 employees. The majority of the savings would materialize in 2025, and most of the downsizing is expected to take place in the first half of 2024. “While challenging, this plan is necessary to ensure our long-term success and competitiveness. Last year, we completed a restructuring program that led to the identification of synergy opportunities, which we plan to seize through our new earnings improvement initiative. We are facing a persistent weakness in the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment and need to focus on our core business activities that align with our strategy,” said Hans Sohlström, Stora Enso’s President and CEO. As a reminder, at the end of last year, Stora Enso completed a restructuring program launched in June 2023. This program resulted in an annual improvement in operational EBIT of €110 million and the elimination of 1150 employees.


Published on 15/02/2024

Antalis acquired Tecnoprimaf

Antalis is continuing to develop at a high speed with more external growth operations. The acquisition of Tecnoprimaf is the third since the beginning of the year. It comes after 100 Metros, the Portuguese market leader, and the Pakella group, based in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Tecnoprimaf was founded in 1988 and it specializes in the manufacture and distribution of wood packaging and anti-corrosion solutions for manufacturers. With a consolidated turnover of 26 million euros in 2023 and 80 employees, Tecnoprimaf has 5 sites in Italy. Thanks to this latest acquisition Antalis has become the leader in custom packaging solutions in the Italian market. Antalis, already well established in Europe, continues to expand its presence in the packaging market.


Published on 15/02/2024

5 specific policies are needed to achieve the European paper industry climate neutrality

The European Association of Paper Manufacturers (CEPI) has published a list of policies to be implemented to achieve climate neutrality of the paper industry in Europe by 2050. To do so, they will focus on the specific needs of the forest fibre and paper industry which are: ensuring that industry has access to abundant and affordable fossil energy for electricity and heat generation; facilitating renewable energy production; promoting emissions reductions on an industrial scale; setting up financial instruments to mitigate the risks associated with industrial investments; and encouraging innovation. This approach comes at a time when the European Parliament’s next elections and the renewal of the European Commission are looming. CEPI’s Chief Executive Officer Jori Ringman highlighted the risks of de-industrialization and increased global CO2 emissions if the balance between decarbonization and competitiveness is not found.

 


Published on 08/02/2024

Strikes in Finland!

It is winter, it is cold and there are ... strikes. Our industry is no exception as there were strikes in Finland between February 1st and 3rd, 2024. Companies in the paper sector and the entire forest products industry were involved. According to the Finnish paper workers' union Paperiliitto, the affected mills in the paper and forest products industry were Stora Enso Enocell, Imatra (Kaukopää and Tainionkoski), Oulu and Varkaus, as well as UPM’s Kaukas, Kymi, Pietarsaari and Rauma. According to the industrial union Teollisuusliitto, the Metsä group, Mölnlycke and the engineering group Valmet were also affected by the strikes. As the Finnish transport workers' union AKT participated in the strikes, there was also an impact on the country’s logistics operations. Operations in all Finnish seaports were suspended from February 1st at 6 am to 3 February 3rd at 6 am. Restrictions on goods transportation by road and air were also expected.


Published on 08/02/2024

UTIPULP: Increase in pulp stocks among European paper manufacturers

December Utipulp data indicated that pulp stocks among European paper mills were up 0.8% between November 2023 and December 2023 (740,933 tonnes versus 747,209 tonnes), and up 5% from December 2022 (711,756 tonnes). Total pulp consumption fell 8% month-over-month to 824,389 tonnes in November 2023, from 757,265 in December 2023, and increased 3.2% year-over-year. The number of days of stocks remained stable, at 29 days between November and December.

 

You can find these statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 08/02/2024

RDM will increase its prices

Italian recycled carton board manufacturer Reno de Medici (RDM) has informed customers of its intention to increase the price of recycled carton board by €60 (or £50/t). The new prices are valid for carton board shipped as of March 1st. Note that RDM recently announced its intention to close its Italian mill in Santa Lucia, thus removing about 220,000 tpa of WLC from the market. In addition, the group’s Blendecques mill in France operated at reduced capacity after a flood in the Q4 in 2023.


Published on 08/02/2024

Packaging: Antalis acquired Pakella

 There was a new external growth operation for Antalis (Kokusai Pulp & Paper group) which acquired Pakella, a major player in the distribution of industrial and food packaging in the Baltic countries. Pakella achieved a turnover of 15 million euros in 2023 and has 60 employees spread over three distribution sites. Hervé Poncin (see photo), Antalis’ CEO, welcomed the transaction and said, “The acquisition of Pakella is a great opportunity. It will allow Antalis to significantly develop its existing packaging distribution business in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It demonstrates to our consumers the interest we have in the Baltic countries following the acquisition of Hansapakend in Estonia in 2015.”


Published on 08/02/2024

Sappi Europe's CEO Marco Eikelenboom is the new CEPI president

Mr. Elkelenboom succeeds Ilkka Hämälä, (Metsä) as President of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). A Dutch citizen, he has held several positions within Sappi. He was Managing Director of Sappi Benelux in 1998 and Marketing Director of the Fine Paper division of Sappi Southern Africa in 2002. In 2004, he was appointed Marketing and Sales Director for Graphic Papers at Sappi Europe, then Vice-President of the same branch in 2009. On April 1st,2021, he became CEO of Sappi Europe in Brussels.

 


Published on 08/02/2024

Primestone Capital Expressed Objections to WestRock/Smurfit Kappa Merger

0.8% is the stake in Smurfit Kappa held by the private equity firm PrimeStone Capital, which has expressed concerns about the merger with Westrock. In a public letter to the board of directors of the Irish group at the end of 2023, PrimeStone Capital questioned if it was the right move. PrimeStone also mentioned a strategic alternative to the potential acquisition of Westrock Company, namely a merger with International Paper


Published on 01/02/2024

Schumacher Packaging started its PM 2 in Myszków, Poland

The German paper and packaging supplier, Schumacher Packaging, is off to a good start this year as it announced the successful start of its PM 2 in Myszków, Poland. With the exception of a few existing components, the entire production line was upgraded by Voith. The reconstruction allowed Schumacher Packaging to double its production capacity from 500 to 1,000 t/j. In the process, it drastically reduces waste and reduces the consumption of fiber, energy and fresh water. In 2016, Schumacher Packaging acquired the Myszków mill, which produced newsprint at the time. By investing 100 million euros, it reconfigured the machine to produce corrugated paper.


Published on 01/02/2024

Office Depot UK & Ireland signed a partnership with Office Depot France

This partnership agreement was concluded on January 10th, 2024. This alliance is the beginning of a process to forge more strategic partnerships across Europe, thus strengthening the group’s global presence. Following a 2021 decision by Lille’s court, the Alkor group (Majuscule, Burolike and Ioburo) took over Office Depot France (https://officedepot.fr/), which had filed from bankrupcy.


Published on 01/02/2024

Euro-Graph: Total deliveries of graphic papers in the first 11 months of 2023 fell by 24%

The latest data from Euro-Graph, the European association of graphic paper producers, showed a 24% decrease in total deliveries of graphic paper in November, with 14.7 million tonnes vs 19.3 over the same period of 2022. These results reflected the difficult economic conditions in a market that continued to tighten. More specifically, deliveries in Europe fell by 26% while those outside Europe fell by 17%.  European demand contracted by 24%. The largest drop in European shipments was in coated woodfree, with -37% in the first 11 months, followed by SC magazine, at -25% for coated and uncoated mechanical, at -23%.

 

You can find all these statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 01/02/2024

Sappi stops paper production in Sappi Lanaken

The persistent global economic slowdown is proving more severe than expected, with market depression, geopolitical instability and weak economic growth combining to exert significant pressure on Sappi, particularly in Europe. As a result, Sappi has decided to stop paper production at Lanaken. The site closure is expected to be completed in Q2 2024. Details regarding the financial impact once all closing items are considered will be provided when the Q1 financial results are announced. For Sappi, its strategic objective is to reduce its exposure to the graphic papers segment while expanding its packaging, special papers, paper pulp and biomaterials presence. While continuing to serve the graphic paper market, Sappi’s overall priority will be to develop the packaging and specialty segment, especially in flexible packaging, functional papers, stickers including glassine, labels, and thermal sublimation. Sappi Lanaken is an integrated pulp and paper mill located in Belgium, which employed 581 workers with a production capacity of 165,000 tpa of pulp used to produce 530,000 tpa of coated woodfree paper, mainly sold in the European printing market.


Published on 25/01/2024

Paprec becomes a Helvetia Environnement shareholder

Paprec, present in Switzerland for 13 years with six sites, has become a minority shareholder in Helvetia Environnement, along with Swiss financial investors who continue to hold the majority of the Helvetia Environnement group.  According to Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, President of Paprec International, ”We have had great success in Switzerland with the takeover of the Lottner Group to form Paprec Switzerland. We will now also support the development of Helvetia Environnement to make Switzerland an exemplary pioneer of the circular economy in Europe,” Helvetia is a leader in waste collect and treatment in Switzerland, with 450 employees at 22 sites and 350,000 tonnes of waste collected per year. Paprec has 15,000 employees at 300 sites in ten countries. Its projected revenue for 2024 is 3 billion euros.


Published on 25/01/2024

Mondi invests €20 million in its Neusieder mill

The paper manufacturer Mondi’s goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and improve the operational safety of its uncoated paper mill Neusiedler in Lower Austria. It set these three goals through an investment of around 20 million euros. The project includes the modernization of the recovery boiler, pulp dryer, and steam turbine of the pulp mill. This supports Mondi’s ambitious commitments to sustainable development, with a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20%, NOx emissions up to 10% and gas consumption of about 25%. Work has already begun and the investment program is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.


Published on 25/01/2024

The RDM Villa Santa Lucia mill could close permanently

Production at the RDM Villa Santa Lucia carton board mill in Italy has been stopped since last July. The Italian manufacturer of recycled carton board RDM is considering closing for good. RDM informed the representatives of the trade unions that it would initiate the procedure to stop production at the Villa Santa Lucia mill, resulting in the dismissal of 163 employees. For the record, the RDM Villa Santa Lucia mill houses a panel machine with a capacity of up to 220,000 tpa of WLC, mainly GD-Liner. The mill also operates a finishing department.

 


Published on 25/01/2024

PPPC: Slight increase in total pulp deliveries year-to-year in November

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total pulp deliveries increased slightly by 1.7% over the first 11 months of 2023, with 49.63 million tonnes, compared to 48.78 over the same period of 2022. The participation rate was 89% like last year. At 4.7 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries increased by 5.3% in November 2023 compared to October 2023, and by 8.3% compared to November 2022. Mill inventories were down 1 day from the previous month to 40 days and 5 days down from November 2022. Softwood deliveries increased very slightly year-to-year by 0.2% and hardwood sales were up 4.5%. At 18.71 million tonnes, compared to 14.92 million the previous year, pulp deliveries to China in the first 11 months of 2023 increased by 25.3%. It Is the only destination, along with the Latin America region (+3%), where volume increased compared to 2022.

You can find all the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) November 2023’s statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 25/01/2024

To guarantee that a book has been written by a human being the "Label Création humaine" exists!

Did you know that thousands of books are written by artificial intelligence under alias on Amazon?!  This is possible thanks to its Kindle Direct Publishing tool which allows 'anyone' to edit a book, without it being controlled or proofread. To avoid that, a label will be set up to guarantee that a book was indeed written by a human. How? Believe it or not, by using artificial intelligence, which will determine if the text was indeed designed by a human being! Credit for this initiative goes to Librinova, a company that allows self-publishing, which has partnered in this approach with Label Human Creation, launched in 2023 that aims to certify written, audiovisual, or musical works. The service will be operational as of mid-January. The label can be applied on the cover of any author who would like to have it.


Published on 25/01/2024

Stora Enso to start negotiations on possible furlough in its Oulu and Imatra factories

Stora Enso has gotten off to a difficult start of the year and will be negotiating possible temporary layoffs at its two mills in Oulu and Imatra, Finland. In practice, these negotiations are a preventive measure in the event that temporary redundancies may be necessary. If necessary, a total of 90 days of redundancies could then be taken in 2024, but as of now no concrete decision has been taken. Stora Enso produces up to 450,000 t/p of kraft paper at its Oulu mill, which also has a pulp production capacity of 530,000 t/p. The mill, which is part of the company’s packaging division and produced coated woodfree paper until September 2020. It is currently converting the second PM to produce carton board (FBB, CUK) for the food industry. Once completed, the converted PM 6 will have a production capacity of about 750,000 tonnes per year. As for Stora Enso’s Imatra mill complex, there are two production units, Kaukopää and Tainionkoski, where it produces carton board for the packaging of consumer products, including polymer-coated grades, with a production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per year.


Published on 18/01/2024

Toscotec delivers a reconstruction of the drying section to the Papeteries de Clairefontaine

The graphic paper manufacturer Les Papeteries de Clairefontaine started its PM 6 after the reconstruction of a drying section at its Etival Clairefontaine mill, located 90km’s from Strasbourg. It is supplied by Toscotec. This machine produces graphic paper in a weight range from 60 to 100 g/m². The reconstruction allowed the length of the drying face of the PM 6 to increase without changing the total width of the machine frame. Located in the middle of the Vosges forest, the Papeteries de Clairefontaine  has been in existance since 1858 and employs more than 500 employees within the Exacompta Clairefontaine group. Clairefontaine delivers 170,000 tonnes of uncoated printing-writing paper per year to its customers.


Published on 18/01/2024

France reduced its pulp trade in the first nine months of 2023

The latest French customs data compiled by Pap'Argus show that pulp import volumes were reduced by 17.4% in the first 9 months of 2023, compared to the same period of 2022, with 1.21 million tonnes against 1.46. Same trend in exports, with France exporting 401,739 tonnes compared to 463,350 over the same period in 2022, down 13.3%. More specifically, France reduced imports from its main supplier country, Brazil (-9.4%), but also Sweden (-18.3%) and Uruguay (-18.6%). Despite a net increase in exports to China of 63.7%, France recorded a decline in exports to Italy (-5.2%), Germany (-46.4%) and Spain (-52.8%). These figures reflect the weakness of the paper industry over the first three quarters of 2023.

 

 You can find all the October 2023’s French customs data on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 18/01/2024

Essity will keep its Consumer Tissue division

In April 2023, Essity announced that it would begin a reorganization of its Consumer Tissue Private Label Europe division. The objective was to reduce the share of this division in the total turnover of the company. Finally, after reviewing all the balance sheets, the Swedish hygiene group concluded that the division was competitive and value-creating. The net sales of the Consumer Tissue Private Label Europe division were around SEK 9.8 billion (around €875 million) in 2022. The subsidiary has a total of seven production sites in Germany, Belgium, Italy and France with approximately 1,900 employees. Essity also announced its intention to divest its stake in Chinese paper manufacturer Vinda International Holdings to Isola Castle, a subsidiary of Indonesian pulp and paper producer Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (April). Essity currently holds a total stake of 51.59% in Vinda.


Published on 18/01/2024

Heinzel completed the purchase of the UPM Steyrermühl paper mill and sawmill in Austria

The Austrian group Heinzel announced that it has completed the acquisition of the UPM Steyrermühl mill in Upper Austria. This strategic decision reinforces Heinzel’s commitment to the paper and packaging industry. In March 2023, ownership of an unused graphic paper machine in Steyrermühl transferred to Heinzel, which then began converting the plant to produce up to 150,000 tpa of low-weight brown and white kraft paper from the starkraft brand. The mill shut down newsprint production in the 2nd quarter of 2023. With this acquisition, Heinzel also took over the Steyrermühl sawmill, a local power plant operated with biomass and residues, etc. Heinzel plans to transform the Steyrermühl sawmill site into a heat and renewable energy supply centre for the nearby paper mill in Laakirchen and for the Laakirchen municipality. With its production companies Zellstoff Pöls, Laakirchen Papier, Raubling Papier and Estonian Cell, Heinzel is one of the largest pulp and paper producers in Central and Eastern Europe.


Published on 11/01/2024

Further sharp decline in the Eurozone manufacturing business in December

The Eurozone manufacturing sector (44.4) remained firmly down at the end of 2023, with output continuing to decline while employment fell for a seventh consecutive month. The French manufacturing sector (42.1) also ended an extremely difficult 2023. production, new orders and purchasing continued to decline. Norman Liebke, an economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank, pointed out that, “French manufacturing is in a downward spiral. Tighter financial conditions and rising prices weighed on demand, leading to a decline in new orders, output, and employment. (…) The survey points to sluggish activity prospects for 2024, with business pessimism explained by the risk of economic contraction and prolonged decline in demand.

While the German manufacturing sector (43.3) also ended the year firmly anchored in contraction territory, there are signs that the worst of the recession is over. (…)

Services activity in the Eurozone (48.8) fell for a fifth consecutive month, though it recorded its smallest decline over this period. More specifically, against a backdrop of fragile demand, France (45.7) recorded a further decline in services activity, in line with the trend observed throughout the second quarter of 2023. (…)

 

(You can find the Index for December on our website, www.pap-argus.com, in the Index section)


Published on 11/01/2024

Mayr-Melnhof's PM 3 at the Kwidzyn mill in Poland will stop kraft paper production

The company announced that it had concluded discussions with the factory’s employee representatives to permanently suspend the machine. Following this decision, the production of Ipack Essential, Ipack Brown and Ipack Ultra kraft packaging grades will be discontinued. PM 3’s final production is taking place now in January 2024. The machine has an annual production capacity of up to 75,000 tonnes of kraft paper. Note that PM 1 and PM 2 at the Kwidzyn mill will continue to produce uncoated fine papers and Ipack Strong Pro quality bleached kraft paper. Both machines have a combined capacity of 410,000 t/year. The MM Kwidzyn mill will also continue to manufacture pulp and  carton board (PM 4, 260,000 tpa of GC1 and GC2).

 


Published on 11/01/2024

Saica invests more than €100 million in a new board factory in Barcelona

There is a new project in store for Saica! The group will build a new corrugated board factory in Barcelona. Currently under construction, it will be operational in Spring 2025. Located in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, the factory will consolidate the activities currently carried out in the Saica Pack El Prat and Saica Pack Barcelona factories. The new project involves an investment of more than 100 million euros and aims to increase the current production of the two mills by 45%. It will enable the group to strengthen its presence and long-term commitment in one of the main packaging markets in southern Europe. The new mill will be equipped with the latest technology, combining flexography and offset. The Saica Group is one of the European leaders in the production of recycled paper for corrugated board, with an annual production capacity of 3.3 million tons of recycled paper.

 


Published on 21/12/2023

French paper and board production is stronger than expected

According to COPACEL statistics, the production of paper and board in France fell slightly less sharply in the first 10 months of 2023 (-15.5%) than in the first 9, where the decline was 16%. The decline still affected the entire sector. Only the sanitary and household segments fell more than the previous month at -7.2%, against -6.3% over the same periods. The graphic grades market recorded the largest decline, at -38.6% (compared to -39.5% in September 2023). The packaging industry fell 10.4% (compared to 10.9% over the same period of 2022), with carton board recording -20.7% (compared to -21.1%). This was a very slight increase in a continued tense economic situation.

 

You can find October 2023’s French paper and board production statistics on our website in the Index section.


Published on 21/12/2023

The Belgian carton maker Van Genechten acquired the entire British group Cartoncare

The two carton makers are geographically complementary in Europe. This strategic decision strengthens VGP’s position in the UK market. The Cartoncare Group is composed of private companies, including Cartoncare, MSO Cleland and Pendragon Presentation Packaging. It has a combined annual turnover of 30 million euros. This acquisition brings the number of VGP sites to a total of 12 in 9 countries. The Cartoncare Group’s operational teams will remain in place and Managing Director Joanna Calixto will retain control of day-to-day business. Remember that the two board packaging specialists, already partnered a year ago, creating a 50% joint venture.


Published on 21/12/2023

Partners Group acquired Velvet Care, the fastest growing toilet paper producer in Central Europe

Abris Capital Partners sold Velvet Care, one of the largest manufacturers of hygiene products in Central Europe, with more than 850 employees in Poland and the Czech Republic, to Partners Group. This sale comes after five years of dynamic growth. In 2020, Velvet CARE acquired Moracell, the largest Czech manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels, giving the group not only a strong position in the Czech market, but an experienced team and new prospects in the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well.  Velvet Care products include toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, and wet toilet paper. Its Velvet brand is very popular in Poland for the past 26 years and the company also produces for private brands. Velvet Care has two factories in Klucze, Poland and Žabcice, Czechia, and sells its products in more than 30 markets, mainly in Europe.


Published on 21/12/2023

Focus on converting machines in Laakirchen and Steyrermühl to produce sustainable packaging paper

There is major construction work underway at the Laakirchen and Steyrermühl Heinzel Group sites. Several key projects are planned such as converting paper machines to the production of sustainable packaging paper, and energy supply conversion to renewable energy sources using existing recyclable and residual materials. Sebastian Heinzel, CEO of the family group said, " We intend to reduce our fossil CO2 emissions by more than 40% by 2030."  This will entail PM 11 from Laakirchen and the old PM 3 from Steyrermühl will be converted to produce sustainable products. Also, the construction of a second power plant based on the use of recyclable materials in Steyrermühl is planned. A pipeline is also planned that will connect the Laakirchen Papier site with the energy producers in Steyrermühl and supply it with thermal energy sustainable. Finally, The Steyrermühl sawmill will also be developed gradually over the next few years.  How much will all this cost?  According to the companyore than 400 million euros! For the record, the Heinzel Group produces commercial pulp, wrapping paper and magazine paper and sells pulp, paper, recycled fibres and packaging solutions.at four European sites.


Published on 21/12/2023

Metsä Group's Kemi bioproducts mill moves towards full capacity production

It took a lot of effort, but the result is worth it!  Kemi’s bioproducts mill is moving towards full capacity production. Pulp deliveries to customers have begun. Construction of the bioproducts mill began in February 2021 and lasted approximately two and a half years. The mill will produce 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts, including 2 terawatt hours of renewable electricity. The new bioproducts mill is world class in terms of production, environmental and energy efficiency.  The Kemi bioproducts mill uses an innovative process to take advantage of all the possible benefits when producing pulp and to replace fossil fuels with bioproducts. Concretely, the mill produces energy through an unprecedented process that transforms unused bark into biogas that can be used to replace fossil fuels. The Kemi project is the largest investment ever made by the Finnish forest industry in the country.


Published on 14/12/2023

-11.3% decline in European paper and paperboard production in Q3 2023

According to the latest statistics published by the CEPI, the production of paper and cardboard of the member countries of the CEPI recorded a decrease of 15.5% on the first 9 of the year compared to the same period of 2022, and more precisely of 11,3% on the 3rd quarter of this year. This figure is slightly lower than the year-to-date figures for August (-16.7%). These decreases once again affect all the qualities of paper and board. The sharpest decline was recorded by the graphic grades segment, at -28.8% (compared to -30.7% the previous month). Packaging fell more moderately by 11.4% (compared to 13% in August), and the sanitary and household segment fell by 4.5% (compared to 4.8% the previous month). In this context, pulp production contracted by 7.8% and the use of recovered paper by 9%.

 

You can find all the September 2023 European paper and cardboard production statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 14/12/2023

Stora Enso has closed one of its two paper machines at the Anjalakoski plant

As announced last June, the Finnish paper manufacturer Stora Enso closed a paper machine in its Anjalakoski mill in Finland in order to adapt production to market changes and concentrate the production of paper for books on a single machine. The production of PM 3 was stopped at the end of November. The closure of the uncoated mechanical paper production line will reduce the site’s annual capacity by 250,000 tonnes and sales by approximately 100 million euros. Stora Enso employs around 21,000 people and its 2022 sales amounted to 11.7 billion euros.


Published on 14/12/2023

Sylvamo announces a 7% reduction in its workforce

In the third quarter of 2023, Sylvamo reported revenues of $897 million (approximately €839 million), with a net profit of $58 million. This is a strong result, however Sylvamo anticipates a decline over the last quarter. As a result, the paper mill is working to reduce its structural costs. Their goal?  They want to save $110 million by the end of 2024. The company also plans to reduce its workforce by 7%, around 150 positions.


Published on 14/12/2023

UPM Raflatac partners with Soprema to promote glassine recycling with RafCycle

In concrete terms, Soprema, a world leader in waterproofing and specialist in roofing and insulation, will transform glassine collected via RafCycle by UPM Raflatac’s recycling service into new construction and insulation materials. UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle service is committed to recycling glassine. Thanks to this innovative partnership, label waste is transformed into insulation solutions, supporting the use of renewable sources in the construction sector at the Soprema site in France. Insulation materials play a central role in improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Cellulose wadding is one of the best solutions for attic insulation as it offers high performance in different climatic conditions. UPM Raflatac has set itself an ambitious goal. It wants to become the first label materials company to go beyond fossils. The RafCycle label carrier recycling service helps companies achieve their sustainability goals.


Published on 14/12/2023

New price increases!

It seems to be one announcement after another! After Sappi Europe announced that it would increase fine paper prices from 7 to 10% as of January 2024, now there are two other industry players who are reviewing their prices. Mitsubishi HiTec Paper is obligated to adjust their thermoscript thermal paper prices again. As a result, the company warned that prices will be increased 'individually' according to each region. Normally this increase will go into effect on January 1st, 2024. Burgo also informed its customers that it wanted to increase the prices of coated paper. The increase will be at least 7% and will be implemented in all markets from January deliveries. We already know that they are not the last increases...


Published on 07/12/2023

Eurozone manufacturing contraction eased in November

Dr. Cyrus de la Rubia, Chief Economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank, stated that “the manufacturing sector in the Eurozone (44.2) had a difficult November, marked by a further decline in output and a sixth consecutive monthly decline in employment. While most of the sub-indexes in the survey recovered slightly from October, the reported improvement was modest and lacked the momentum to reflect a true uptrend.”

More specifically, the French manufacturing sector (42.9) recorded its strongest decline since May 2020 in November. According to Norman Liebke, economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank, “The French manufacturing industry again suffered from weak demand in November. High interest rates and continued destocking operations led to a sharp decline in the volume of new orders, a trend that is likely to continue over the coming months. Our HCOB immediate forecast model suggests a 0.7% contraction in manufacturing in the fourth quarter.

For Germany (42.6), the slowdown in the manufacturing sector showed further signs of easing over the period, with companies reporting the slowest declines in production and new orders in the past six months.

Spain (46.3) and Italy (44.4) also remained mired in contraction territory in November, with output, new orders and purchasing activity all down since October.

Across the Channel, while output declined for the ninth consecutive month, in November the UK manufacturing sector (47.2) seems to have turned a corner, with output decline slowing down.

(You can find the November index on www.pap-argus.com, in the Index section)


Published on 07/12/2023

European Parliament adopts future packaging and packaging waste regulation

What a surprise! Regarding Packaging regulations, the European Parliament has reviewed its goals, especially concerning reuse. The expectations for reuse, particularly in take-out, were reduced. Clearly, the final distributors of drinks and takeaways in the CHR sector must allow consumers to bring their own container. So, the obligation to reuse is over. On the other hand, other measures have been enacted, such as the ban on ultra-light plastic bags and the obligation that all packaging be recyclable by 2030 and recycled by 2035. Another measure proposed was the ban on the use of per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) and bisphenol A in food contact packaging. Gentle reminder that according to Eurostat every European produced 188.7 kg of waste in 2021 -- up 11 kg in one year and 32 kg in a decade -- with a recycling rate of only 64% (less than 40% for plastic packaging).


Published on 07/12/2023

Carton board: The production capacity extension of Metsä Board Husum mill has begun

A major project is happening! The expansion of the production capacity of carton board for folding boxes at the integrated pulp and board mill in Husum, Sweden has begun. Through the modernization of the carton board machine (BM1), the annual production capacity of folding box board (FBB) will be increased by 200,000 tons to 600,000 tons. As a result, Husum BM1 will become the largest and most modern carton board machine in Europe and will strengthen Metsä Board’s position as Europe’s leading supplier of folding box boards. According to Mika Joukio, Metsä Board’s CEO, "By increasing Husum’s production capacity, we are meeting the growing demand for packaging materials that support the circular economy. The first phase of the Husum pulp mill renovation, recently completed, further increases the mill’s bio-based energy production and energy efficiency, further reducing the carbon footprint of our products and helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals".


Published on 07/12/2023

UPM starts negotiations on furlough

The UPM, UPM Pulp, UPM Timber, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Biofuels business units will start negotiations on possible furlough measures. These measures could take place from January 1st to June 30th, 2024 at UPM Pulp, UPM Timber and UPM Biofuels and from March 1st to August 31st, 2024 at UPM. Earlier this year, the company conducted negotiations for UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Plywood, UPM Raflatac, UPM Biocomposites and UPM Raumacell.


Published on 07/12/2023

The Smurfit Kappa paper mill in Pontet will soon be closed

Smurfit Kappa Recyclé France (SKPRF) has recently reviewed its business and announced that it will react to market difficulties by restructuring. They announced a planned closure of the Pontet mill in the Vaucluse district (South of France). The factory employs around 60 people and has a production capacity of 75,000 t/year and produces recycled brown corrugated board, mainly testliner. The reason behind this planned closure is the significant drop in demand for corrugated board throughout Europe over the past twelve months. In addition, extensive capacities to produce recycled corrugated board materials have recently been placed on the market and more will follow soon. As a result, the available production capacity is well above what the market can currently absorb. In addition to the Pontet mill, the company operates the Cellulose du Pin papermill (white kraftliner, white testliner, brown kraft), Rethel (testliner) and Saillat (testliner, recycled fluting) in the country. The Pontet papermill has existed for 102 years (since 1922. It was taken over by Smurfit in 1994.


Published on 30/11/2023

Euro-Graph: 27% less total deliveries of graphic papers in the first 8 months of 2023

The latest data from Euro-Graph, the European association of graphic paper producers, showed a 27% decrease in total deliveries of graphic paper in July, with 9 million tonnes against 12.4 over the same period of 2022, reflecting not only a shrinking market, but also a tense economic situation. More specifically, deliveries in Europe fell by 29% and those outside Europe by 17%, with European demand contracting by 28%. The largest decline in European shipments was in coated woodfree, with -41% in the first 7 months, followed by SC magazine, at -27% and coated and uncoated mechanical, at -26%, which are facing a difficult economic situation.

You can find these statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 30/11/2023

Flooding: Papermills were affected

The torrential rains of recent weeks have caused much damage. There was a cumulative rainfall of 295 mm In the Pas-de-Calais in the north of France, one of the most affected regions, from October 16th - November 14th, 2023. That made it the wettest 30-day episode in the district since the beginning of measurements by Météo-France in 1958. These rains have led to floods in some places, which has caused damage to some industry mills, disrupting their production. They include Be Paper, in Wizernes, Sical, in Lumbres, the paper mill RDM (ex-Cascades) in Blendecques, and the Arc Packaging factory, also affected by the rising waters.


Published on 30/11/2023

Strong contraction in Eurozone manufacturing in October

New orders recorded one of their strongest historical declines in the Eurozone manufacturing sector (43.1) in October. According to Dr. Cyrus de la Rubia, an economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank, "With a few exceptions, the PMI for the Eurozone’s manufacturing sector has shown a near-continuous weakening of the industrial situation over the past two years. However, with little change in the index level in recent months, including October, we can assume that it is now at a low level. However, there is no way of knowing when a recovery will begin.” As a result, business in the French manufacturing sector (42.8) contracted even further, in a context of a further decline in production and new orders. (…) On the services side, the Eurozone (47.8) experienced a third consecutive monthly decline in activity in October. Reflecting a further sharp deterioration in demand, both on domestic and foreign markets, France (45.2) and Germany (48.2) experienced a further contraction at the beginning of the fourth quarter. (…) Business activity in the Chinese services sector (50.4) continued to grow marginally, while in the United States (51.8) business growth was below economists' expectations.

(You can find the October index on our website, www.pap-argus.com, in the Index section)


Published on 30/11/2023

Austrian MM reviews plans for Polish mill in Kwidzyn

The Austrian paper, board, and packaging company Mayr-Melnhof has revised its investment plans for its Polish mill in Kwidzyn. The company will not invest in converting a wood-free paper machine from the site to kraft paper production. In addition, MM started consultations with the unions and the works council on a possible closure of the small kraft paper machine (PM 3) and a reorganization, which could include the dismissal of around 110 employees. PM 3 has a production capacity of up to 75,000 t/a. These new plans would 'significantly' reduce the initially announced investment amount by 660 million euros. Reasons given for this change include non-competitive timber prices in Polish state forests and low demand in the paper and board markets products. Note that the production of pulp and board (PM 4, 260,000 t/year of GC1 and GC2) at the Kwidzyn site will not be affected by the changes.


Published on 30/11/2023

Norske Skog Golbey postpones its PM 1's start date again

Norske Skog announced that the start of its rebuilt PM1 at its Golbey mill in France would a be postponed again. This time it will be from the 2nd quarter of 2024 to the second half of next year. The net investment for the conversion project will increase from 265 million euros to 300 million euros, mainly due to the increase in the purchase prices of goods and services and the delayed equipment delivery. In July of this year, the company postponed the start-up to the 2nd quarter of 2024 to align it with the commissioning of the new biomass boiler. Initially, the commissioning of the reconstructed paper machine was scheduled for the 4th quarter of this year. The reconstructed PM will have a production capacity of 550,000 t/year and Norske Skog expects the machine to operate at 95% of full capacity two to three years after start-up. PM 1 previously produced up to 250,000 tpa of newsprint and was shut down in the 4th quarter of 2022 to begin reconstruction.


Published on 23/11/2023

PPPC: Total pulp sales almost stable year-to-year in September

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total pulp deliveries increased very slightly by 0.7% over the first 9 months of 2023, with 40.42 million tonnes, compared to 40.13 over the same period of 2022. The participation rate was 88% compared to 89% last year. With 5.1 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries increased 6.4% in September 2023 compared to August 2023, and 6.8% compared to September 2022. Mill inventories were down 4 days from the previous month to 39 days and 6 days from September 2022. Softwood deliveries were down slightly by 0.1% year-over-year, while hardwood sales were up 3.3%. At 15.04 million tonnes, compared to 12.11 million the previous year. Pulp deliveries to China in the first nine months of 2023 increased by 24.1%. It was the only destination, along with Latin America (+2.8%), that increased volumes compared to 2022.

You can find all the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC)’s September statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 23/11/2023

Clairefontaine Etival starts up production after reconstruction

The graphic paper manufacturer Les Papeteries de Clairefontaine started PM 6 at its mill in Etival Clairefontaine near Saint-Dié in the Vosges in France after completing the reconstruction of the drying section. The Toscotec engineering company carried out the reconstruction. Thanks to this operation, the machine produces graphic paper in weights ranging from 60 to 100 g/m². In June 2023, the company also announced its intention to invest in a new biomass plant at the site to further decarbonize paper production. Clairefontaine, part of the Exacompta-Clairefontaine group owned by the Nusse family, operates four mills (Clairefontaine, Mandeure in Burgundy, Everbal in Champagne for recycled and Schut in Holland). At the Etival site, the company operates two machines with a total capacity of 170,000 tpa of uncoated woodfree paper.


Published on 23/11/2023

Carton Group acquired British Duncan Print

The German company Carton Group announced the acquisition of the British luxury packaging supplier Duncan Print which manufactures folding boxes for customers in the health, beauty, personal care and food and beverage sectors. Duncan Print will join Carton Group as a direct subsidiary. The former owner, Bill Duncan, will hand over the company management to his son James Duncan, who will now become the general manager. Carton Group, owned by investment company Waterland, aims to become a leader in the European packaging industry through organic growth and targeted acquisitions. The company recently took over Wrapology which also marked its entry into the UK market as well as Noble-pac and Europoligrafico. In early October, the company announced it had received an undisclosed refinancing from credit company Capital Four for an ambitious expansion plan.


Published on 23/11/2023

Billerud tightens its belt

The Swedish paper manufacturer is taking a series of measures to strengthen its financial stability and ensure long-term growth. This includes eliminating 350 positions within the company, particularly in Europe and North America. The aim is to save about 300 million Swedish crowns per year. In addition, Billerud decided to delay its project to transform its mills in North America.


Published on 23/11/2023

Tetra Pak responds to EU proposal for packaging and packaging waste regulation

 

The PPWR is making a lot of noise. This time it was Chakib KaraTetra Pak France and Benelux’ CEO  & President of the Alliance Carton Nature turn to speak about the European regulation concerning packaging and packaging waste (PPWR). He said, “Some provisions are likely to jeopardize key sectors of the agri-food industry. For example, the imposition of binding reuse targets for perishable liquid food products could have unintended consequences such as: increased food safety risks for consumers, reduced accessibility for populations living in remote areas, as well as a potential amplification of food waste and waste. As reusable solutions do not always offer a better environmental result and are not able to guarantee a long shelf life of products in sanitary conditions necessary, we must consider the food brick as the useful and effective solution. The food brick has its own capabilities that allow to extend the life of liquid products up to 12 months without cold chain or additives. Therefore, it is necessary that liquid perishable goods benefit from adapted solutions that meet their needs and that they be exempted from reuse objectives in the context of ongoing discussions at European level.” By investing more than 200 million euros in Europe, the brick sector, which accounts for about 2% of the entire food and beverage sector in the EU, is actively committed to accelerating recycling and recyclability of its packaging while supporting innovation. This approach has paved the way for new markets, particularly for paper fibre, which makes up 75% of brick, and poly-aluminium.


Published on 23/11/2023

Finland: Stora Enso wants to improve the biodiversity and vitality of its forests

The Finnish-Swedish group Stora Enso has decided to reduce the density of spruce trees planted in its forests in Finland from 1800 plants per hectare to 1600 plants per hectare as of spring 2025. This will increase the different species in the forest, which is one of the main objectives of the Stora Enso biodiversity program. Note that similar approaches have already been adopted to increase the share of hardwood trees in Sweden, where Stora Enso has 1.1 hectares of wood.


Published on 23/11/2023

Progroup acquires Sappi's Stockstadt mill site

Sappi has concluded the sale of its pulp and paper mill in Stockstadt, Germany. According to its buyer Progroup, the Stockstadt paper mill site offers the possibility of developing a new production facility for corrugated board materials. The Stockstadt pulp and paper mill site’s takeover is scheduled for April 2024. Sappi can produce up to 145,000 t/a of pulp and 230,000 t/a of coated and uncoated woodfree paper at the Stockstadt mill. With 1,700 employees, Progroup achieved a turnover of around 1.8 billion euros in 2022. The German group has three corrugated paper mills and twelve production sites for corrugated sheets and corrugated cardboard packaging including one in France in Douvrin in the Pas-de-Calais.


Published on 16/11/2023

Norske Skog plans machine reconstruction for alternative products at Saugbrugs mill

On April 27th, 2023, the building, equipment, and PM 6 at the Saugbrugs mill in Halden, Norway were damaged by a landslide. As a result, production of the machine (260,000 t/a of SC paper) was stopped. In August to secure customer deliveries, Norske Skog decided to restart PM 5 (SC paper), which was stopped three years ago. Now that the agreement with the insurance company is finished, (for an amount of 2.4 billion Swedish kronor), the Norwegian papermaker announced that it was able to rebuild SC paper production on PM 6 and that it was also considering investing in other alternative products. Norske Skog said the machine was currently in preparation for start-up and production would be accelerated during the current quarter. For the record, Saugbrugs was founded in 1859.


Published on 16/11/2023

Strong contraction in Eurozone manufacturing in October

New orders recorded one of their strongest historical declines in the Eurozone manufacturing sector (43.1) in October. According to Dr. Cyrus de la Rubia, an economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank, "With a few exceptions, the PMI for the manufacturing sector in the Eurozone has shown a near-continuous weakening of the industrial situation over the past two years. However, with little change in the index level in recent months, including October, we can assume that it is now at a low level. However, there is no way to determine when a recovery will begin.” As a result, business in the French manufacturing sector (42.8) contracted even further, in a context of a further decline in production and new orders. (…)
On the services side, the Eurozone (47.8) experienced a third consecutive monthly decline in activity in October. Reflecting a further sharp deterioration in demand, both on domestic and foreign markets, France (45.2) and Germany (48.2) experienced a further contraction at the beginning of the fourth quarter. (…)
Business activity in the Chinese services sector (50.4) continued to grow marginally, while in the United States (51.8) business growth was below economists' expectations.
(You can find the October Index on www.pap-argus.com, in the Index section)


Published on 16/11/2023

Mayr-Melnhof to close sawmill at Kotkamills factory

The sawmill at the MM Kotkamills site is expected to close for good during the last quarter of 2023. This decision was made partly due to the high and sustainable price of raw materials, the reduced demand for lumber (mainly for carpentry) due to the economic cycle, and the significant investment needs to maintain the operation of the sawmill. Since fall 2022, the sawmill’s profitability has been in deficit and the situation has not improved in 2023. The sawmill, with an annual capacity of 210,000 cubic metres of lumber, has been shut down since July 2023. The closure will affect 64 employees.  MM, the Austrian board maker, had a turnover of 4.7 billion euros in 2022.


Published on 16/11/2023

Smurfit Kappa announces improved demand

The Irish group Smurfit Kappa published their quarterly results and at last there is better news in terms of orders. The drop in demand for boxes continued to slow in the third quarter which was about 2% lower than 2022 levels, compared to -7% and -5% in the first and second quarters. It was mainly the German order books that improved. Is this a good sign for the end of the year? We shall see. Smurfit Kappa signed an $11 billion deal in September to buy out its US rival WestRock. Smurfit WestRock will be incorporated and based in Ireland, with global headquarters in Dublin and its North and South American operations based in Atlanta, Georgia.


Published on 09/11/2023

France reduced its pulp trade in the first 7 months of 2023

The latest French customs statistics compiled by Pap'Argus showed that pulp import volumes were reduced by 19.3% over the first 7 months of 2023, compared to the same period of 2022, with 836 256 tonnes against 1,035,783. It was the same trend in exports, with France exporting 257,715 tonnes compared to 336,964 over the same period in 2022, down 23.5%. More specifically, France reduced imports not only from its main supplier country, Brazil (-14.5%), but also from Sweden (-23.6%) and Uruguay (-9%). Despite a net increase in exports to China of +21%, France recorded a decline towards Italy (-0.7%), Germany (-43.2%) and Spain (-55.9%). These figures reflect a tense economic situation.

 

 You can find all the July 2023’s French customs statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 09/11/2023

Suzano will invest in eucalyptus-based fluff pulp production line

Suzano, the world’s largest producer of market pulp, announced that it will invest 490 million reals (about $100 million US dollars) in a new line of pulp. Specifically, a BHKP pulp line from Suzano’s Limeira mill would need to be converted to produce Bleached Hardwood Kraft Pulp (BHKP) and Eucafluff. Production is expected to begin by the fourth quarter of 2025, when production capacity is expected to increase from 100,000 tonnes to 440,000 tonnes. Eucafluff is described as the world’s ‘first’ bleached kraft pulp made from 100% planted eucalyptus. Suzano pointed out that it is part of the list of raw materials allowed for use in disposable personal care products, in accordance with European eco-labels. The global fluff pulp market is currently estimated at 6.4 million tonnes per year, with an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% for the coming years.


Published on 09/11/2023

Drug reform: towards the end of the paper leaflet?

The European Commission has proposed to make the paper version of the drug leaflets optional! If this comes to fruition, the information would be available in digital version. The only way to obtain a printed copy would be to request a printed copy of the package insert from the authorized seller. Highly impractical! Worried, the Intergraf expressed its opposition, arguing that this proposal undermines the accessibility of information for patients. To justify its claim, the organization relied on data from Eurostat 2023 which reveals that 70.7% of Europeans have only basic digital skills and 7.5% of European households do not have access to the Internet.


Published on 09/11/2023

Belgian VPK acquired Italian corrugated board specialist Zetacarton

The VPK group, led by Pierre Macharis, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Zetacarton, an Italian company located near Lake Como that manufactures corrugated board. Thanks to this, the VPK group is entering the Italian market for the first time in Italy. Zetacarton, an Italian company run by the Zanfrini family, is a leading producer of corrugated board packaging, including niche products such as fanfold and big boxes. In 2022, Zetacarton produced 106 million m² of board in its factory, had 110 employees and a turnover of 75 million euros. Following the transaction, Serena and Giuseppe Zanfrini will continue to manage the company acquired by the Belgian group. Last year, the VPK group recorded a turnover of 2.1 billion euros.


Published on 02/11/2023

French production of paper and board is still in decline

According to recent Copacel statistics, paper and board production in France fell slightly less sharply in the first nine months of 2023 (-16%) than in the first eight months, where the decline reached 17.2%. The decline still affected the entire sector. Only the sanitary and household markets (-6.3%, compared to -6.1% over the same periods) and the paper market for flexible packaging (-40.5% compared to -38.8%) fell more than the previous month. This market also recorded the largest decline, followed by graphics, at -39.5% (down from -41.5% in August 2023). The packaging market was down 10.9% (from 12% in the same period of 2022), with carton board down 21.1% (from -23.3%). A very slight difference, in a very uncertain context.

You can find all of September 2023’s French production of paper and board statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 02/11/2023

UPM will close its Plattling mill in Germany

In July, UPM Communication Papers announced its intention to permanently close its Plattling mill in Germany to align its graphic paper production capacity with customer demand. The mill will cease production by the end of November 2023. Specifically, graphic paper production on both machines is expected to stop on November 15th for PM 11 and on November 22nd for PM 1, reducing the coated and uncoated magazine paper capacity in Europe by 595,000 tonnes. More than 400 UPM employees are affected.


Published on 02/11/2023

Fibre Excellence Tarascon to produce fluff pulp

The latest news for the kraft pulp manufacturer Fibre Excellence in Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône) (155 million euros turnover) is that the site will set up an oxygen-based lignin separation unit. The investment will be 80 million euros. The unit’s objective will be to manufacture ‘Fluff’ pulp (now entirely imported) to produce disposable baby diapers and thus contribute to the relocation of industrial sectors in the European market. This project is part of the overall investment plan of 180 million euros that the Fibre Excellence group committed to in August 2021.


Published on 02/11/2023

Downward trend in European paper and cardboard production over the first 8 months of 2023

According to the latest statistics published by the CEPI, the production of paper and board in the CEPI member countries recorded a decrease of 16.7% over the first 8 months of the year compared to the same period of 2022. This figure is slightly lower than the year-to-date data for July (-17.5%). These decreases again affected all the paper and board grades. The sharpest decline was recorded by the graphics industry -30.7% (compared to -31.4% the previous month), with coated woodfree the most affected with a 40.4% drop over the period. Packaging declined more moderately, by -13% (down from -14.2% in July), and the sanitary and household market contracted by 4.8%. In this context, pulp production contracted by 7.7%, and the use of recovered paper, by 11.5%.

You can find all the European paper and board production statistics for August 2023 on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 02/11/2023

Smurfit Kappa Papcart hosts a temp agency

Unfortunately, an employee shortage is a sad reality in many industries. The paper and board industry is faced with the same problem and is looking for solutions to recruit motivated candidates. Smurfit Kappa Papcart, celebrating its 75th birthday this year, specializes in the design and manufacture of carton board packaging for the food and luxury world. Since last June the temp agency Randstad Inhouse is installed in the Gétigné (Loire-Atlantique)’s headquarters. This new proximity has been a success for the company in terms of custom sourcing and the recruitment of motivated candidates. Smurfit Kappa Papcart generated revenue of 31.6 million euros last year and employs 170 people, 115 of whom work in production. Papcart, a specialist in offset printing and converting consumer packaging into carton board and corrugated board, was acquired by Smurfit Kappa in November 2018.


Published on 02/11/2023

The government will help rescue Condat

A plan to safeguard employment was signed at the Condat paper mills, which caused 171 employees their jobs due to the termination of line 4 (specializing in double-sided coated paper) decided by  the owner, the Spanish group Lecta which explained that it preferred to concentrate the expertise and the resources of the Condat mill’s  line 8 dedicated to the production of special papers, glassine and one sided coated paper. But on Monday, October 16th, Roland Lescure, the French Minister for Industry, met with the employees and their representatives, less than a week after the announcement of the plan. He announced that the government would support (via subsidies) the transformation of line 4 (which produces coated paper), up to 30%, or up to 40 million euros and thus keep people employed. For the record, Condat’s paper story began in 1907!  The Lecta Group, owner of the Condat Paper Mills, employs around 3,000 people in seven locations in Europe with a turnover of 1.7 billion euros in 2022.


Published on 26/10/2023

Slowdown in the decline of European paper and board production

According to the latest statistics published by the CEPI, the production of paper and board in the CEPI member countries recorded a decrease of 16.7% over the first 8 months of the year compared to the same period in 2022. This figure was slightly lower than the year-to-date data for July (-17.5%). These decreases affected all the paper and board grades. The sharpest decline was recorded by the graphic grades market -30.7% (compared to -31.4% the previous month), with coated woodfree the most affected with a 40.4% drop over the period. Packaging declined more moderately, by -13% (down from -14.2% in July), and the sanitary and household sector contracted by 4.8%. In this context, pulp production contracted by 7.7% and the use of recovered paper by 11.5%.

 You can find all the European production of paper and board statistics from August 2023 on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 26/10/2023

Stenay Stationery has officially become Stenpa (Stenay Papers)

After 20 years within the Finnish group Ahlstrom, the Stenay paper mill, which was sold to the Accursia Capital fund, officially became Stenpa for Stenay Papers. The first Stenpa reel was officially released on Thursday October 12th. Located in the Meuse (Eastern France), Stenpa specializes in the manufacture of coated paper for printed adhesive labels and paper for food packaging. The 100-year-old mill has an annual capacity of 55,000 tonnes. Gentle reminder that the acquisition of this paper mill is Accursia Capital’s second transaction of in the paper packaging industry and the 4th transaction in 2023.


Published on 26/10/2023

German paper and board production declined less sharply

The latest statistics from VDP, the German paper manufacturers' association, showed a smaller decline in the production of German paper and board over the first 8 months of the year with 12.4 million tons produced versus 15.2 compared to the same period of 2022, or an 18.7% decrease (against -20% at 7 months). The decline in production still affected all markets, with the sanitary and household market recording the least sharp decline, at 6.6%, while graphic grades withstood the least with -35.9% recorded over the period (against -36.7% published the previous month). With 7.8 million tonnes produced compared to 8.9 in the first eight months of 2022, the packaging industry posted a 13.1% decrease (compared to -14.8% in the first seven months of the year). As a result, recovered paper consumption dropped by 14% (from -15.8% previously) to 10.3 million tonnes and pulp production by 15.4% to 1.3 million tonnes.

You can find all the German paper and board production statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 26/10/2023

Fedrigoni opened an innovation center dedicated to high-end papers

It’s full steam ahead in terms of innovation in the Fedrigoni Group, one of the world’s largest operators in the production of special papers for luxury packaging and other creative solutions, as well as high-end labels and self-adhesive materials! They inaugurated an ‘innovation house,’ dedicated to quality papers and high-end self-adhesive materials that are sustainable, recycled and recyclable. Located in Verona, Italy, this 3,000 m2 space will host their Research & Development section, the innovative ideas incubator FedLab, the Customer Experience Center and the Customer Academy. This Fedrigoni Innovation Centre will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2024. It will consist of four complementary spaces, including one entirely dedicated to Research, Development, and Innovation for the group, with laboratories for the analysis of new raw materials, starting with recycled fibres and cellulose alternatives. State-of-the-art machines will test and prototype innovative treatments while minimizing the impact on the environment. Finally, a fully automated ‘sample library’, unique in the world, will bring together more than 8,000 special paper samples.


Published on 26/10/2023

Klabin inaugurated Puma II, the biggest investment in the company's history

Klabin, Brazil's largest producer and exporter of sustainable paper and packaging solutions, recently hosted the Puma II's inauguration ceremony, a project that marked the Puma site's expansion in Ortigueira. This is the Brazilian pulp and paper company's largest investment in the company's history and the largest private investment ever made in the state of Paraná, Brazil.  The financial investment was BRL 12.9 billion for the installation of two new paper machines, the PM27 and the PM28, both in operation and with a total production capacity of 910,000 tons of paper per year.  Thanks to Puma II, the company strengthens its integrated, diversified, and flexible business model. This equipment also symbolizes Klabin's debut in the white board market, further expanding its product portfolio. Together, the two machines bring Klabin's annual production capacity to 4.7 million tonnes of paper and cellulose.


Published on 19/10/2023

German paper and board production declined less sharply

The latest statistics from VDP, the German paper manufacturers' association, showed a smaller decline in the production of German paper and board over the first 8 months of the year. 12.4 million tons was produced versus 15.2 during the same period of 2022, making it a 18.7% decrease (versus -20% at 7 months). The decline in production still affected all markets, with the sanitary and household markets recording the least sharp decline, at 6.6%, while graphic grades withstood the least with -35.9% recorded over the period (compared to -36.7% published the previous month). With 7.8 million tonnes produced compared to 8.9 in the first eight months of 2022, the packaging industry posted a 13.1% decrease (compared to -14.8% in the first seven months of the year). As a result, recovered paper consumption dropped by 14% (from -15.8% previously) to 10.3 million tonnes and pulp production by 15.4% to 1.3 million tonnes.

 

You can find all of the German paper and board statistics production on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 19/10/2023

Romania: DS Smith invests €13 million in its Ghimbav production site

The British carton maker wants to increase its presence in the Romanian market with an investment of more than 13 million euros in its Ghimbav production site. Work at Ghimbav is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. This investment will promote alternatives to plastic and increase its production capacity by more than 20%. In line with its commitment to sustainable development, this strategic investment will support the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.


Published on 19/10/2023

Sappi Begins Consultations on Lanaken Mill's Closure

Under pressure from weak markets, weak demand and oversupply, Sappi is expected to further reduce its exposure to graphic paper markets. Following the decision to close the Stockstadt paper mill in Germany (scheduled for shutdown in the first quarter of 2024), the company is also considering closing the Lanaken mill in Belgium, it would be the end of 750,000 tonnes of graphic paper. The decision is being seriously considered since Sappi Europe has already started consultations on the future of the Lanaken mill in Belgium. Approximately 550 jobs are at risk. Sappi Lanaken is an integrated pulp and paper mill located in Belgium with a production capacity of 165,000 tpa of pulp used to produce 530,000 tpa of coated woodfree paper primarily sold in the European printing market.


Published on 19/10/2023

CCL Industries plans to open a new label factory in Italy

The very active Canadian group CCL industries (with no less than six external growth operations completed in the year) wants to strengthen its presence in Italy. The label and flexible packaging manufacturer announced the creation of a website for labels for wines and spirits in Novi Ligure, in the north of the country. This new factory will be the second Italian site of the Food & Beverage division. With this new location, the group’s objective is to have a production site in the immediate vicinity of major brand customers and to offer them the opportunity to source locally. In 2022, CCL Industries generated sales of C$6.4 billion (4.3 billion euros). It employs 25,300 people worldwide.


Published on 19/10/2023

PPPC: Total pulp sales virtually stable year-to-year in August

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total pulp deliveries eroded very slightly by 0.3% over the first 8 months of 2023, at 35.18 million tonnes, compared to 35.32 over the same period of 2022. The participation rate was 86% compared to 88% last year. At 4.76 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries increased by about 5% in August 2023 compared to July 2023, but also compared to August 2022. Mill inventories were down one day from the previous month at 45 days and 4 days from August 2022. Softwood deliveries were slightly down 1.1% year-on-year, while hardwood sales were up 2.2%. At 12.93 million tonnes, compared to 10.62 million the previous year. The pulp volumes delivered to China over the first 8 months of 2023 increased by 21.7% along with Latin America (+1.6%) where volumes increased compared to 2022.

 

You can find August 2023’s Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 19/10/2023

Metsä Tissue selects Goole for its new UK mill

Metsä Tissue chose Goole, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, for its historic investment in the UK. This will increase the UK’s self-sufficiency in the production of essential tissue products by more than 30%. (Gentle reminder, up to 45% of tissue products are currently imported into the UK and Ireland). Metsä Tissue, part of the Metsä forestry group, will create more than 400 direct jobs over the next decade. The new mill will have the largest tissue production capacity in the UK and the latest sustainable production technologies. It’s expected production capacity is 240,000 tonnes.


Published on 12/10/2023

Strong contraction in the Eurozone manufacturing sector in September

"Manufacturing in the euro area (43.4) likely experienced a further recession in the third quarter of 2023. While there is little hope of an improvement in the economy before the start of the new year, we can expect to see the end of destocking operations in companies soon," summarized Dr. Cyrus de la Rubia, an economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank. Among the four largest Eurozone economies, France and Germany recorded the largest contractions in September.

In France (44.2), production and new orders posted one of their strongest declines in almost three and a half years. The decline in other indicators (purchases, stocks and employment) also paints a bleak picture for French industry. The German manufacturing sector (39.6) also remained firmly in contraction over the period, with production falling the most sharply in nearly three and a half years, in a context of another sharp decline in new orders. (…)

On the services side, Dr. Cyrus de la Rubia pointed out that, “While the recovery in the HCOB PMI for the Eurozone services sector (48.7) observed in September may seem encouraging, it is far from signaling an improvement in the economy, since it remained in negative territory.” (…)

(You can find the September index at www.pap-argus.com in the Index section)


Published on 12/10/2023

Cofepac responds to erroneous claims on paper and board packaging

The paper & board industry is rectifying the situation! Cofepac is reacting to the false information found in the document ‘Paper-based disposable food packaging: the false solution to the packaging waste crisis’ published by the EPN, Fern, EED, Zero Waste Europe and Rethink plastic! For example, to the statement ‘Carton board-based packaging remains the first source of packaging waste in the European Union,’ Cofepac (Comité Français de l'Emballage Papier Carton) underlines that this statement needed to be supported with more information. According to Eurostat 2020 data, the amount of cardboard packaging waste generated was indeed the largest with 32,7 Mt of waste but this figure should be compared to the amount of board packaging used for the protection of products throughout the supply chain. Thanks to its properties, board paper provides essential protection for many products during packaging, transport, and storage. More than the amount of waste, it is important to consider that these are raw materials available for stationery and that the recycling rate of paper and board packaging is the highest of all materials. In 2020, 26.6 Mt of paper-packaging were recycled, with a recycling rate of 81.5% versus 37.6% for plastics, 31.9% for wood 75.7% for metal and 75.9% for glass. This rate reached 82% in France, in a complicated year when restrictions were put in place during a health crisis (COVID) which disrupted waste management. In summary, the amount of waste generated was not a sufficient criterion to be taken into consideration when comparing recycling and reuse. Several untruths were thus 'corrected' by Cofepac, in a complete document sent to the press that must be read attentively!


Published on 12/10/2023

PPPC: Total pulp sales virtually stable year-over-year in August

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total pulp deliveries eroded very slightly by 0.3% over the first 8 months of 2023, at 35.18 million tonnes, compared to 35.32 over the same period of 2022. The participation rate was 86% compared to 88% last year. At 4.76 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries increased by about 5% in August 2023 compared to July 2023, but also compared to August 2022. Mill inventories were down one day from the previous month at 45 days and 4 days from August 2022. Softwood deliveries were slightly down 1.1% year-on-year, while hardwood sales were up 2.2%. At 12.93 million tonnes, compared to 10.62 million the previous year, pulp volumes delivered to China over the first 8 months of 2023 increased by 21.7%. It is the only destination, along with Latin America (+1.6%), which increased its volumes compared to 2022.

 

You can find all the August 2023 statistics from the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) on our website, in the index section.


Published on 12/10/2023

Half-year results: Fedrigoni continued to grow despite declining results

The Italian group Fedrigoni finished the first half of 2023 with 971 million euros of revenues (-9.9% compared to the first half of 2022) and 150.9 million euros of EBITDA (-9.2%). Even if it is less than last year, its performance remained above the industry average. Fedrigoni CEO Marco Nespolo said, “The volatile market situation continued with recovery signs slower than expected, combined with a phenomenon of destocking from our customers, printers and processors, which we expect to end in the coming months of the year. Despite an outstanding market, we managed to defend our margins thanks to a solid strategy that for the past 4 years has focused on an increasingly high-end offer. Fedrigoni is pursuing its strategy to become a global leader in its reference sectors, with sustainable products and a growing interest in RFID and smart paper.” This is a strategy based on strong external growth. Thus, Fedrigoni’s Paper division includes the Cordenons group and the historic brand Fabriano, Eclose (November 2021), Guarro Casas (October 2022) and Stationery Zuber Rieder (November 2022); the Self-adhesive division includes Arconvert, Manter, Ritrama (February 2020), IP Venus (December 2020), Acucote and Rimark (June 2021), Divipa (February 2022), Tageos (April 2022) and Unifol (July 2022). The American distributor GPA is also part of the Group. Fedrigoni has 5,000 employees in 28 countries, 68 production factories, cutting and distribution centers.


Published on 12/10/2023

Metsä completed its Kemi mill project in Finland

The company announced that the new pulp mill and the expansion of the carton board factory on the site are now fully operational as planned. Operations will start department by department. Pulp deliveries from the new mill to customers are expected to begin in October. Kemi’s new bioproducts mill will produce approximately 1.5 million tonnes per year of softwood and hardwood pulp, increasing Kemi’s pulp capacity by nearly 900,000 tonnes per year. It replaced an existing 620,000 tpa pulp line that has been permanently closed. The new facility will also produce 2 TWh of renewable electricity. Mestä pointed out that thanks to its environmentally efficient solutions, the emissions from the new mill are below the limits specified in the current environmental permit for the closed Kemi pulp mill, despite the considerable increase in production capacity. The bioproducts mill will use 7.6 million cubic metres of wood per year, 4.5 million cubic metres more than the old mill. At the carton board factory,  white kraft paper production capacity was increased. The investments made and the integration of the bioproducts plant will reduce the water consumption of the cardboard plant by 40% and its energy consumption by 5% per tonne of kraft paper produced, according to the group.


Published on 05/10/2023

PM 11 by Heinzel Laakirchen will produce SC paper until Q2 2024

The Austrian paper producer Heinzel will continue to produce SC paper on the PM 11 in its Laakirchen mill in Austria until the end of the second quarter of next year.  After that, it will begin the planned reconstruction of the machine. The start of production of recycled corrugated board materials on the PM has been moved to September 2024. Initially, the startup was planned for the second quarter 2024. Along with the conversion to wrapping paper, the capacity of the rebuilt production line will increase from 350,000 tpa of SC paper to 500,000 tpa of recycled flutes and testliner.


Published on 05/10/2023

Hans Sohlström is the new CEO of Stora Enso

The Board of Directors of Stora Enso has appointed 58-year-old Hans Sohlström as Chairman and CEO of Stora Enso. He succeeds Annica Bresky, who was CEO for four years. She has joined Ørsted, one of Denmark’s leading energy companies. Hans Sohlström took over on September 18th. Until the end of 2022, Hans Sohlström headed the Finnish fibre-based materials group Ahlstrom. He has also previously held several management positions at UPM-Kymmene, which manufactures forest, biochemical, energy and paper products.


Published on 05/10/2023

Prinzhorn announced major investments in Western Europe

The Prinzhorn Group has invested around 300 million euros in its three business units: Hamburger Containerboard, Hamburger Recycling and Dunapack Packaging (see photo). Hamburger Containerboard is expanding its power plant in Spremberg, Germany to include a second combustion line. The project will replace externally produced lignite steam and will be an important step towards energy self-sufficiency. Hamburger Containerboard is also replacing its high-pressure natural gas boilers in Pitten, Austria with two natural gas turbines including heat recovery boilers. As a result, power generation based on environmentally friendly technology will reduce the CO2 footprint, allowing the mill to become independent of any external power supply. Dunapack Packaging completed the acquisition of the corrugated board packaging factory Scatoloficio La Veggialocated in Roteglia, Italy. The factory has a production capacity of 200 million m² per year with around 140 employees. Finally, Hamburger Recycling signed a contract to acquire the Italian recycling company Eurocart, in collaboration with its subsidiary Berica Recuperi. The recovered paper specialist located in Vicenza has three logistical facilities, 130 employees and the capacity to collect and process 239,000 tons of paper annually for recycling and other secondary raw materials. Eurocart will continue its business under its current name. The latest acquisition will bring Hamburger Recycling’s recovered paper capacity to 2.1 million tonnes per year, with 39 sites in 13 countries. Prinzhorn achieved an annual turnover of €2.9 billion in 2022.


Published on 28/09/2023

Sappi & Xeikon: a collaboration on resource-efficient packaging development

Sappi, a specialist in flexible packaging paper with integrated barriers and heat sealing, joined forces with the digital press manufacturer Xeikon (a division of Flint Group) as part of a developmental partnership.  Along with Titon, its latest innovation in dry toner, and Xeikon TX500, the company has set its sights on the flexible paper-based packaging market, which is experiencing strong growth due to the demand for resource-efficient alternatives, recyclable and plastic-free from end users as well as brand owners and processors. The tests combining Titon toner and the functional papers Sappi Seal Silk and Sappi AvantGuard S Natural were very successful. “The printed image we created in combination with Sappi papers was simply phenomenal! Such results on paper-based substrates can normally only be achieved with flexography,” said Frank Jacobs, Market Intel & Senior Product Manager at Flint Group Digital.


Published on 28/09/2023

Ahlstrom signed agreement to sell Stenay mill to Accursia

Special paper producer Ahlstrom has entered into an agreement to sell its Stenay paper mill in France to the German investment holding company Accursia Capital, which owns the French tube manufacturer Cenpa among others. The company received a firm offer from Accursia in July. The transaction is expected to close at the end of September. “This acquisition is part of a long-term investment strategy to make Stenay a leading player in the highly competitive paper-based packaging market. We are therefore looking forward to developing the activity of the Stenay site in collaboration with employees,” said Martin Scheiblegger, Managing Director of Accursia Capital. The Stenay mill produces special one-sided coated paper for label, graphic and food packaging applications. It operates a paper machine with a production capacity of approximately 55,000 t/year. Ahlstrom generated net sales in 2022 of 3.3 billion euros and employs around 7,000 people.


Published on 21/09/2023

The strike at the Papeteries de Condat stopped after a meeting with the French Minister of Industry

The future of line 4 at Papeteries de Condat, located in Lardin Saint-Lazare, in the Dordogne (South-West of France), has kept the media in suspense. The unions are involved and for once, are united and speaking with one voice. They were able to meet the Minister for Industry, Roland Lescure, to discuss the future of line 4, which was threatened to shut down by the site’s owner, the Spanish group Lecta, resulting in the loss of 187 jobs out of the 330 on the site. Even if Roland Lescure reminded the unions that the Government was unable to put pressure on a private group, the September 11th meeting gave the employees some hope. The strike was stopped two days later. Negotiations continue with management, with the deadline for completing the Employment Protection Plan set for October 11th. Lecta’s management is backing down on its decision to close the production line and explained that it is betting on line 8, which specializes in label papers. It has already invested 140 million in the PM and a biomass boiler.


Published on 21/09/2023

Sharp decline in German paper and board production in the first 7 months of 2023

The latest statistics from VDP, the German paper manufacturers' association, confirmed the trend that began earlier this year. The sharp fall in the production of paper and board continued, with 10.8 million tonnes produced compared with 13.5 million tonnes in the same period of 2022, a 20% decrease. This decline in production affected all segments. Sanitary and household recorded the least sharp decline, but nevertheless reached 6.6%, while the graphic grades withstood the least with -36.7% recorded over the period. The packaging segment posted a 14.8% decline, with 6.8 million tonnes produced compared to 7.9 in the first seven months of 2022. As a result, recovered paper consumption dropped by 15.8% to 8.9 million tonnes and pulp production by 15.5% to 1.1 million tonnes.
You can find all the German paper and board production statistics on our website in the Index section.


Published on 21/09/2023

Smurfit Kappa and WestRock are merging

We're kicking off the autumn with some big news! The American company WestRock is reportedly on the verge of merging with Smurfit Kappa. If the deal goes through, it will create a new holding company, Smurfit WestRock. Smurfit WestRock would be based in Ireland, with world headquarters in Dublin and would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. What are the advantages of this merger? The combination of these two highly complementary portfolios would create a global leader in sustainable packaging. They also have unrivalled geographical reach across 42 countries with a significant presence in Europe and the Americas. There would be wider opportunities for around 100,000 employees along with improved operational efficiencies and increased returns across more than 500 converting operations and 67 mills. At current market prices, the combined market capitalization of the two companies would be around $19 billion. They achieved combined sales of $34 billion in the 12 months leading up to the end of June.


Published on 15/09/2023

Metsä prepares for start-up of new pulp mill in Kemi

Metsä Group's Kemi mills prepared a maintenance and connection shutdown to gear up for the rollout of the forest industry's largest-ever investment in Finland, the new bioproducts mill and expansion of the Kemi paperboard mill. The shutdown began on Sunday September 10th, 2023, and the aim is to restart the mills on September 20th, 2023. The new Kemi bioproducts mill will produce around1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp and many other bioproducts each year, including 2 TWH of renewable electricity. Along with world-class production, the mill boasts environmental and energy efficiency, and despite the considerable increase in production capacity, emissions from the mill are below the limits specified in the environmental permit currently in force for the existing Kemi pulp mill. At the Kemi paperboard mill, investments will increase annual white kraft paper production capacity by around 40,000 tonnes.


Published on 15/09/2023

Less marked decline in French paper and board production in July

According to recent statistics from Copacel, paper and board production in France fell less sharply in July 2023 (-12.9%) than in June 2023, when the decline reached 15%. The downturn continues to affect the entire sector. Only the sanitary and household segments (-9.1% between July 2023 and July 2022, versus -7.7% between June 2023 and June 2022) and the corrugated segment (-2.3% versus -1.9%) fell more sharply than in the previous month. With  -41.8% (vs. -44.7% in June 2023), graphic grades posted the steepest decline over the period, followed by flexible packaging papers at -38.4% (vs. -47.3% the previous month). The packaging segment contracted by 5.9% (vs. 7.3% in June), with carton board down 12.9% (vs. -21.4% in June). The trend thus continued to weaken, against the backdrop of a very uncertain autumn.

For full statistics on French paper and board production in July 2023, visit the Index section of our website.


Published on 15/09/2023

Austria: Norske Skog officially started its PM 3 at the Bruck mill

It is happening! Norske Skog in Austria started the paper machine converted from newsprint production to paper production for corrugated board for a total investment of 120 million euros at its Bruck mill. The residual heat from the production will feed the district’s heating system of the city of Bruck an der Mur. “PM 3 plays a key role in our plans to introduce 760,000 tonnes of corrugated paper capacity to meet demand increasing renewable packaging and supporting Europe in its need to replace fossil-based packaging materials,” said Norske Skog CEO Tore Hansesætre.


Published on 06/07/2023

PPPC: Total pulp sales fell 4.6% YoY in May

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total deliveries of pulp fell by 4.6% over the first five months of 2023, to 20.86 million tonnes, compared to 21.89 over the same period in 2022. The participation rate was 84% compared to 88% last year. At 4.37 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries were down 3.2% in May 2023 from May 2022, but up 10.7% from the previous month. Mill inventories remained stable from the previous month at 58 days but increased significantly from May 2022 (39 days) with an additional 19 days. Deliveries of softwood declined 3.6% year-on-year, as did sales of hardwoods, which saw a similar decline of 3.5%, down 6.93 million tonnes from 6.61 million the previous year. the volumes of pulp delivered to China in the first 5 months of 2023 increased by 4.8%. The only destination, with Latin America (+8%) to have increased its volumes compared to 2022.

 You can find the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC)’s May 2023 statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 06/07/2023

Condat's paper mill will stop its line 4 business

Lecta recently made a big announcement. The paper manufacturer has shared its plan to stop its line 4 at its Condat mill (located at Le Lardin St Lazare in Dordogne) which produces coated paper on both sides. The reason given was the sharp decline in the graphic paper market. This is a real blow for the territory where the paper mill is the biggest employer, with 412 employees. Lecta plans to concentrate the expertise and resources of the Condat mill on line 8 dedicated to the production of special papers, liner and one-sided coated paper. Lecta is also currently investing in a biomass boiler (CSR) to significantly reduce energy costs and the mill’s carbon footprint by reducing CO2 emissions, in line with Lecta’s sustainable development strategy and goals. The biomass boiler (CSR) will be operational by mid-2024.


Published on 06/07/2023

The closure of 2 machines at UPM is imminent

“We will close to adapt to the demand.” That is invariably the same phrase that the printing and writing paper producers who are currently taking time off are using. The PM 4 closure at UPM’s Steyrermühl mill, scheduled for the end of the second quarter is an example of this. Another machine, the PM 6 at UPM’s Schongau mill, could also be shut down soon. Negotiations on its closure are ongoing. Gentle reminder that the Steyrermühl mill’s PM 4, which can produce up to 320,000 tpa of MFS and newsprint, will be taken over by Heinzel in early 2024.


Published on 06/07/2023

France significantly reduced its pulp trade in Q1 2023

The latest French customs statistics compiled by Pap'Argus showed that pulp import volumes were reduced by 19% in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, with 365,300 tonnes versus 450,808. It was the same trend for exports, with France exporting 114,995 tonnes versus 161,966 in the first quarter of 2022. More specifically, France reduced its imports not only from its main supplier country, Brazil (-14.1%), but also from Sweden (-7.3%) and Finland (-15.4%). Despite an increase in exports to Italy of 6.4%, France recorded a decline to China

(-19.3%), Germany (-39.1%) and Spain (-61.4%). These figures reflect the difficult situation at the beginning of the year.


Published on 06/07/2023

VPK started its paper machine in Alizay

Big news for those of us who are interested in the industry with the start-up of the paper machine in Alizay which will provide an additional annual production capacity of 500,000 tonnes of recycled paper for corrugated board. Together with VPK’s six other paper mills, it brings annual production to 2,000,000 tonnes, including 1,000,000 tonnes in France. Thanks to the integrated VPK model, Alizay’s additional paper production will mainly find outlets in VPK’s packaging production sites in France and the United Kingdom. This will strengthen the group’s integration and reduce its dependence on external paper suppliers. On an annual basis, the Alizay site will reuse 550,000 tonnes of recovered paper from a 250 km radius around the paper mill, minimizing CO2 emissions from production and transportation. In addition, a biomass plant and a sewage treatment plant produces green energy used during the paper production process. Despite the market volatility in 2022, triggered by the energy crisis and high inflation, the VPK Group maintained its strong position and achieved a robust result with a turnover of 2.1 billion euros in 2022. This 22% increase was mainly due to price increases implemented to cover significantly increased energy costs and widespread cost inflation.


Published on 29/06/2023

European paper and board production down -16.8% Jan-Apr 2023

According to the latest statistics published by the CEPI, paper and board production in the CEPI member countries fell by 16.8% compared to the same period in 2022, due to the deterioration of the economic situation and a strong destocking phenomenon. These declines once again affected all paper and board grades. The sharpest decline was recorded in the graphic grades (-29%) industry, with coated wood-free coatings the most impacted at -37.2% drop during the period. Packaging fell more moderately, by -14.7%, and the sanitary and household segment fell more sharply than in the first quarter, with -1.9%.

You can find all the European paper and board production statistics from April 2023 on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 29/06/2023

1150 jobs to be eliminated at Stora Enso

The Finnish paper manufacturer Stora Enso has announced that it will eliminate 1150 jos following the closure of four sites in Europe, partly due to the economic impact of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Stora Enso wants to close its wood pulp production unit in Sunila, Finland, its corrugated board site De Hoop in the Netherlands (acquired in January 2023 during the takeover of the Dutch manufacturer De Jong Packaging Group), another facility in Poland and a sawmill in Estonia. These closures will take place between 2023 and 2024. As part of the sanctions taken after the invasion of Ukraine, the Finnish authorities stopped importing wood from Russia, previously Finland’s main wood supplier, in July 2022. Inevitably, the shutdown of these imports stimulated competition in the pulp market and reduced the Sunila site’s profitability. The company, led by Annica Bresky since 2019, said that restructuring will reduce the company’s annual sales by approximately €380 million ($410.67 million), based on last year’s figures, while its operating profit (EBIT) should increase by around EUR 110 million per year.

 


Published on 29/06/2023

Varel gave up their new corrugated board machine project in Germany

German paper and board producer Papier-und Kartonfabrik Varel has decided not to install a new recycled board machine (PM 6) in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, as originally planned. They cited too many uncertainties at present, especially in terms of the economic environment, for such a large investment as the reason for this decision.  In 2021, Varel began exploring the opportunities for the production of ultra-light corrugated papers in Wilhelmshaven. In 2022, Varel, part of the HZI Group, generated €547 million in sales.


Published on 29/06/2023

Papierfabrik Palm to build a new corrugated board factory in Alzenau

For Wellpappe Alzenau of Papierfabrik Palm, field studies are currently underway for the new construction of the corrugated board factory in the industrial area of Alzenau-Nord. The new Wellpappe Alzenau site is located on the edge of the Alzenau-North industrial zone. Exploratory drilling is currently underway, necessary for the preparation of a constructible terrain report. Ground reconnaissance will be completed within a few days. The new building will free up a large area on the old site in the centre of Alzenau for interesting development opportunities. In the future, the 250 employees from the Alzenau and Hasselroth-Gondsroth boxmaker will work at the same Alzenau site. They will be able to access the new plant either through the industrial area or via the national road, so commuting should not increase in the city centre.  As a point of reference, nearly 40% of employees live in the municipality. Since its foundation in 1872, the family business Palm has been producing exclusively from recovered paper and board.


Published on 29/06/2023

Stora Enso will close a paper machine at the Anjala site

After negotiations, Stora Enso will shut down one of its two paper machines at the Anjala mill in Finland. According to the company, the PM shutdown, scheduled for the 4th quarter of this year, will affect 89 people, 50 of whom will be laid off. The Anjala mill has 300 employees and two machines that together can produce up to 435,000 tpa of coated and uncoated book paper, coated magazine paper and improved newsprint. Due to low paper demand and high input costs, Stora Enso decided to concentrate all book paper production on a single PM in Anjala. This will reduce the site’s capacity by 250,000 tpa and sales by €100 million. As a reminder, the Anjala mill was scheduled to be sold, along with the Hylte, Nymölla and Maxau plants. The planned sale was part of Stora Enso’s strategy to exit the print and writing paper market, announced in March of last year. The other three sites have already been divested, but the process of divesting Anjala has been stopped for the time being. The Anjala mill is part of the integrated Anjalankoski site which also includes the Ingerois packaging and board plant.


Published on 22/06/2023

France significantly reduced pulp trade in Q1 2023

The latest French customs statistics compiled by Pap'Argus showed that pulp import volumes were reduced by 19% in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, with 365,300 tonnes versus 450,808. France imported 114,995 tonnes versus 161,966 in the first quarter of 2022. More specifically, France reduced its imports not only from its main supplier country, Brazil (-14.1%), but also from Sweden (-7.3%) and Finland (-15.4%). Despite an increase in exports to Italy of 6.4%, France recorded a decline to China (-19.3%), Germany (-39.1%) and Spain (-1.4%). These figures reflect the difficult situation at the beginning of the year.

You can all of March 2023’s French customs statistics on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 22/06/2023

Incident at the Buchmann mill in Annweiler

A recent fire broke out in the rewinder of the Buchmann Karton carton board mill in Annweiler, Germany. Fortunately, it was quickly brought under control. There were no injuries and the carton board machine and rolling department were not affected. However, at this time there is no information about how long the production stoppage will be. The customer’s supply is secure thanks to a stock of coils as well as the group’s carton mill in Mayen. Buchmann Karton has been part of the Weig Group since early May 2023.  Annweiler’s board machine has a capacity of 260,000 tpa. Buchmann and Weig have a combined capacity of 550,000 tpa.


Published on 22/06/2023

Suzano reduces pulp production by 4%

Brazilian pulp manufacturer Suzano announced a 4% reduction in the volume of marketable pulp production for 2023 compared to its usual capacity. According to the company, this decision is based on the fact that this volume production would not bring adequate returns to the company during a more complex pulp market period. The company’s marketable pulp production capacity is about 10.9 million tonnes per year. A 4% reduction is about 424,000 tonnes less.


Published on 22/06/2023

French paper and board production declined less sharply in April

According to recent Copacel statistics, paper and board production in France fell less sharply in April 2023 (-16.9%) than in March 2023, when a 21.9% decrease was recorded. The decline still affects the entire sector, including the sanitary and household segment (-6% between April 2023 and April 2022). At -43% (compared to -51.7% in March 2023), the most pronounced decline over the period was in graphics, followed by flexible packaging paper, at -32.7% (compared to 56.2% the previous month). The packaging segment fell by 11.5% (down from 14.7% in March), carton board by -14.6% (down from -24.2% in March) and CCM by -9.4% (down from -9.7% in the previous month). These figures reflect a slight change in

 the trend, thus a positive signal in a still difficult economic situation.

Find all of the French paper and board production statistics from April 2023 on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 22/06/2023

Largest decline in production and new orders in the euro zone in 6 months

According to HCOB economist Dr Cyrus de la Rubia, “The increasing weakness in demand in the Eurozone manufacturing sector (44.8), evidenced by a continued decline in the new orders index since the beginning of the year, led to a second consecutive monthly decline in production in May. The fall in new order volumes, both in the domestic and export markets, also foreshadows a prolonged weakness in activity, a prospect corroborated by the data published in April by the European Commission, which showed a general decline in the production of goods, except capital goods.”

In France (45.7), production fell sharply again in the manufacturing sector, while demand remained weak. It is in this same context of falling demand, especially exports, that German manufacturing production (43.2) contracted for the first time in 4 months. (…)

On the services side, there was a slight slowdown in activity growth in the Eurozone (55.1) in May. Against this general trend, however, expansion accelerated in Germany (57.2). The services sector maintained a strong growth momentum over the period, supported by an improvement in demand. (…)

 

You can find the Purchasing Managers Index for May 2023 on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 15/06/2023

Fibre Excellence Saint-Gaudens is closed until end of June due to maintenance

Fibre Excellence Saint Gaudens, a pulp mill located in the Haute-Garonne, has just launched a major maintenance operation which will shut down the site for one month. The maintenance cost will be approximately 12 million euros and around a 1,000 people will work to upgrade the mill. This maintenance will consist of work on the black liquor boiler, on the malodorous gas incinerator boiler, and to implement major maintenance of the steam turbines and generators. In preparation for the maintenance shutdown, a mandatory training module on safety rules has been put in place for all stakeholders and service providers. To date, the site produces 280,000 tons of pulp per year. The classified Seveso site previous maintenance was in June 2021. At that time, the mill stopped for two weeks.


Published on 15/06/2023

Omya will significantly increase calcium carbonate capacity in Asia

Omya is a Swiss group which produces white minerals worldwide. Its main markets include paper. In a period of full development, Omya is currently building seven calcium carbonate factories in China and Indonesia. This program based on long-term partnerships with players in the board and paper industry. In detail, the new factories in China include three factories in Guangxi, Guangdong and Shandong, two production facilities in Shandong and another plant in Fujian. The new plant in Sumatra, Indonesia, will have a combined capacity of approximately 1 million tpa. Created in Switzerland in 1884, the Omya Group now has approximately 8,000 employees at more than 180 industrial sites in more than 50 countries. In France, Omya has approximately 340 employees in 8 locations.


Published on 15/06/2023

2023’s Eurosac Grand Prix showed promising innovations

Eurosac, a European federation of large-capacity paper bag manufacturers, held a recent trade show in Verona, Italy from May 4th – 6th, 2023 with more than 130 delegates present. The theme was, “Paper bags: from nature to nature”, and discussions focused on recent EU packaging legislation along with different approaches to recycling paper bags and recovering fibres. At the end the most promising innovations in the industry were presented during the Eurosac Grand Prix ceremony. Saccarta won gold with its Window Valve Bag, while the dy-pack dydry won silver. The jury awarded the bronze medal to Billerud’s Performance White Barrier and Klabin’s EcoLayer. Alier’s Next Solution won the special industry award, while Mondi’s ExpandForm Protection Bag won the public vote. The federation, chaired by Olivier Tassel, represents more than 80% of European manufacturers of active paper bags in 20 countries. They produce about $5 billion worth of paper bags a year, or about 630,000 tonnes of paper processed in 55 mills.


Published on 15/06/2023

Norske Skog Saugbrugs' SC PM 6 is still shut down

It has been a month since the Norske Skog Saugbrugs paper mill in Halden, Norway, was hit by a major landslide. According to Norske Skog, its PM 6 will remain shut down for a longer time as the building where the paper machine is located was severely damaged. The extent and consequences of the landslide are still being assessed. Norske Skog operates two paper machines with a total production capacity of approximately 360,000 tpa of SC paper for offset and gravure printing at the Saugbrugs mill. The PM 6 is designed for a production capacity of up to 260,000 tpa. The PM 4, which was not affected by the landslide in April, can produce 100,000 tpa of SC paper. The Saugbrugs mill also houses a third SC paper machine, the PM 5, which has been permanently shut down since 2021.


Published on 08/06/2023

French paper and board production declined less sharply in April

According to recent COPACEL statistics, paper and board production in France fell less sharply in April 2023 (-16.9%) than in March 2023, when a 21.9% decrease was recorded. The decline still affects the entire sector, including the sanitary and household segment (-6% between April 2023 and April 2022). At -43% (compared to -51.7% in March 2023), the most pronounced decline over the period was in graphics, followed by flexible packaging paper, at -32.7% (compared to 56.2% the previous month). The packaging and packaging segment fell by 11.5% (down from 14.7% in March), flat board by -14.6% (down from -24.2% in March) and corrugated paper by -9.4% (down from -9.7% in the previous month). These figures reflect a slight change in trend, a positive signal in a still difficult economic situation.

 

You can find all the French paper and board production statistics for April 2023 in the Index section of our website.


Published on 08/06/2023

High interest rates delay construction of pulp mill in Paraguay

High global borrowing costs have delayed the construction of the $3 billion mill that is the focus of a massive pulp project in Paraguay. Paracel, whose main shareholder is Girindus Investments, has planned to build Paraguay’s first pulp mill near Concepcion, in central Paraguay. The Paracel pulp mill will operate a single fibre line and will be designed for a maximum production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes of bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEK). Paracel also plans to produce energy from biomass on the site. However, due to the unfavorable situation in the financial markets, the start of construction work was postponed to a later date. The construction of the mill was initially scheduled to be completed in early 2025. One thing is certain, Paraguay, a landlocked South American country of 7.5 million people, is set to become a major supplier of wood pulp to Asia and Europe once the Paracel mill opens.


Published on 08/06/2023

-29.5% total graphic paper deliveries in Europe in February

The latest data from Euro-Graph, the European association of graphic paper producers, showed a drop of almost 30% in total deliveries of graphic paper in February, with 1.2 million tonnes compared to 1.7 million in February 2022. European demand fell 27.7% over the month. Over the first two months of the year, European shipments of graphic papers decreased by a total of 27.6%, with 2.5 million tonnes compared to 3.5 million over the same period of the previous year. More specifically, deliveries in Europe fell by 29.8% and those outside Europe by 15.9%. European demand fell by 26.2%. The largest drop in European shipments was in the coated woodfree with -41.8% recorded in the first two months, followed by the uncoated mechanical at -28.6%.  This data reflects not only  a situation of structural decline, but also the impact of economic conditions.
You can find all these statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 08/06/2023

A drop of 29.5% in graphic paper deliveries in February in Europe

The latest data from Euro-Graph, the European association of graphic paper producers, showed a drop of almost 30% in total deliveries of graphic paper in February, with 1.2 million tonnes compared to 1.7 million in February 2022. European demand fell 27.7% over the month. Over the first two months of the year, European shipments of graphic papers decreased by a total of 27.6%, with 2.5 million tonnes compared to 3.5 million over the same period of the previous year. More specifically, deliveries in Europe fell by 29.8% and those outside Europe by 15.9%. European demand fell by 26.2%. The largest drop in European shipments was in the coated woodfree , with -41.8% recorded over the first two months, followed by uncoated mechanical, at -28.6%.  This data reflects not only  a situation of structural decline, but also the impact of economic conditions.

Find all these statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 05/06/2023

Norske Skog Bruck announces successful commercial deliveries of Testliner 3 and flute

Mission accomplished for Norske Skog Bruck which announced the successful commercial orders forTestliner 3 and fluting. This represents the introduction of 210,000 tonnes of competitive capacity of corrugated paper to meet the growing demand for renewable and reusable packaging. The production is 100% based on recycled fibres and will use steam from the waste energy plant, which opened in April 2022. “We are thrilled to have received our first commercial orders for Strato Testliner 3 and Fluting, highlighting that customers have successfully tested our paper. This is an important step that demonstrates our commitment to the packaging market, and we look forward to further expanding our product offering in the future,” said Tore Hansesætre, SVP Strategic Projects at Norske Skog. As a reminder, Norske Skog acquired the Bruck mill in January 1996. Bruck is located in Styria, Austria.


Published on 05/06/2023

Holmen is investing SEK 450 million in its Braviken paper mill

In order to strengthen its leading position in the paper for books market and increase its production in packaging products, Holmen is investing SEK 450 million (EUR 40 million) in the reconstruction of a paper machine at the Braviken paper mill. The reconstruction of the PM 52 at the Braviken paper mill will expand its paper for books range while[M1]  allowing Holmen to efficiently increase the production of fluting for use in the center layer of corrugated board boxes. Reconstruction is scheduled for fall 2024. “After this investment, we will be able to produce a fluting product that meets quality requirements for demanding applications with less material consumption than established products. We will also be able to offer higher weights of our Braviken paper for books,” said Tommy Wiksand, Vice President of Paper Business Development.


Published on 25/05/2023

First quarter marked by a clear decline in German paper and board production

The latest statistics from VDP, the German papermaking association, do not contradict the trend that began at the beginning of the year. They revealed a sharp drop in paper and board production in the first quarter, with 4.6 million tonnes produced compared to 5.8 during the same period in 2022, a 20% decrease. This decline in production affected all segments. Sanitary and household showed the least decline, at -1.8%, while graphic grades resisted the least with -35% recorded over the period. The packaging sector recorded a decrease of -16.2%, with 2.8 million tonnes produced. As a result, recycled paper consumption fell by 16% to 3.8 million tonnes and pulp production fell by 18.7% to 499,000 tonnes. (Source WTP)

You can find all of the German paper and board statistics in the Index section of  our website.


Published on 25/05/2023

Metsä Board will set up technical unemployment

Metsä Board, the carton board and kraftliner subsidiary of the forestry group Metsä will temporarily lay-off people in its factories in Finland in anticipation of lower orders.  Negotiations will soon begin with the 1,100 employees of the 7 factories concerned. This “technical unemployment” could reach a maximum of 90 days for each employee until the end of the year. The mills concerned are Joutseno (360,000 tpa BCTMP), Kaskinen (390,000 tpa BCTMP), Kemi (425,000 tpa white kraftliner), Kyro (190,000 t/a carton board), Tampere (210,000 t/a), Simpele (300,000 t/a folding box board) and Äääänekoski (260,000 t/a of folding box board).


Published on 25/05/2023

A first quarter marked by an overall decline in European paper and board production

According to the latest statistics published by CEPI, the paper and board production of CEPI member countries recorded a 16.5% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2022. These declines affected all paper and board grades, to varying degrees. The sharpest decline was once again recorded by the graphic grades (-28.9%), with  coated woodfree as the  most impacted with a 37.5% drop over the period. Packaging showed a more moderate decline, of -14.4%. The sanitary and household segment was practically stable, at - 0.2%. With 1.5 million tonnes produced against 1.9 in the first quarter of 2022, the production of paper and board in France fell even more sharply, by 20.9% in the first quarter, particularly in the production of graphic grades, by 40.9%. Paper products suffered heavily from the deterioration of business combined with a strong destocking.

You can find all of the European and French paper and board production statistics for March 2023 in the Index section of our website.


Published on 25/05/2023

Smurfit Kappa is investing €40 million in the expansion of its Pruszków factory

The Smurfit Kappa Pruszków corrugated board factory is ramping up. With its extension, the factory will be the largest in Poland and one of the most modern and high-tech packaging factories in Europe, working mainly with brands in the food and beverage sectors. Smurfit Kappa’s investment in Poland includes the installation of a new high-tech corrugator and a range of state-of-the-art processing machines. The factory has also been equipped with a new finished goods warehouse, which can hold more than 12,000 pallets. The investment will bring the number of boxes produced annually to 500 million.


Published on 25/05/2023

Holmen to rebuild PM 52 at Braviken plant in Sweden

450 million SEK’s is the amount of the investment planned by the Holmen Group for its Braviken mill in Sweden. Their objective is to strengthen their position in the paper for book market while increasing its production capacity of corrugated board. Thus, the reconstruction of the factory’s PM 52 should allow the company to produce paper for books with higher weight. In addition, the production capacity of fluting should be increased. A gentle reminder that Holmen operates two paper machines at the Braviken site with a total capacity of more than 600,000 tpa, mainly paper for magazines and books composed of 100% fresh fibres.


Published on 18/05/2023

German paper manufacturer Koehler invested €70m in the conversion of its Oberkirch coal power plant

In order to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to comply with the European Union’s carbon neutrality targets, Koehler launched the construction of a biomass cogeneration plant for its Oberkirch production site. Koehler will now use wood chips, green waste and manufacturing residues as fuel. This should enable it to save 150,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Koehler has an ambitious environmental goal: by 2030, it wants to generate more energy from renewable sources than is strictly necessary for its paper production.


Published on 18/05/2023

Italian Reno de Medici bought Swedish Fiskeby

Things are moving in the carton board market, this time in Sweden. Reno de Medici (RDM) has just concluded an agreement to acquire the Swedish recycled carton board manufacturer Fiskeby. The transaction is scheduled to close in the third quarter, subject to antitrust approval. Fiskeby employs 275 people and is considered the only producer of 100% recovered fibreboard in Scandinavia. The company operates a board machine that produces 170,000 tpa of recycled board in weights ranging from 280 to 500 g/m². The Norrköping site also houses four sheet cutting lines and a laminating machine. The company’s main sales markets are Sweden, Germany and the UK. Fiskeby is owned and operated by Fiskeby Holding LLC, under the management of the American industrial family Coors, which also owns and operates CoorsTek and Coors Brewery.


Published on 11/05/2023

First decline in manufacturing output in the Eurozone since January

The deterioration in the economic situation worsened in the Eurozone manufacturing sector (45.8) at the beginning of the second quarter, with PMI HCOB* data compiled by S&P Global showing the first decline in output since the beginning of the year. The fall in demand also led to the largest decline in new orders in four months. The contraction in the French manufacturing sector (45.6) strengthened in April, as the sharp deterioration in demand led to the largest decline in production levels since May 2020. However, inflationary pressures have weakened again. (…)

On the services side, Dr. Cyrus de la Rubia, chief economist at the Hamburg Commercial Bank, noted that, “The latest PMI data showed that Italy (57.6) and Spain (57.9) are currently leading the growth of activity in the Eurozone services sector (56.2), …the importance of tourism in these two countries has enabled them to take full advantage of the current recovery in this sector.” France (54.6) recorded a third consecutive monthly increase. This strong increase in activity levels was based on better demand during the month, which also encouraged companies to strengthen their capacity, resulting in a further acceleration of job creation in the sector. (…)

* Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB) is a private commercial bank and specialized financial institution, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.

(You can find the Purchasing Managers Index for April 2023 in the Index section of our website, www.pap-argus.com)


Published on 11/05/2023

MM will spend €660 million on its Kwidzyn site in Poland

The MM Group has approved a major investment project to increase the long-term competitiveness of its largest board and paper mill, MM Kwidzyn in Poland.  Its objectives are to reduce energy and CO2 costs, integrate pulp and enter the kraft paper for the sack market. The group plans to spend around 660 million euros to make this happen. The purchase of a new recovery boiler and steam turbine and the conversion of the paper machine (PM 1) to kraft paper for sacks are already planned. The implementation of this program is planned for 2023-2026 with disbursements until 2027.  Mayr-Melnhof bought the site from International Paper in 2021.


Published on 11/05/2023

Cropper is reorganizing

British specialty paper, paper and luxury goods manufacturer James Cropper has announced a restructuring program. Among other things, the company will reduce the number of operating paper machines from four to three. Approximately 10% of employees will be potentially affected, mainly within Paper and Group functions, at a cost of £2.1 million. Specifically, James Cropper announced three strategic projects: reorganizing and renaming the brand’s profile, investing in innovation and systems and streamlining its Paper division to improve productivity and margins. This includes reorganizing its three separate divisions, James Cropper Paper, Technical Fibre Products and Colourform, into four market-oriented segments grouped under the main group heading: James Cropper Creative Papers; James Cropper Luxury Packaging; James Cropper Technical Fibres; and James Cropper Future Energy. According to the company, this reorganization will 'better target operations and streamline costs, while strengthening collaboration and sharing of functions within the group.' It hopes to complete the reorganization and name changes by the end of the calendar year.


Published on 11/05/2023

UPM opens new BEK pulp mill in Uruguay

UPM has received final operating approval from environmental authorities for its new pulp mill - UPM Paso de Los Toros. The mill is up and running and the first deliveries to customers are expected to be shipped in May. UPM has an extensive environmental monitoring program covering water and biota, air, soil, noise and socio-economic aspects. Through this growth investment, UPM and its sub-contractors will create 4,000 new jobs in the value chain, as well as approximately 6,000 induced jobs and a 2% increase in GDP for the Uruguayan economy. The UPM Group employs 17,200 people worldwide and has annual sales of approximately €11.7 billion.


Published on 11/05/2023

Kipas Kagit’s new corrugated board machine will start later than expected

According to Valmet, which will supply the PM 3 for the Turkish company Kipas Kagit’s Söke mill, the new machine is now scheduled for the end of 2023. After the inauguration of the brand new board manufacturing line, the mill will be one of the largest in Europe with a production capacity of 1,868 tonnes per day. The new 9 100 mm wide board machine will produce recycled flute, testliner and kraft top testliner grades with a range of 60 to 110 g/m2. The design speed of the machine will be 1800 m/min and the annual capacity will be approximately 650 000 tonnes. Remember that Kipa? Ka?it Sanayi Isletmeleri started as a joint venture of Kipa? Holding in 2011 and produces corrugated paper from waste paper. Kipa? currently has two paper machines: PM 1 in Kahramanmara? with an annual production capacity of 450,000 tonnes and PM 2 in Söke with a production capacity of 720,000 tonnes of coated paper.


Published on 11/05/2023

Spanish group Hinojosa acquired 49% of the capital of the French ASV Packaging Group

Two years after the acquisition of Allard Emballages, Hinojosa Packaging Group entered into exclusive negotiations with the French group ASV Packaging to acquire 49% of its shares. The family-owned ASV Packaging Group specializes in the design and production of compact printed cardboard packaging for food and consumer products. This combination allows Hinojosa to strengthen its leading position in southern Europe for the manufacture of sustainable packaging solutions. Hinojosa and ASV Packaging together share the exclusivity of the production of Halopack (a fully gas-tight cardboard MAP tray) on the Iberian Peninsula and in France. Ruben Martinez Hinojosa, President of Hinojosa Packaging said, “Hinojosa sees the entry into the capital of ASV Packaging as an opportunity to expand its activity in corrugated cardboard packaging, which was made possible by the acquisition of Allard Emballage in 2021, through the integration of modern and competitive entities recognized on the market. Thus, we are bringing our model and expertise for the French market which allowed our continued growth on the Iberian market.” Last year, ASV Packaging had a turnover of 64 million euros with 210 employees.


Published on 04/05/2023

French paper and board production still down sharply in March

According to recent Copacel statistics, paper and board production in France continued to fall in March 2023, with 511,800 tonnes produced compared to 654,900 in March 2022, a decline of 21.9%. This significant decline that affected all paper and board grades, including the sanitary and household sector (-6.1% between March 2023 and March 2022). At -56.2%, the production of flexible packaging paper showed the strongest decline over the period, followed by graphic grades, at -51.7%. The packaging segment fell by 14.7%, with flat and flexible packaging at -24.2%, and paper for corrugated, -9.7% (a decrease, however, less marked than in January, when it reached 17%). These figures once again reflect the numerous production stoppages of paper and board manufacturers who in March faced a strong phenomenon of destocking combined with significant production costs.

Find all the French paper and board production statistics from March 2023 in the Index section of our website.

 


Published on 04/05/2023

Norske Skog shuts down PM 6 from it Saugbrugs factory after a landslide

A landslide occurred on the morning of April 27th in Halden in Southern Norway, causing property damage to building structures, cranes and other machinery and equipment related to PM 6 at the Norske Skog Saugbrugs mill. As a result,PM 6 will be out of service for an indefinite period. The Saugbrugs mill houses two paper machines, the PM 6 with a capacity of 260,000 tpa of SC magazine paper and the PM 4 has a capacity of 100,000 tpa of SC magazine paper.

 


Published on 04/05/2023

German paper and board production down sharply since the start of the year

The latest statistics from VDP, the German papermaking association, revealed a sharp fall in paper and board production (-20.4%), with 3 million tonnes produced in the first two months of 2023 compared to 3.8 in the same period of 2022. This decline in production affected all segments. The decline in the sanitary and household sector was the least pronounced, at 1.1%, while the decline in the production of graphic grades was the least resistant, with 35.1% recorded over the period. The packaging segment recorded a 16.7% decrease, with 1.8 million tonnes produced. As a result of these trends, recycled paper consumption fell by 16.4% to 2.5 million tonnes and pulp production fell by 18% to 330,000 tonnes. (Source WTP)

You can find all of the German paper and board production statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 04/05/2023

The sale of three Sappi paper mills to the Aurelius group failed

The South African group Sappi and Aurelius could not agree to finalize the agreement concerning the Kirkniemi, Stockstadt and Maastricht facilities. What happened? The parties could not reach an agreement on the conditions precedent and, as a result, the agreement lapsed. Sappi will continue to manage the three mills as part of its portfolio. However, Sappi’s strategic direction remains unchanged. The group intends to reduce its exposure to the graphic paper segment and expand its presence in packaging and specialty paper, pulp and biomaterials. For the record, the Aurelius fund is the one that sold Office Depot Europe to Raja and since then, still in the graphic sector, has taken over Agfa’s offset activities which have just been renamed Eco3.


Published on 27/04/2023

Increasing pulp stocks at European paper manufacturers

The February Utipulp data showed pulp stocks at European paper mills increased 8.2% between February 2023 and January 2023 (695,140 tonnes vs 642,333 tonnes), and 9% from February 2022 (637,813 tonnes). Total pulp consumption fell 7.1% month-to-month, to 765,749 tonnes in February 2023, down from 824,708 in January 2023, and more than 19% year-to-year. The number of days of inventory increased by 2 days, to 23 days between February and January. As the demand prospects are not very good many players in the sector believe that the pulp market will remain weak at least until the summer.


Published on 27/04/2023

DS Smith will modernize its Viana kraftliner plant in Portugal

The British group DS Smith has announced an ambitious programme to upgrade its kraftliner paper mill in Viana, Portugal. The company plans to invest 145 million euros in the mill in the coming years. The proposed measures will increase the capacity of the paper machine and improve the environmental performance of the site. To date, the production capacity of the site is 425,000 tpa of kraftliner.


Published on 27/04/2023

Rottneros must cut costs

Swedish pulp producer Rottneros will cut staff at the Vallvik pulp mill due to rising costs, falling pulp prices and a lower US dollar in the long run. The Vallvik mill produces bleached and unbleached softwood kraft pulp with a capacity of approximately 250,000 tpa. Last year, the company laid off 36 people at the Rottneros mill when a fibre line producing mechanical wood pulp was closed due to a declining market and rising costs. The Rottneros mill specializes in the production of CTMP and is designed for a capacity of 120,000 tpa.


Published on 27/04/2023

Mondi increases its FunctionalBarrier paper production capacity

FunctionalBarrier papers are an interesting alternative to the growing demand for sustainable paper-based packaging solutions. This range, which replaces plastic films and laminates, offers fibre-based packaging solutions particularly suited to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and can be recycled into existing waste paper streams throughout Europe. The demand for this type of paper is growing which is why Mondi is investing in innovative technologies to strengthen its production capacity in this area. The manufacturer has invested in a new extruder at its Mondi Coating Št?tí site (Czech Republic) where production is expected to start in 2024. An investment programme is also underway at Mondi Jülich (Germany) with the refurbishment of an existing coating line. Mondi will also optimize its production site in Örebro (Sweden) by carrying out upgrades.


Published on 27/04/2023

German paper and board production was down sharply during the first quarter

The latest statistics from VDP, the German papermaking association, revealed a sharp fall in paper and board production in 2023 compared to 2022, with 3 million tonnes produced in the first two months compared to 3.8 during the same period of 2022, (-20.4%). The decline in production affected all grades. The sanitary and household market showed the least decline, with -1.1%, while graphic papers had the largest decline with -35.1% recorded over the period. The packaging segment recorded a decrease of -16.7% with 1.8 million tonnes produced. Due to these trends, recycled paper consumption fell by 16.4% to 2.5 million tonnes and pulp production fell by 18% to 330,000 tonnes. (Source WTP)

 

You can find all the German paper and board production statistics in the Index section of our website.


Published on 20/04/2023

Stora Enso completed the sale of its Hylte paper site to Sweden Timber

It’s a done deal. Stora Enso completed the divestiture of its paper production facility in Hylte, Sweden, and all the assets associated with Sweden Timber, including a sawmill and planing factory based in Sweden as well. The transaction amount was €18 million and Stora Enso’s annual newsprint capacity will reduce by 245,000 tonnes. Using the 2022 figures as a benchmark, the sale was expected to reduce Stora Enso’s annual sales by around €160 million. This operation, part of the previously announced plan to divest four of Stora Enso’s five paper production sites, will not affect the Stora Enso formed fibre and biocomposite operations located in the Hylte site. In line with its strategy, Stora Enso is now focusing on the long-term growth potential of its renewable products in packaging, construction solutions and biomaterial innovations.


Published on 20/04/2023

Stora Enso will close a paper machine in its Anjala mill

After stopping the process of selling its paper mill in Anjala, Finland, Stora Enso now plans to concentrate the production of book paper on one of the two machines on the site. This would ultimately lead to the permanent closure of one of its two paper machines. Currently, the mill produces coated and uncoated paper for books, coated magazine paper and improved newsprint on two machines with a combined capacity of 435,000 tpa. The machine stop, scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2023, would reduce the mill’s production capacity by 250,000 tpa and it would affect 110 people. The Anjala site in Stora Enso in Finland includes the packaging and board production unit in Ingerois and the paper production unit in Anjala. Anjanankoski’s integrated site has been part of the Packaging Materials division since the beginning of the year.


Published on 20/04/2023

Hinojosa recorded €820 million in sales in 2022 (+27% vs. 2101)

Hinojosa Packaging Group achieved €820 million in sales in 2022, 27% more than in 2021. This was a solid performance in a complicated context, marked by historic records in energy and raw material prices, as well as supply chain difficulties. Despite increased sales, the company also reduced its carbon footprint by 12% last year. As a demonstration of its commitment to the circular economy, the group achieved a recovery rate of more than 93%. Along with this strong balance sheet there was also a positive international expansion in 2022 as the company consolidated in Portugal and France, after the purchase and integration of Allard Emballages. The family-owned Hinojosa Packaging Group, led by French CEO Eric Bacourt, currently has 2,500 employees and 19 production factories in Spain, Portugal and France, combining the strength of a global group with a local presence.


Published on 20/04/2023

European paper and board production’s difficult start to the year

According to the latest statistics published by the CEPI, the paper and board production of the CEPI member countries started the year with a decrease of 13% compared to January 2022. To explain this number, it cited declines in almost all paper and board grades with the notable exception of the sanitary and household sector, which improved its performance by 8.6%. The largest drop was recorded in the uncoated paper segment (27.9%), followed closely by coated paper (22.1%). Packaging declined more moderately, by 11.9%. With 515,000 tonnes produced versus 646,200 in January 2022, paper and board production in France fell even more sharply by 20.3% in January 2023. This is a trend that is still going on as the latest Copacel data revealed a further sharp decline in French paper production, by 20.4%.

 

You can find all the European paper and board production statistics from January 2023 and French production in February 2023 on our website in the Index section.


Published on 20/04/2023

Gascogne group ordered a new paper machine

Gascogne invested 220 million euros to replace its three oldest paper machines at the Mimizan site by a single machine, supplied by Andritz. This new PM is designed to produce 125,000 tpa of unbleached kraft MG paper weighing 25 to 120 g/m². Dedicated to the new production line and its packaging chain, this new building will house the new PM and offices. Construction will begin before the end of June 2023.  


Published on 14/04/2023

Strongest growth in the Eurozone economy since May 2022

While the latest PMI data pointed to unfavorable conditions in the Eurozone manufacturing sector (47.3) in March, the situation in services is improving. Joe Hayes, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, commented on the results of the latest PMI survey saying, “The rebound in Eurozone economic activity (55), after the slowdown observed at the end of 2022, continued in March. The risk of recession in the region therefore continues to recede for the time being.” On the French services sector (53.9), he added, “March marked the end of a relatively positive first quarter for the French economy. Although the decline in manufacturing output continued, the two consecutive months of sustained growth in services activity in February and March boded well for the economic performance of the entire French private sector in the first quarter of 2023. However, it remains to be seen how the recent social unrest in the country will affect the economy.”


Published on 14/04/2023

UPM Paso de Los Toros pulp mill ready to go

The paper maker UPM has been accepted by the environmental authorities in terms of all the procedures, systems and technologies necessary to fulfill the mill’s environmental permit. This approval precedes the final operating authorization, which should be received in a few weeks. “With an increase of over 50% in UPM’s current pulp capacity, this investment has created a radical shift in the scale of our pulp business and UPM’s future revenues,” said Jussi Pesonen, CEO. In addition to the pulp mill, the total investment of $3.47 billion includes a deep water port terminal in Montevideo, a new eucalyptus nursery and local investments in infrastructure and facilities. Bernd Eikens, Executive Vice President of UPM Fibres said, “The Paso de Los Toros pulp mill, with its annual production capacity of 2.1 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp, ranks us among the world’s leading pulp suppliers. We now have a balanced asset base and wood supply in both hemispheres. With two pulp mills in Uruguay and three pulp mills in Finland, we offer a strong supply of sustainable hardwood and softwood pulp to our customers.


Published on 14/04/2023

DS Smith will install a new corrugated board machine in Lucca

Valmet will equip DS Smith Paper Italia with a new corrugated board machine which will be installed at its Porcari site in Lucca, Italy, which up until now produces recycled corrugated board on two machines. The British group DS Smith explained that it would replace an older machine with 175,000 tpa capacity, which will have a 450,000 tpa capacity of light brown testliner and corrugated paper, with weights ranging from 70 to 135 g/m. It is scheduled to start up in mid-2025. In addition to the PM to be replaced, the Porcari site has another PM with a capacity of 235,000 tpa.

 

 


Published on 14/04/2023

Norske Skog Bruck delayed the start of its recycled corrugated board machine

Norske Skog acquired the Bruck mill in Austria in January 1996. Thanks to this acquisition, Norske Skog’s product range was supplemented by coated magazine paper (LWC). A paper machine was recently converted to produce recycled corrugated board (PM 3, 210,000 tonnes of corrugated board). However, the rebuilt Norkse Skog machine at the Bruck papermill will not start commercial production in the 1st quarter as originally planned. Its commercial start was postponed during the first half of the year. The Bruck site has existed since 1881.


Published on 14/04/2023

Graphic paper: UPM reduces production capacity in Germany and Austria

UPM Communication Papers plans to permanently close its PM6 at the Schongau mill in Germany, reducing the annual uncoated printing paper capacity by 165,000 tonnes by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2023. UPM Communication Papers has also talked about the shutdown of its Steyrermühl mill. The paper manufacturer has accelerated this process, which means the release of a total annual capacity of 320,000 tonnes of newsprint by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2023. This initiative is not expected to have any impact on the production of the other machines, namely the PM7 and PM9 at Schongau and the four other UPM uncoated paper machines in Germany and Finland. Overall, this will bring the company’s total annual capacity to 1,800,000 tonnes.


Published on 06/04/2023

Corex acquired Arteche Paper in Portugal and Spain

It started with Corenso in 2019, Topcore in 2021 and now Arteche Paper. Corex, the tube and edge protectors division of the Belgian family-owned group VPK, hasn’t stop innovating!  With the latest acquisition of Arteche Paper, the Iberian manufacturer of board, cores, tubes and edge protecters, this is its third external growth operation in 4 years. Its last transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the 2nd quarter. For Pierre Macharis, VPK Group’s CEO, “Corex and Arteche have achieved an impressive track record in recent years. Joining forces with Arteche will allow us to offer a wider geographical coverage while making the most of VPK’s network and expertise. Integration of a board factory creates a strategic geographic axis for the supply of renewable raw materials from the Corex tube board factory in Finland via Belgium to the south of France and Portugal.”  Arteche Paper has 65 million euros in turnover business. The company has a tube carton production facility in Porto, Portugal, and five converting factories in Portugal and Spain. Its total production capacity is 130,000 tonnes. As for the VPK Group, it generated a turnover of 2.1 billion euros in 2022 with a workforce of 6,500 employees.


Published on 06/04/2023

K&N Paper will close its Kriebstein mill

High energy costs and low demand have led to the closure of German graphic, special and recycled packaging paper manufacturer Kübler & Niethammer Papierfabrik Kriebstein. Management is currently in discussions with a potential investor who may take over parts of the company. As a reminder, the German group Schönfelder, through its subsidiary Fesco Papier, withrew K&N Paper from insolvency proceedings in 2020. At the German Kriebstein mill, the company produced coated and uncoated recycled graphic paper, recycled label paper and brown (kraft) recycled packaging paper for sacks, pouches and packaging applications.


Published on 06/04/2023

Sweden:  The largest kraftliner machine in the world opens in Obbola

Enormous! That seems to be the right word to describe the world’s largest kraftliner machine that has just started to produce at SCA’s Obbola site in eastern Sweden. With a total investment of 7.5 billion SEK’s (660 million euros ), this major project was completed earlier than planned. At full capacity, planned for 2026, the machine will increase capacity from 450,000 tonnes to 725,000 tonnes per year. This new PM 2, provided by Voith, will replace the existing PM 1. The program has a total budget of 7.5 billion SEK’s, of which approximately 1 billion SEK’s has been allocated to environmental improvements on the site. For example, a bio-fuel furnace was installed in the mill with the goal of phasing out the use of fossil fuels and saving 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.


Published on 06/04/2023

Smurfit Kappa has finally left the Russian market

Like many companies, the Smurfit Kappa Group preferred to cease operations in Russia. The official departure of the group is scheduled for April 1st. The group suspended support for its Russian operations, including all imports and exports and all short- and long-term financing in April 2022. Its businesses in Russia represent less than 1% of its planned sales. Smurfit Kappa operated three corrugated packaging factories in Russia, located in Moscow and St Petersburg.


Published on 06/04/2023

6.5% decrease in paper and board production in Germany in 2022

The latest statistics from VDP, the German papermaking association, revealed an annual decline in paper and board production that is slightly higher than the European average, which is 5% in 2022 compared to 2021. With 21.6 million tonnes produced in 2022 compared to 23.1 in 2021, Europe’s leading paper producing country suffered particularly from the difficult economic climate in the second half of the year. Apart from the sanitary and household segment, which has been virtually stable, there has been an overall decline in the entire sector.  Graphic grades is the least resistant with 9.4% recorded over the period, for a production of 5.9 million tonnes. The packaging segment recorded a 6.1% decrease, with 12.7 million tonnes produced. As a result of these trends, recovered paper consumption fell by 6.9% to 17 million tonnes and pulp production by 7.1% to 2.2 million tonnes.

 

You can find all the German paper and board production statistics in the Index section of our website.

 


Published on 06/04/2023

The French paper and board industry had a good year in 2022

Copacel used the term 'polycrisis' at its annual press conference to describe the chaotic context that we have been living in since 2022. According to the association, it is characterized by three crises – a surge in inflation, which continues to erode purchasing power, an unprecedented increase in raw material costs (wood, chemicals, etc.) and a surge in energy prices. All this makes for a complicated situation, but, according to its results, the French paper industry was strong in 2022. As the 5th European producer after Germany, Italy, Sweden and Finland, France produced 7.1 Mt of paper and board in the past year. Of course, production is down compared to 2021 (-3.7%), but for reasons (stoppages for converting paper machines, technical problems, disasters, rationing of certain raw materials, etc.) that are not mainly related to a decline in demand. On the other hand, business in the sector as a whole (paper, paperboard and market pulp) grew by 31% to 7.7 billion euros, thanks to the increase in the sales price of all grades of paper and board. You can find all the results listed by Paul-Antoine Lacour, Copacel’s General Delegate, in Pap'Argus’ March issue!


Published on 30/03/2023

Total pulp sales fell by 3.3% in January-February 2023

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total pulp deliveries decreased by 3.3% since the beginning of the year, at 8.06 million tonnes, compared to 8.34 over the first two months of 2022. The participation rate was 83% compared to 85% last year. At 4.01 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries were down 3.6% in February 2023 compared to February 2022, but remained almost stable compared to the previous month. Mill inventories increased by 1 day to 50 days. Softwood deliveries were up 1.3% year-on-year, while hardwood sales were down 6.3% over the same period. With 2.68 million tonnes, compared to 2.46 million the previous year, the volumes of pulp delivered to China in the first two months of 2023 increased by 8.7%. Could this be seen as an extra step towards growth of business?

You can find all the February 2023 statistics from the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) in the Index section on our website.


Published on 30/03/2023

Weig bought Buchmann

There is a new acquisition in the carton board industry! German carton producer Buchmann was taken over by Weig, also based in Germany. Clearwater International advised Weig on this transaction. Buchmann has been on sale since September 2022. At that time, the company explained that the sale was not motivated by economic uncertainties, but by the context of an orderly succession plan for the family business based in Annweiler. Buchmann employs 330 people and operates a board machine with a capacity of up to 260,000 tpa. The company’s products are used by the carton board packaging industry in the food and non-food sector. Buchmann has a turnover of approximately €190 million. Weig is a group of family-owned companies, consisting of three BU, converting, board making and recycling units. It has around 1,500 employees, over €800 million in turnover and produces GD, GT and plasterboard. The company’s site in Mayen, Germany, has a total capacity of 630,000 tpa.


Published on 30/03/2023

Ahlstrom Stenay could be sold or closed...

The future of the Ahlstrom specialty paper mill in Stenay (Meuse, East of France) is becoming increasingly precarious. In view of the existing overcapacity on the market for one-sided coated paper in Europe and the existing cost structure of the mill, the Ahlstrom Paper Group opened a consultation process on the disposal or potential closure of the site. With 127 employees, Ahlstrom Stenay has a turnover of around 56 million euros. In 2019, the company implemented a lay-off plan, which led to the departure of 77 employees.


Published on 30/03/2023

Heinzel will convert a paper machine to produce durable kraft paper

The Heinzel Group announced the conversion of an unused paper machine at the Steyrermühl mill in Austria for the production of durable kraft paper for flexible packaging. “This is the first step in our plan to develop Laakirchen with our mill and the neighbouring mill less than 2 km from Steyrermühl into a European hub for sustainable packaging paper and renewable energy,” said Sebastian Heinzel, Heinzel Group’s CEO. “The new papers will complement our existing range and allow us to offer sustainable products as an alternative to fossil-based packaging solutions.” Once converted, by early 2024, the machine will produce up to 150,000 tonnes of low-weight brown and white kraft paper per year that will be marketed under the Heinzel Group’s Starkraft brand. The new kraft paper grades produced will be used in the production of sacks, pouches and other flexible packaging products. Heinzel will take over UPM’s Steyrermühl site on January 1st, 2024, according to an agreement signed in 2022, and will enter the market with a new range of unbleached and bleached kraft paper shortly thereafter. At the site, UPM now operates a paper machine for the production of newsprint, a sawmill and a waste incineration plant jointly owned by Laakirchen Papier (Heinzel). UPM plans to continue its business as usual until the end of 2023, when the production of graphic papers in Steyrermühl will be stopped.


Published on 30/03/2023

HP joined Two Sides

Two Sides, the printing and paper advocacy group, welcomed a new member, HP. "We aim to be the most sustainable and fair technology company in the world, taking urgent action to fight climate change, protect human rights and accelerate digital equity. As sustainability is an important factor for many of our customers and consumers, the fact library we have access to by joining Two Sides will be of great use in our own communications with our customers, helping to promote our printed and paper products," said Peter Jolly, HP National Industrial Manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland. As a reminder, since 2016 HP brand paper has been sourced from recycled or certified sources.  Since 2020 this has also been the case for paper-based packaging for printers and home and office supplies, computers and monitors.


Published on 30/03/2023

Crown van Gelder is taken over by Epac Technologies

Good news for the industry! The Dutch company Crown Van Gelder (CVG) which declared bankruptcy at the end of January, has finally found a buyer, the Californian group Epac Technologies.  It will soon restart production. The official announcement was made at Hunkeler Innovation Days in Lucerne, Switzerland, which ended on March 2nd, 2023. Epac specializes in integrated supply chain management and automation solutions for book publishers and printers. They know each other well, having co-developed CVG’s flagship inkjet paper, the Crown Letsgo, launched about five years ago. The CVG mill currently has a production capacity of approximately 180,000 tpa.


Published on 23/03/2023

Forest fires in Chile did not impact CMPC pulp production

Phew!  Not as bad as people thought it would be. The Latin American paper manufacturer CMPC stated that pulp supplies were not affected by the forest fires in Chile and that all contracts will be honored. Unfortunately, these fires are common place. According to Conaf figures, there were more than 4,400 fires registered this season, affecting an area nearly 500 times that of the same period last year! In addition to fire prevention and suppression work, CMPC provided assistance to the thousands of families affected by the emergency.

 


Published on 09/03/2023

Stratus Packaging bought back Décomatic

A real match. That’s how the Stratus Packaging Group, one of the adhesive label, sleeve and IML leaders in France, sees its association with the company located in the South of Lyon, Décomatic,  an expert in labels and secure packaging, especially in multipage industrial labels (booklets/leaflets). The two leaders, Isidore Leiser, CEO of Stratus Packaging and Jean-Luc Allègre, CEO of Décomatic, evoked “the family roots of our companies that have been fundamental in the history of our relationship and have greatly accelerated the discussions between us. As our corporate cultures are based on the same values, it will make it easier to connect.” Referred to by the two players as an “innovation and investment accelerator,” this merger forms a new industrial complex worth nearly 90 million euros (including nearly 18 million euros for Décomatic), made up of 462 employees with 8 production sites in France and Switzerland, making it among the European leaders in the sector.


Published on 09/03/2023

RDM Blendecques will deliver first board reels in March

The Blendecques (Pas-de-Calais) recycled board mill in Reno de Medici (RDM) in France is still in the start-up phase and will deliver the first board reels to customers in March. The Italian paper manufacturer RDM, a specialist in recycled carton board for folding boxes, plans to have an additional 200,000 tonnes of production capacity over the next three years, increasing the capacity of several sites.


Published on 09/03/2023

Guyenne Papier & Digital Packaging: a collaboration for zero plastic packaging

Ecological transition is the main concerns for today’s manufacturers. We must find viable and coherent alternatives to plastic packaging. This message was received loud and clear by Digital Packaging, an expert in prototyping and pre-production, which certified the use of GreenBee (see photo) and UniversalBee, two innovations by Guyenne Papier, for packaging design. Greenbee was selected among the nominees for the CFIA Innovation Awards in Rennes. GreenBee (part of the Sunibarrier range) is a 100% bio-based and natural barrier paper for fats and mineral oils. It is particularly suitable for dry and oily products.

 


Published on 09/03/2023

At the end of March, VPK will start its converted PM in Alizay

The startup of the recently rebuilt PM at the Alizay plant (in Normandy) is almost here. The Belgian group VPK announced that commercial production would start at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter 2023. The rebuilt machine has a capacity of 450,000 tpa of corrugated paper. Approximately 650,000 tpa of recovered paper will be required for production.  Keep in mind that VPK acquired the Alizay site from Double A, the ream specialist in Asia, in mid-2021, which it took over with the help of local authorities following the departure of M'Real. As a result, VPK initiated the machine’s conversion, which previously produced uncoated wood-free paper with a capacity of 300,000 tpa. The mill also houses a corrugated board factory. A new corrugator was already put into operation in November 2022.


Published on 02/03/2023

Fedrigoni's presence grows stronger in the Chinese market

The Italian paper and label specialist Fedrigoni continues to shop around. This time, it signed an industrial partnership with a producer  who specializes in translucent papers in Quzhou, Zhejiang province, China. As part of the agreement, Fedrigoni granted a loan to the team formed by two former Arjowiggins executives for the acquisition, in exchange for a purchase option which gives Fedrigoni the opportunity to take over the company in the long term. The Quzhou special paper manufacturer is a leading global player in the production and distribution of translucent papers (sold under the Gateway, Idem and Sylvicta brands) for applications such as industrial design, graphic solutions, consumer electronics, and food & luxury packaging. With this transaction, Fedrigoni is strengthening its presence in the Asian market, as announced this autumn by its CEO, Marco Nespolo (see photo). In Asia, the group already has an extensive distribution network, notably in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh, as well as 11 warehouses and a self-adhesive materials production plant in Hefei. Today, the Quzhou production plant employs 130 people and produces about 7,000 tonnes of translucent paper per year.


Published on 02/03/2023

How will the corrugated board production capacity evolve ?

Corrugated cardboard has the wind in its sails. How so? The global production capacity of corrugated board increased by about 10% (or 20 million tonnes) between 2019 and 2021, said Fisher International. It remains to be seen how long this enthusiasm will last. Already, capacity is down slightly in 2022 compared to 2021 with 2% in North America and 0.40% in Europe most likely due to the energy crisis. Don’t forget that corrugated board is the largest gas consumer in Europe. Also, lower demand in e-commerce sector played a role in the slowdown in corrugated board. However, we must remain balanced because in the pulp and paper global market, corrugated board still remains well above all other major categories at the end of 2022. Its production capacity was 140% higher than that of market pulp, the second main category.


Published on 02/03/2023

Holmen will increase carton production in Iggesund factory

The Swedish company Holmen acknowledged that it had a difficult, but successful 2022. It announced that it will double its investment rate in the Iggesund mill in Sweden over the next five years. Operating profit for 2022 was SEK 7,527 million, or EUR 664 million (2021: 3,431 for a total turnover of SEK 23,952 million, or EUR 2.1 billion). When the results were published, the group also revealed  that in 2022 it launched a new product for the inner layer of transport packaging, and that the product was well received by the market. The next step will be to carry out a reconstruction of one of the paper machines in order to increase volumes. When  the company published its results, it stated that it  had increased its renewable energy production capacity by 40%.


Published on 23/02/2023

Paper and board production declined in Italy in 2022

According to the latest statistics from Assocarta, the Italian Federation of Paper and Board, in the first 11 months of 2022, paper and board production in Italy fell by 6.8%, with 8.2 million tonnes produced compared to 8.8 million over the same period in 2021. Wood-free grades recorded the strongest declines, with -19.4% for the coated wood-free, and -26.8% for the uncoated wood-free. Other graphic papers declined slightly to -9.7%. In this Paper and packaging board production fell by 7.5% over the same period (with 4.7 million tonnes produced versus 5 tonnes in November 2021), paper and corrugated board declined by 8.9%. Only the sanitary and domestic segment experienced slightly higher production than the previous year, with 0.8% improvement.

 

You can find all the Italian paper and board production statistics from November 2022 on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 23/02/2023

Extension of the concession of the Ence pulp mill in Pontevedra has been approved

Some relief is in sight for the Spanish pulp and renewable energy group Ence Energía y Celulosa, which just received confirmation that is was legally approved for the extension of the concession granted to its pulp mill in Pontevedra, in the North-West of Spain, in Galicia. This legal decision helps secure the future of this establishment. Under the concession, the company can work on the site until 2073. It can produce up to 620,000 tpa of pulp at the Pontevedra bio-plant. The reversal of asset impairments and provisions for expenses as seen in the 2021 accounts, following the National Court’s judgments, will have a positive impact estimated at 169 million euros for the company’s 2022 results.


Published on 23/02/2023

Global pulp deliveries up in 2022

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total global deliveries of pulp increased by 2.3% in 2022, to 53.3 million tonnes, up from 52.1 in 2021. With 4.62 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries increased 7.2% in December 2022, compared to November, but fell 5.7% from December 2021. Mill inventories increased by 2 days to 45 days. Deliveries of softwood fell 2.1% year-on-year, while sales of hardwoods increased by about 5.5% over the same period. With 16.3 million tonnes total in December 2022, compared to 16.4 million total in December 2021, pulp volumes delivered to China fell 0.7%.

 

Find all of the December 2022 statistics from the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) on our website, in the Index section.


Published on 23/02/2023

Swedish Lessebo Paper launches new green quality paper

Here is an innovation that came out of a cooperative spirit! The Swedish paper mill Lessebo Paper worked with Bonnier Books and Livonia print. At the end of this joint venture, Livonia Zero Offset was born.  Its objective is to reduce the carbon footprint of printed books. This quality of paper produces a minimum of greenhouse gasses and all greenhouse gas emissions that are produced are offset. The product is a white, uncoated paper, available in 100g/M2 to 140 g/M2 as standard range. It has a high opacity and rough surface. The weight of the paper is specially developed to give the book a pleasant thickness and weight. In addition, Livonia Zero Offset by Lessebo Paper is developed for high performance printing machines and is available in reels and sheets.


Published on 23/02/2023

The Paper Bag publishes a best practice guide for quality paper bags

There are differences in paper bag quality. This is why ‘The Paper Bag’ platform, an association of the main European kraft paper manufacturers and paper bag producers, has published a best practice guide for paper bags, allowing paper bag producers and their customers to get an idea of the parameters that influence the strength and durability of the bags. The detailed document presents technical processes and recommendations on how to produce paper bags that meet these criteria. Manufacturing good practices focus on the main factors that can influence the quality of a bag, from the selection of the right material, such as paper or glue, to the processing process and the type of handle. The guide also states that the European standard EN13590 allows to obtain a Quality certification proving the durability and resistance of the bags. They are tested by being lifted several times with weights adapted to their specific size and volume.


Published on 23/02/2023

Allard Emballages sites migrate under the logo of Hinojosa Packaging Group

The Spanish group, a corrugated board and carton board packaging company, made its first acquisition in 2020 with the Portuguese company Graphicsleader. The following year, the group bought Allard Emballages. This year all of Allard Emballages' sites (Packaging or Paper) are now operating under the Hinojosa Packaging Solutions group logo. The group will gradually unify its visual identity for all its French sites, with a single logo and an image that reflect its values: trust, excellence, customer proximity and positive attitude. Hinojosa Packaging Group combines the strength of a large international group, while being able to guarantee locally the highest standards of quality and service.


Published on 23/02/2023

International Paper achieved 9% revenue growth in 2022

International Paper published solid results. Net sales over the past year were $21.161 billion, up from $19.363 billion in 2021. Net income for 2022 was $1.5 billion, compared to $1.8 billion for 2021. "In 2022, International Paper increased revenues and profits in a dynamic and challenging macroeconomic environment and returned $1.9 billion to our shareholders," said Mark Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He continued, "Our commercial and operational performance has been solid, while significant inflation and lower demand have impacted margins. We also made $250 million in profits through our Building a Better IP initiatives, exceeding our target for the year and creating a strong momentum for the future."


Published on 16/02/2023

Nordic Paper obtained permission to increase capacity at Bäckhammar site

The Vänersborg Land and Environmental Court announced its decision to grant a permit to increase production at the Nordic Paper plant in Bäckhammar, Sweden. The new permit allows Nordic Paper, after investments, to increase its production of pulp in Bäckhammar by more than 20% and kraft paper by more than 10%. "The new production permit is an important step in the development of the Bäckhammar plant. We are now looking forward to finalizing our plans and preparing a possible investment decision during the year," said Christian Persson, Nordic Paper’s COO. At Bäckhammar, Nordic Paper produces unbleached kraft paper of various qualities, mainly for final packaging uses. The raw material comes from sustainably managed forests in central Sweden as well as sawmill chips. Products made from Bäckhammar paper include flour bags, transport bags and bread bags. The main market is in Europe but the papers are shipped all over the world. In 2022, Nordic Paper achieved a net turnover of approximately SEK 4,400 million, or approximately EUR 385 million.


Published on 16/02/2023

Global pulp deliveries up in 2022

According to the latest PPPC statistics, total global deliveries of pulp increased by 2.3% in 2022, to 53.3 million tonnes, up from 52.1 in 2021. The participation rate stood at 88% as last year. At 4.62 million tonnes, total pulp deliveries increased 7.2% in December 2022, compared to November, but fell 5.7% from December 2021. Mill inventories increased by 2 days to 45 days. Deliveries of softwood fell 2.1% year-on-year, while sales of hardwoods increased by about 5.5% over the same period.  With 16.3 million tonnes at December 2022, compared to 16.4 million at December 2021, pulp volumes delivered to China fell 0.7%.

 

Find all the statistics of December 2022 of the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) on our website, in the index section.


Published on 09/02/2023

The Spanish Ence signs sales agreements for 1 million tons of pulp for 2023

The Spanish pulp and renewable energy company Ence (Energía & Celulosa) has already concluded sales agreements for about 1 million tonnes of pulp for 2023. Primarily, these agreements are aimed at the European market, where Ence has significant competitive advantages in logistics and customer service. Through these operations, the company is able to increase its market share on the Old Continent and improve its positioning in key and growing segments. This is the case for tissue, specialties and packaging, segments that account for nearly 90% of contracted sales. In this sense, the weight of sales of special products is significant, as they add value in a highly competitive market. Sales of these products, grouped under the “Ence Advanced” brand, represent 20% of the total committed, and have an additional growth potential of 10%. This is special cellulose for a multitude of applications. In this way, Ence reaches a benchmark position in a market where the global demand for paper has grown significantly since 2021.


Published on 09/02/2023

Norske Skog to increase TMP production at Skogn newsprint plant

Norske Skog will spend NOK 180 million to build a new thermomechanical pulp line (TMP) at the Skogn plant in Norway. Its commissioning is scheduled for the first half of 2024. The investment will replace recycled fibre with fresh fibre in newsprint production. This will reduce variable costs, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as landfill waste. The company expects to increase its thermomechanical wood pulp production capacity by 100,000 tonnes.


Published on 09/02/2023

Finnish dockers could go on strike if negotiations fail

This is the period of strikes in France... and Finland! This is the threat posed by the Finnish Transport Workers' Union (AKT), which is currently in the middle of wage negotiations. If no agreement on wage increases is reached this week, the AKT could issue a strike warning that would affect, among other things, truck traffic and operations in Finnish ports. Possible strikes in Finnish ports from mid-February could have a significant impact on the overall Finnish pulp, paper and paperboard trade.


Published on 09/02/2023

The fibre packaging market will continue to grow

According to a new study by Smithers, 'The Future of Fibrebased Packaging to 2027', annual global demand for fibre-based packaging will reach $503.4 billion in 2027, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) Over the same period, the total weight of fibre packaging will increase from 264.4 million tonnes (2022) to 316.3 million tonnes (2027)., a CAGR of 3.7%. The study concludes that innovation will result in additional gains for all types of fibre packaging over the next five years, knowing that one of the strongest growth trajectories will be that of paste/moulded fibre. Several line extensions are underway to meet the demand for a more sustainable alternative to thermoformed plastics, using new coatings and faster production technology.


Published on 09/02/2023

Reno de Medici has started up its Blendecques mill in France again

Italian paperboard producer Reno de Medici (RdM) is starting up again its recycled board mill in Blendecques (Pas-de-Calais) in France, with an annual capacity of 140,000 tonnes. The first reel of carton board rolled off on January 18th. Officially, production should start in February. The mill had a serious fire last March. Remember that in December, Michele Bianchi, the RdM Group’s CEO, gave an interview to Pap'Argus. You can read more about RdM in Pap’Argus #396 issue.

Get your own pdf issue through s.hubert@mpmedias.com


Published on 02/02/2023

Crown Van Gelder paper mill forced to close

Dutch paper producer Crown Van Gelder is facing financial difficulties and has filed for bankruptcy at the Noord Holland District Court in Haarlem. The court opened insolvency proceedings on January 23rd. Crown Van Gelder produces approximately 160,000 tpa of paper around has 200 employees. The company is considered one of the market leaders in high-speed inkjet printing papers and also offers offset grades, label paper, barrier-function packaging paper and specialties based on alternative raw materials. The company has been in business for 126 years. For the record, the first reel of paper came out of the machine in 1896!  The company was owned by Pieter Smidt at the time and the first reel was used for the Amsterdam newspaper 'De Echo'.


Published on 02/02/2023

Mercer Will Stop Production at Celgar Pulp Mill in British Columbia

Mercer International announced that due to a lack of availability of suitable fibre, its Celgar mill in British Columbia, Canada, will stop for three weeks. It is expected to begin in March 2023. The Celgar mill produces Northern Softwood Bleached Kraft Pulp (NBSK) with an annual capacity of 500,000 tpa. For the record, Mercer is a forest products company with operations in Canada, Germany and the United States. The group has an annual capacity of 2.3 million t of pulp, 140,000 m³ of cross-laminated timber, 17 million pallets, and 150,000 t of wooden pellets...


Published on 02/02/2023

Essity will use recovered packaging paper for tissue production at Prudhoe mill

Construction began on the Essity Paper Recycling mill, a world leader in hygiene and health, at the Prudhoe mill in the UK after Northumberland County Council granted a building permit in late 2022. The main brands manufactured in the Prudhoe mill include Cushelle, Velvet, Tork and Asda Shades. The construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. The work involves replacing an existing 50-year-old recycling mill with a new facility housing “the latest paper recycling technology.” Essity says this will reduce energy costs and increase its ability to manufacture household paper products from recycled fibres. Traditionally, the main raw material for recycled pulp that Essity used in the manufacturing of tissue was made from office waste paper. However, the company must compensate for the significant decrease in the amount of office waste available (due to people working from home and the digitalization process). This is why it wants to use a variety of lower grades mixed papers from household waste.


Published on 02/02/2023

Sora Enso concludes purchase of De Jong Packaging group

It’s a done deal! The Finnish-Swedish Stora Enso Group is finalizing the Dutch corrugated packaging manufacturer De Jong Packaging acquistion. This is a big external growth operation, which as a result will now have a production capacity of 2000million m2 of corrugated board. The transaction is expected to strengthen the group’s presence in the European packaging sectors and allow it to enter the corrugated packaging industry in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. De Jong Packaging’s 2022 turnover is expected to be around €1 billion. Stora Enso’s 2021’s turnover was 10.2 billion euros.


Published on 02/02/2023

Duino mill is now part of the Mondi Group

Mondi completed the acquisition of the Duino mill near Trieste, Italy, from the Burgo Group. Mondi plans to invest around €200 million in converting the factory’s existing lightweight coated mechanical paper machine into a recycled board machine with an annual capacity of around 420,000 tonnes. The mill is ideally located for sourcing recycled paper, supplying Mondi’s corrugated board factories in Central Europe and Turkey, as well as serving the growing local Italian market. The converted machine should start in 2025. In 2021, Mondi had a turnover of 7 billion euros. The group employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide.


Published on 02/02/2023

Arauco launches new pulp line

The Chilean pulp giant Arauco has started its new pulp line at its mill in the Biobio region in the south of the country. This step brings the company closer to the conclusion of the Mapa project, which was fraught with difficulties. Arauco’s parent company, Copec, informed shareholders on December 30th that Arauco had started supplying the boiler chips for production line 3. The teams involved in the implementation of the Mapa project, more than 10,000 in peak activity, are expected to be withdrawn at the end of March.  The new line is designed to produce 1.56 million tpa of eucalyptus pulp, bringing the total capacity of the site to approximately 2.1 million tpa of pulp. Arauco estimates that the final investment figure will be around $2.85 billion.


Published on 02/02/2023

Canadian Canfor Pulp to permanently close pulp mill in Prince George, British Columbia

Canfor Pulp attributed its decision to the reduced availability of residual fibre for pulp. In recent years several sawmills have closed permanently in the Prince George area due to reductions in annual allowable cuts and difficulties in accessing fibre at competitive prices. This has had a significant impact on the availability of residual fibre for Canfor pulp facilities. The closure is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter and will affect approximately 300 jobs companywide. On site, the fibre production line produces 280,000 tpa of NBSK marketable pulp


Published on 02/02/2023

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 achi