Kruger Specialty Papers reached an important milestone earlier this year when Kruger’s Trois-Rivières facility delivered its first shipment of bleached thermomechanical pulp (TMP) which enabled the Wayagamack Mill to expand its product portfolio into a wider range of brightness levels. In total, $40 million were invested to build the new bleached TMP plant at Kruger Trois-Rivières and to upgrade production at Wayagamack. Launched in September 2017, Kruger’s SPEK project is a three-year initiative to develop new markets for the Brompton, Wayagamack and Trois-Rivières mills as part of the Company’s strategy to diversify its production and complement its product portfolio. Upon launching SPEK, Kruger also created its new Specialty Papers division which is leveraging the Company’s long-standing papermaking expertise, production facilities and customer service infrastructure to introduce innovative and sustainable high-quality products. Target markets for these new products include lightweight packaging for the food and retail industries, labelling and digital printing. Click Read More below for additional detail.
LSC Communications announced a new multi-year agreement with The Math Learning Center (MLC). The Math Learning Center is a nonprofit publisher serving the elementary education community with innovative and core-based curriculum, resources and professional development. As part of the agreement, LSC will provide book print manufacturing, warehousing, fulfillment and distribution services. “The Math Learning Center is pleased to partner with LSC for print, warehousing and distribution of student workbooks,” said Jeff Blater, VP of Operations for MLC. “Their commitment to excellence, and the processes they have in place to ensure the highest quality products come off their presses, are exactly what MLC looks for in our efforts to provide our clients with the best possible tools for teaching mathematics.” Click Read More below for additional detail.
The American Forest & Paper Association underscored its opposition to a proposed tax on paper carryout bags currently under discussion as the New York legislature works out its 2019-2020 state budget. AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement: “Taxing paper carryout bags is a regressive move that wrongfully penalizes a product that is recyclable, easily processed at municipal recovery facilities, compostable, made of recycled material and reusable. Retail stores today have the option to charge for carryout bags or any other in-store service without needing permission from the state. A state-required fee creates state-mandated profits at the expense of customers, particularly impacting low-income New Yorkers.” Paper bags are an environmental success story, made from a renewable resource (trees) and paper recovered from recycling programs. In 2017, 65.8 percent of all paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling, and the recovery rate has met or exceeded 63 percent for the past nine years. Click Read More below for additional detail.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. announced the return of Educator Appreciation Days that will take place every Saturday and Sunday in April to celebrate pre-K-12 public, private and homeschool teachers and administrators. All Barnes & Noble stores nationwide and BN.com will feature special discounts* just for educators including 25% off most merchandise, special offers on select NOOK® devices, and more. “We are thrilled to bring back our popular Educator Appreciation Days for the month of April,” said Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President, Business Development at Barnes & Noble. “At Barnes & Noble, our Educator Appreciation Days are an exciting way for us to celebrate teachers and administrators and all of the important work they do in communities across the country every day.” Click Read More below for additional detail.
U.S. crude inventories rose last week by 2.8 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 1.2 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. Demand concerns on the back of economic jitters linked to the U.S.-Chinese trade war have also capped prices.
Cascades Inc. announces that it will discontinue manufacturing felt backing for flooring at its Lupel plant in Trois‑Rivières, Québec. In total, 35 employees will be affected by the resulting plant closure, which is expected on or about July 1, 2019. As a result of this decision, Cascades will be permanently withdrawing from felt production for the floor covering market. "Despite efforts to increase sales levels at the plant, the drop in popularity of vinyl flooring and the gradual market shift from felt backing toward fibreglass backing has had a serious negative impact on the plant's operations. Unfortunately, the resulting low production volumes mean that the plant is not profitable, a trend that is not expected to reverse given the market outlook. In these circumstances, we unfortunately have little choice but to announce that the plant will cease operating," said Luc Langevin , President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Specialty Products Group. Click Read More below for additional detail.
With a little help from Domtar and our PaperPal™ program, elementary school students and law enforcement officers in Rock Hill, South Carolina, learned about each other through handwritten letters about sports, pets and more. Recently, Olde Pointe Elementary School hosted a breakfast so the PaperPals could meet in person. The event was a hit with students and officers alike, and it highlighted the many benefits of handwriting and relationship-building. The PaperPal program brings generations together through handwritten letters. It began in 2015 with a school and retirement community in Van Nuys, California. The idea, chronicled in a short video, was so successful that the PaperPals wanted to continue sending handwritten letters to each other even after the initial two-month program officially ended. Students in Montreal and Kamloops, British Columbia, also have enjoyed the program by pairing with local senior citizen homes. Click Read More below for additional detail.
Flint Group, global leading manufacturer of printing equipment and consumables, announced the grand opening of its regional Technology Center Asia Pacific (ATC), located at the Shanghai Publishing and Printing College (SPPC), No.100 Shui Feng Road, Shanghai, China. The Technology Center allows continued expansion of technical support, services and provides a location for state-of-the-art development, plate manufacturing, training, and education. The company has invested about €2 million in the technology center, where Flint Group technicians cooperate with SPPC members in a 400 square meter space. “The ATC is an important milestone within our global innovation network to help our customers capturing the growth in the packaging market. We can not only showcase what can be done within the flexographic printing space, but more importantly provide a platform to develop solutions with and for our customers and the entire value chain,” said Friedrich von Rechteren, Global Commercial Vice President. Click Read More below for additional detail.
Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. reported 2018 fourth quarter operating EBITDA from continuing operations of $4.2 million compared to operating EBITDA from continuing operations of $7.5 million in the previous quarter and operating EBITDA loss from continuing operations of $5.7 million in the prior year comparative period. The Dissolving Pulp Segment generated operating EBITDA of $6.1 million. The Company invested $0.8 million in the Bioproducts Segment and corporate costs were $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Giovanni Iadeluca, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Global Enterprises, commented: “Fortress Global Enterprises achieved significant improvements in fiscal 2018 when compared to the previous year. Operating EBITDA from continuing operations increased by $12.7 million and total improvement, excluding the Bioproducts segment, was $14.4 million. Click Read More below for additional detail.
Someone could easily author a book documenting all of the consolidation that's occurring within the book manufacturing industry. And now, reports from news outlets in Michigan that Thomson-Shore, located at 7300 W. Joy Rd. in Dexter, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 25 in the Michigan Eastern Bankruptcy Court adds yet another chapter to the consolidation saga. According to a report in Crain's Detroit Business and a legally mandated WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) filing with the state of Michigan, all 177 employees at the short- to medium-run digital and offset soft cover and casebound book printing operation will be let go on May 6. However, less than half of the existing workforce will be rehired should a tentative agreement for Brainerd, Minn.-based CJK Group to acquire Thomson-Shore's assets come to fruition once the Thomson-Shore bankruptcy filing receives court approval. Click Read More below for additional detail.