We are proud to announce that our production facility has passed its annual food safety inspection and audit performed by the American Institute of Baking (AIB) International. We received a Superior rating (955 out of 1000 points). This certificate of achievement signifies that Lamitech produces clean, safe paperboard products qualified for sanitary use in the food industry. As part of the review process, Lamitech was asked to demonstrate performance in the areas of operational methods and personnel practices, sanitation program and procedures, integrated pest control, overall maintenance and thoroughness of documentation to validate on-going activities. Lamitech’s food safe packaging includes Cake Boards, SBS, Polyguard and Sammyboard fish boards.
We are pleased to announce that 30-year paper and packaging veteran Tony Mollica joined Twin Rivers as our new Chief Executive Officer. He brings to the company a unique blend of sales, operations, and leadership experience that will accelerate our strategic transformation to becoming the market-leading manufacturer of specialty packaging, technical, label, and publishing papers. Tony replaces Tim Lowe, who will return to his role on the Board of Directors after acting as Interim CEO.
Total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 24 percent in August compared to August 2019. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers decreased 24 percent in August compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels remained essentially flat (+0.3 percent) when compared to July 2020. U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers in August decreased 22 percent compared to last August while the inventory level increased one percent compared to July 2020. UFS imports and exports both decreased compared to July 2019, down 20 percent and 51 percent respectively. Coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments decreased 19 percent compared to August 2019 while the inventory level decreased one percent compared to July 2020. CFS imports and exports both decreased compared to July 2019, down 38 percent and 23 percent respectively. U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers in August decreased 37 percent compared to last August while the inventory level remained essentially flat (+0.4 percent) compared to July 2020. CM imports decreased 40 percent while exports increased 30 percent in July 2020. Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments decreased 51 percent compared to August 2019 while the inventory level increased two percent compared to July 2020. UM imports and exports both decreased compared to July 2019, down 34 percent and 28 percent respectively.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö advances further into the energy storage market and launches Ahlstrom-Munksjö Forticell® LAB, its new portfolio of fiber-based solutions for Lead Acid Battery applications. Today, lead acid batteries are the most cost effective energy storage devices. Storing electricity from renewable energy resources, providing back up for data centers, supporting supply chain management , enabling vehicle start-stop systems and supporting electrical car charging stations. Fiber-based materials are widely used in energy storage devices and due to Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s extensive expertise in cellulose, microglass and specialty nonwoven materials, the company is developing a complete range of solutions for its customers.
Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and dissolving pulp, today announced that its Spectro® paperboard line has been certified as compatible with all HP Indigo Digital Offset Color™ presses. As part of the certification process, the company added new Digital substrates to its C1S and C2S lines to further expand its offerings for custom, short-run packaging and commercial printing applications. The new Spectro Digital for HP Indigo C1S and C2S products obtained the highest three-star rating based on runnability, adhesion and blanket compatibility from the Rochester Institute of Technology's Printing Applications Lab as a part of the HP Indigo Media Certification Program. Each product exhibited a high percentage of ink adhesion and exhibited excellent runnability with a high level of blanket cleanliness during normal testing intervals. The adhesion levels for all calipers and sides of the board, both coated and uncoated, exhibited side-to-side consistency and tested at photo recommended levels.
Interfor Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its specialty sawmill located in Gilchrist, Oregon to Neiman Enterprises Inc. The Gilchrist sawmill, which specializes in ponderosa and lodgepole pine boards, has been curtailed since mid-June of this year due to COVID-19 related economic factors. Prior to its curtailment, the mill produced approximately 80 million board feet of lumber per year and employed approximately 150 employees. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020. Interfor will continue to own and operate its three US Northwest stud mills located in Molalla, Oregon, Longview, Washington and Port Angeles, Washington.
Stora Enso is making an investment in dispersion barrier technology at its Forshaga site in Sweden, as a step in its innovation agenda. The investment of approximately EUR 10 million enables the development and production of paperboard with barrier properties that are easier to handle in a recycling process, have a lower carbon footprint and can be compostable in industrial facilities. The new equipment is expected to come into use during the second quarter of 2021. Stora Enso Forshaga manufactures and develops barrier solutions that are required in certain packaging, for instance to protect against liquid, moisture, oxygen or fat. Liquid packaging, beverage cups and certain food packaging are some of the products that have a barrier which serves to protect the packaged product, while also ensuring that the packaging maintains its user-qualities. The investment in new dispersion technology aims to achieve the desired barrier properties in a more sustainable way. Stora Enso Forshaga has an annual capacity of approximately 120 000 tonnes of barrier coating across two machines/coating lines, with around 100 employees. Since the beginning of this year, the Forshaga site has also become a competence center within Stora Enso’s Packaging Materials division, tasked with producing and developing new bio-based barrier technologies and products.
Stora Enso will start codetermination negotiations with employees at its Hylte Mill in Sweden regarding a plan to reorganise the mill, including permanent closure of paper machine PM3 and the deinking plant (DIP). After the planned restructuring, the mill would run on 100% thermomechanical pulp (TMP), improving the competitiveness of the mill. The planned closure of PM3 and the reorganisation of the mill would impact a maximum of 140 persons. PM3 is planned to be closed by the end of 2020 and the DIP latest in Q2 2021. Stora Enso will continue to produce standard newsprint at Hylte, Langerbrugge and Sachsen mills. The closure of Hylte Mill PM3 would not impact Stora Enso’s newsprint product offering, and we would be able to serve our customers as today.
Due to market conditions that remain unfavorable, after a 6-month temporary shutdown, Kruger Specialty Papers is forced to permanently shut down its newsprint, specialty papers and pulp production at its Brompton Mill. However, the water treatment plant will continue to operate and the biomass cogeneration plant will restart. The Company will use all the measures at its disposal to minimize the impact of this shutdown on the 189 affected employees, including the creation of a reclassification committee. Furthermore, approximately 25 employees will return to work to restart the biomass cogeneration plant. As a result of the shutdown, Kruger’s overall annual production will be reduced by 100,000 mt of newsprint and 70,000 mt of specialty paper.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States, announced today that it has broadened its west coast distribution. It has established a new stocking location in Kent, Washington to more fully serve its growing customer base on the U.S. West Coast. Being in King County, the heart of the Seattle–Tacoma metropolitan area, means faster fulfillment and reduced customer shipping costs for Monadnock’s in-demand and sustainably-advantaged fine paper and packaging portfolio. Shipping times will range from one to two days with the added benefit of convenient customer pick-up.