International technology group ANDRITZ has established a new inline Wetlace™ CP pilot line with an original design at its center of competence in Montbonnot, France. From now on, ANDRITZ partners will be able to conduct trials and test all options available for wipes production – from carded staple fibers to pulp and various combinations thereof – thanks to the new inline Wetlace™ CP line. Customers will benefit from the expertise of the ANDRITZ specialists with this fully engineered process, combining both spunlace and wetlaid technologies, so that they can move forward to more sustainable options while maintaining a high level of product quality, in particular by achieving high CD strength and good linting properties. Over the past few decades, ANDRITZ has continued to innovate with various nonwoven processes, like spunlace, WetlaceTM and Wetlace™ CP, with the aim of optimizing the use of raw materials and focusing on sustainability by reducing the synthetic fiber content.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in April 2022 were down 14.8% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were down 8.8%. Total European shipments of newsprint in April 2022 were down 10.5% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were down 5.4%. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in April 2022 were down 16.5% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were down 9.6%. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in April 2022 were down 27.6% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were down 18.8%. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in April 2022 were down 14.1% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were down 10.0%. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in April 2022 were down 1.6% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were UP 2.4%. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in April 2022 were down 17.3% vs. April 2021 and year-to-date shipments were down 11.5%.
Domtar’s sustainability journey begins in the forest, but our work as an industry leader in sustainable forestry continues with our focus on verified fiber sourcing in our sustainability agenda moving toward 2030. “Our sustainable forestry principles have guided our practices for many years,” says Paige Goff, Domtar’s vice president for sustainability. “We now have advanced technology and other tools to help us be even more effective in applying those principles to our supply chain.” Building on a long history of responsibility in the forest, Domtar has set two significant goals in the area of verified fiber sourcing: *We’ll source 100 percent of our fiber from responsibly managed forests. *We’ll increase our use of recycled fiber and improve the recyclability of our products and packaging.
Kati ter Horst, Executive Vice President, Paper Division and a member of the Group Leadership Team, has decided to leave Stora Enso as of 1 July 2022. After more than 25 years with the Company, she will now pursue career opportunities outside of Stora Enso. Kati ter Horst joined Stora Enso in 1996 and has been leading the Company’s Paper division since 2014. “As a highly valued member of our Group Leadership Team, Kati has been instrumental in driving Stora Enso’s transformation journey into a renewable materials company by contributing to strategy development. She has showed strong leadership and has played a key role in the extensive restructuring process of our paper business. I want to express my gratitude to Kati for her significant contributions to Stora Enso, while wishing her all the best in her future endeavours,” says Annica Bresky, President and CEO at Stora Enso.
UPM BioMotion™ Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF), recently acknowledged as the most important sustainability project in the elastomer and rubber industry will go live at the Nuremberg International Rubber Conference DKT from 27-30 June. After a postponement due to Covid, the expert community of the rubber and plastics industry is finally meeting in person at the leading trade fair for the sector. It's the perfect time to introduce UPM's new product – the next best thing to transform the rubber industry. UPM BioMotion™ RFF were initially launched in late 2021. These fillers are more than just a product; they mark a solution for urgent industry needs. Renewable Functional Fillers can be a real game-changer, as they will enable a radical step forward in the sustainability performance of rubber and plastic products in various end-uses. The two materials that RFF can replace best are carbon black and precipitated silica. Both are highly CO2-intensive in production, non-renewable and challenging to recycle.
Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. and Neenah, Inc. announced the future name of the combined company upon completing the pending all-stock merger of equals. Each company’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction on June 29, 2022. The transaction is expected to close on or around July 1, 2022, subject to Neenah and SWM shareholder approval, approval by antitrust authorities in Poland, and other customary closing conditions. Upon close, the new company name will be Mativ, Inc. (“Mativ”) and its shares will begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "MATV." The "SWM" and "NP" ticker symbols will be deactivated.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. is pleased to announce additional product offerings for Astrolite PC 100, the luxurious and sustainable fine papers crafted with 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled fiber. Created with a high-fidelity six-color printing process (CMYKOG), the new Astrolite PC 100 swatchbook results in a stunning visual that demonstrates the possibilities when printing on highly crafted recycled papers. These grades are perfect for annual reports, CSR reports, fashion lookbooks, catalogs, product brochures, newsletters, presentation kits, portfolios, pocket folders, corporate stationery, and premium packaging. In addition to the featured print demonstrations, the new Astrolite PC 100 swatchbook features the recently expanded full slate of its three separate product lines: Astrolite PC 100 Velvet, Astrolite PC 100 Smooth, and Astrolite PC 100 Digital+, including a wider range of sheet sizes certified for HP Indigo.
The 2021 Sustainability Report brings our goals to the forefront. This year, Sappi North America has aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that were most relevant to our work. We continue to meet these targets by reducing our water consumption, increasing our renewable energy usage, and minimizing our carbon footprint. Our sustainability practice also includes giving our employees the tools to advance their careers and become leaders in their fields. We hope you’ll see how important it is that we not only care for the planet and our people, but also create lasting prosperity.
UPM has signed an agreement to sell 100% of the shares of its Austrian subsidiary UPM Kymmene-Austria GmbH to the HEINZEL GROUP, a leading pulp, packaging and paper producer and trader in Central and Eastern Europe. The transaction comprises the UPM Steyrermühl site with approx. 400 employees, including the newsprint paper machine with an annual capacity of 320,000 tonnes and the Steyrermühl sawmill operations with an annual timber capacity of 370,000 cubic meters. The parties have agreed not to disclose the value of the deal. Closing of the transaction and end of newsprint production at UPM Steyrermühl are planned for the end of 2023. HEINZEL is planning to take over responsibility for the mill after closing. Until then, all operations continue as is. HEINZEL plans to operate the UPM Steyrermühl site outside of graphic papers as an integrate together with its Laakirchen mill, which is located in the same communicaty. HEINZEL is considering the production of packaging materials to complement their existing product portfolio.
Kruger Products officially inaugurated its Sherbrooke Tissue Plant, which was commissioned in 2021, and also broke ground at its expansion project where another tissue plant will be built on a site adjacent to the Sherbrooke Plant by 2024. This second project, which represents further investments of $351.5 million, will deliver on the Company’s vision to make Sherbrooke a major premium-quality tissue product manufacturing hub in North America, featuring Canada’s most advanced and best-performing TAD tissue machine. In total, the Company will have invested nearly $1 billion in the Estrie Region since 2018. The Sherbrooke Plant’s inauguration and the ground breaking of the expansion project took place in the presence of Mr. Joseph Kruger II, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Kruger Inc.; François Legault, Premier of Québec; Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec Minister of Economy and Innovation; Geneviève Hébert, Member for Saint-François and Deputy Government Whip; Évelyne Beaudin, Mayor of Sherbrooke; Dino Bianco, Chief Executive Officer, Kruger Products L.P.; and Patrice Bégin, General Manager, Kruger Products Sherbrooke Plant.
Stora Enso is leasing the former paper machinery hall at its Veitsiluoto site in Finland to the textile technology company Infinited Fiber Company, which plans to build a commercial-scale factory to produce regenerated textile fiber from textile waste. Earlier this month Stora Enso sold its district heating business at Veitsiluoto to utility infrastructure company Nevel, a provider of advanced industrial and municipal infrastructure solutions. “We always want to find sustainable and financially robust long-term solutions to ensure a viable future for our former sites. I am pleased with our rapid progress in signing a lease with companies that can take advantage of the Veitsiluoto infrastructure and bring new business to the area. Our work at Veitsiluoto continues in order to bring more activity and jobs to the site," says Seppo Parvi, Stora Enso's CFO and Country Manager for Finland.
Koehler has joined the World BioEconomy Circle, a communication platform for stakeholders who have dedicated themselves to the subject of the bioeconomy. The objective of the BioEconomy Circle is to enable discussion of and improve on the latest developments, ideas, and visions in the circular bioeconomy, and to facilitate mutual learning. The BioEconomy Circle has grown substantially since it was introduced by the World BioEconomy Forum™, which was founded in 2018 by Jukka Kantola. The forum brings together a global community of stakeholders, who can use the platform to find out about a broad range of events and other activities in the field of the bioeconomy. It was set up in response to the increasing importance of this field.
Headquartered in Nova Scotia, Port Hawkesbury Paper (PHP) is the leading producer of supercalendered papers in North America, manufacturing SCA+ and SCA++ products for use in catalogs, magazines and retail inserts, as well as specialty papers. The company’s paper production capacity includes three thermomechanical (TMP) pulp lines that supply high-quality fiber to the papermaking process. PHP ships its products to customers throughout North America and around the world. “Port Hawkesbury Paper is pleased to support Two Sides North America because we share similar objectives when it comes to the long-term sustainability of our company, our industry and the resources that supply us,” says Port Hawkesbury Co-Manager Bevan Lock. “Our aim is to provide long-term ecological, social and cultural sustainability while managing and maintaining a sustainable wood supply and economic viability for our company, local wood suppliers and sawmills.”
The company will continue to successfully manage a broad portfolio of attractive niche businesses, supported by a tailored operating model. Effective as of July 1, 2022, the Group will serve five growing and distinctive end markets, also forming the basis for five divisions, allowing for significant organic and inorganic growth. The divisions will be supported by global functions and centers of excellence for scale, synergies, and excellence. The five end-markets and corresponding divisions are: Filtration – Mission-critical air and liquid filtration applications. Food & Consumer Packaging – Solutions for improved food safety, product preservation, and bacteria prevention, helping extend product life and protect human health. Healthcare – Technologies serving essential societal uses in medical, laboratory, and life science settings including diagnostics, bioprocessing, and medical performance barriers. Building Materials – Highly engineered building material applications for every face of the building. Market growth is driven by urbanization and increasing demand for sustainable building materials. Technical Materials – Highly technical applications including protective materials such as insulation, precision coating, tape, and others.
The new Adestor line includes our latest exclusive labeling products, designed and printed with various finishes that highlight the versatility, elegance and quality of our premium self-adhesive products. The new Adestor catalog is further evidence of Lecta's commitment to sustainability, featuring innovations aimed at reducing the environmental impact and promoting a circular economy: Essence Nature DfE 90 WS, 100% recycled material with textured finish; Stonepaper® 144 DfE, certified Cradle to Cradle Silver made from mineral powder; and Cold Ice White 110 HWS with HWS technology, which allows the commonly used film laminate to be eliminated, replacing it with a natural high wet strength layer, resulting in a plastic-free label. The entire Adestor range is manufactured in accordance with the ISO 14001 and EMAS environmental standards, the ISO 50001 energy management standard, the ISO 9001 quality standard, and the ISO 45001 occupational health and safety standard. Products are available with PEFC™ Chain of Custody or FSC® C011032 forest certification upon request.
The Green Valley Energie (GVE) joint venture, in which Norske Skog is a 10% minority equity holder, is ready to commence construction of a biomass boiler at the mill site of Norske Skog Golbey, France, following recent completion of debt financing. GVE is a biomass energy plant, which will produce electricity and heat from waste and residue materials. Electricity sale from GVE is ensured through a feed-in tariff contract, while steam will be used for Norske Skog's Golbey mill. "This energy project is one more milestone in the on-going transition of Norske Skog towards new growth markets and sustainable energy. The biomass boiler will ensure a stable, long-term supply of cost-competitive and 100 percent renewable steam as an alternative to fossil energy sources like natural gas, shielding us from increasingly volatile energy markets," says Sven Ombudstvedt, CEO of Norske Skog.
Stora Enso introduced NaturaFluff Eco to the market in 2021. This lower carbon footprint fluff pulp has now fulfilled the requirements and qualified for the Asthma Allergy Nordic label. Consumers are increasingly looking for products which are natural, safe to use and have a low environmental footprint. NaturaFluff Eco is an oxygen-delignified fluff pulp, which means that no bleaching chemicals are used in its production. As a result, the fluff pulp has a warm, natural beige colour and a more than 30% lower carbon footprint in comparison to traditional fluff pulp, without compromising on product performance. NaturaFluff Eco is perfectly suited for use in absorbent hygiene products, such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene, adult incontinence products, as well as in air-laid nonwoven materials such as napkins, table-tops and various pads.
Starting from May 2022, the lignin-based WISA® BioBond bonding technology is being used in all UPM’s WISA spruce plywood products. WISA BioBond is UPM Plywood’s proprietary bonding technology in which at least 50% of fossil-based phenol in the glue is replaced with wood’s own natural bonding agent, lignin. UPM is the first plywood manufacturer in the world to adopt such a lignin-based solution in its entire range of spruce products. More than just a new type of glue, WISA BioBond is a comprehensive technology that helps further reduce WISA products’ already low fossil CO2 emissions over their lifecycle. The technology has been used in UPM’s birch plywood mills since 2017. By making it the standard in the WISA spruce range, UPM is helping constructors and builders meet their own sustainability targets. “WISA plywood is a material with excellent sustainable qualities already. It is made from renewable raw material and acts as a carbon storage throughout its lifetime. With WISA BioBond, we develop our plywood products and take their environmental performance one step further. This brings the material closer to the UPM vision of a future beyond fossils,” says Susanna Rinne, VP, Strategy and Business Development at UPM Plywood.
After many years of advocacy by Domtar, our industry partners, customers and consumers, Congress passed legislation in favor of U.S. postal reform in March. In early April, President Joe Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022. The bipartisan legislation will help the United States Postal Service (USPS) become more financially sound, and it codifies important services, such as six-day delivery. “Because nearly a third of the product we make at our mills travels through the mail each day, Domtar views the U.S. Postal Service as a business partner,” says Kathy Wholley, vice president of communications and public affairs. “For years we have been advocating for substantive legislative proposals that make needed reforms to the postal service. These changes will help the partnership between us, our customers and the postal service remain strong, as well as benefit American consumers.” Much more at: https://newsroom.domtar.com/us-postal-reform-2022/
Paper Excellence is pleased to have received $4.5 million from the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. This funding will help support an important transformation project taking place at our Catalyst Port Alberni mill. The $4.5 million will be invested at Catalyst Port Alberni to expand the mill’s production capacity for food packaging papers. Traditionally, this mill produced printing and writing grades; however, demand for these products has been in steady decline. Transitioning to food grade papers means meeting growing market demand, providing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic serving containers, and advancing BC’s circular economy. The new grades will be produced using unique pulping capabilities developed at the Catalyst Port Alberni mill that net a higher yield in fiber use. As a result, the mill will be able to increase the amount of food packaging materials it produces but will use less residual wood fibre to do so.
The release papers are produced at Condat, Lecta's mill in France. After the launch several months ago of its new range of Linerset release liners with Linerset CCK (Clay Coated Kraft) release paper, Lecta now presents Linerset Glassine, a supercalendered paper for siliconization with very good lay-flatness, caliper, transparency and high resistance. Available in yellow and white, respectively, Linerset Glassine Y (Yellow) and Linerset Glassine W (White) are produced in substances from 45 to 78 g/m² for application on self-adhesive labels. Introducing these new release liners, Lecta advances in its transformation and diversification project at its Condat mill in France. With an investment of more than 80 million euros, Lecta has transformed its Line 8 paper machine at Condat with the aim of manufacturing release liners for siliconization. Lecta also has acquired a new supercalender, making Condat one of the most modern, efficient and environment-friendly factories in Europe.
Whether in store, online or at the doorstep, every detail in the cost umer journey matters. To help brands better connect with consumers, Neenah has released its newest Idea Shop by Neenah promotion. Designed in collaboration with the world renowned Design Army the promo highlights the power of attention grabbing packaging, point of purchase, and other uniquely branded samples that transcend the screen and engage the senses across each carefully branded consumer touchpoint. The cleverly packaged Idea Shop branded promotion pulls out all the stops, starting with a gorgeous deep black soft touch folding board box accented with black foil for a premium, sophisticated look and feel. Upon opening, lucky recipients are greeted with a personalized welcome, setting the stage for the layers of elegantly designed, distinctively printed goodies beneath. Everything that follows is a masterclass in creating sensory intrigue, welcoming a second touch, and leaving an impression.
UPM Raflatac is the first company in the world to invest in Ocean Bound Plastics (OBP) waste as label raw material in their new Ocean Action labels. The Ocean Action labels are made from ocean bound plastic using mass balance approach. Ocean bound plastic is abandoned plastic waste recovered from areas up to 50km inland from waterways, defined as “at risk of ending up in the ocean” by OBPCert. The new innovative label material is made possible by close collaboration with multiple partners in the product’s value chain. ”The new innovative Ocean Action label material is the latest step in our beyond fossils journey. It does not only help prevent the plastic waste from ending up in the oceans but also offers brand owners the possibility to meet their recycled content targets for packaging. The Ocean Action label material is an easy-to-use drop-in solution created especially for food and cosmetics end-uses as it has exactly the same performance as the current fossil-based labels,” says Eliisa Laurikainen, Business Development Manager from UPM Raflatac.
Stora Enso has started a feasibility study at its paper production site in Langerbrugge, Belgium, for the conversion of one of the two paper lines into a high-volume recycled containerboard line. Aligned with Stora Enso’s strategic focus on renewable materials, the investment would support the growth opportunity created by the increasing demand for recycled packaging board. Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge site currently has two paper lines in production, one for newsprint and one for supercalendared (SC) magazine paper. The feasibility study will focus on the conversion of the site’s newsprint paper line. The conversion would enable Stora Enso to further grow its recycled and recyclable packaging materials capacity and to meet the growing demand in end-use segments such as industrials, e-commerce, furniture and electronics. The feasibility study is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2023.
Today we are all experiencing the serious impact of climate change. Sappi Europe, as a global company, is committed to pursuing a stringent decarbonisation plan to reduce detrimental effects on the environment. As part of its long-term global commitment to climate protection and sustainable production, the company has successfully converted many of its production sites to renewable energy. At its Kirkniemi Mill in Lohja, Finland, Sappi Europe has invested an amount in the double-digit millions which will enable the full conversion of its energy supply to renewable bioenergy. This investment will reduce the mill’s direct fossil greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 90 per cent, equivalent to 230 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. “This is just one of many measures we are taking on our journey towards greater sustainability. We are committed to being part of the solution and are rigorously focusing on our decarbonisation plan,” confirms Marco Eikelenboom, CEO of Sappi Europe. Visitors to the PulPaper event in Helsinki will have an opportunity to find out more about how the company is achieving its goals to become sustainable and future-proof.
Paper Excellence is pleased to welcome Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo – North Cowichan and Parliamentary Secretary for Forests to its Catalyst Crofton mill today to see how the recently awarded $5.85 million of CleanBC funding will impact the operation. Catalyst Crofton’s GHG emission reduction project is a combination of three process improvements that will result in a significant reduction in total steam energy demand, resulting in decreased natural gas usage at the mill. The three areas of focus for this project are: 1. Re-engineering an unused diffusion washer with state-of-the-art diffusion washing technology to maximize the black liquor fuel quality while using less steam energy. 2. Investing in fibre filter equipment to remove valuable wood fibre from the black liquor fuel and increase the efficiency of the evaporation process. 3. Automate the cleaning process of Evaporator #3 to improve steam efficiency through reduced evaporator downtime.
Kruger is pleased to announce that its affiliate Kruger Specialty Papers Holding L.P. today completed the acquisition of Domtar’s pulp mill in Kamloops, British Columbia. The Kamloops facility, which manufactures northern bleached softwood kraft pulp (NBSK) and unbleached softwood kraft pulp, will continue to operate as usual, honouring all existing volume commitments and agreements with customers and suppliers. The Mill’s 320 jobs will be maintained. In addition, Kruger intends to maintain ongoing initiatives to continue modernizing the Mill. This acquisition will also enable Kruger to secure the supply of high-quality pulp for some of its paper mills, including those in Quebec, where the Company is investing about $1 billion for the construction of two state-of-the-art tissue plants.
Building Strong Relationships reviews 2021 and looks at both our achievements and our opportunities to do better. In particular, it highlights the work we did in building relationships with the Indigenous communities in whose traditional territories we operate and our corporate giving campaign which had a greatly increased budget in 2021. The report also looks at our environmental and economic impacts nationally and on a mill-by-mill basis. From an environmental standpoint, 85% of our total energy use was renewable in 2021 and we have continued to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions—now down by 66% since 1990. From an economic perspective, the total economic activity created by Paper Excellence Canada operations was $4.8 billion. “Paper Excellence Canada’s spent this last year putting our words into action and I’m proud of what we have achieved,” said Graham Kissack, Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety and Corporate Communications. “Our vision is to be a profitable, sustainable, and globally competitive fibre products provider that is environmentally and economically beneficial to all stakeholders and this year’s achievements have supported us in that aim.”
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced that De Lyle W. Bloomquist has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. Bloomquist succeeds Vito J. Consiglio, who has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), with the mutual agreement of the Board. In connection with Mr. Bloomquist’s appointment, the Board named Lisa M. Palumbo as Non-Executive Chair of the Board. Mr. Bloomquist has served on the Company’s Board since 2014 and was named Non-Executive Chair of the Board in May 2020. He has decades of domestic and international leadership experience in the chemicals, minerals and materials industries, including in finance, sales, logistics, operations, IT, strategy and business development capacities. Mr. Bloomquist most recently served as a partner at Windrunner Management Advisors LLC, a management advisory services business, and prior to that served as the President, Global Chemical Business of Tata Chemicals Limited, and President, CEO and Director of Tata Chemicals North America Inc.
UPM Raflatac has signed an agreement to acquire AMC AG, a Germany-based company. This acquisition accelerates growth and expands the product offering of UPM Raflatac. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or other transaction details. The transaction is expected to be closed latest in Q3, 2022. The closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. With this acquisition, UPM continues in its strategic path, adding to the organic growth in the attractive specialty packaging material value chain and strengthens the company’s transformation and long-term value creation in one of its three spearheads of growth. AMC AG, founded in 1996 with roots going back to 1959 is a private company with long-term private owners. The company has two production sites Kaltenkirchen and Hagenow in Northern Germany. AMC’s business includes coating of pressure sensitive filmic labelstock and Viscom/Graphics materials under the Intercoat brand, and removable self-adhesive stationary products under the brand names Global Notes and Print Inform. The company employs more than 300 people and the latest financial year sales of AMC AG was EUR 110 million. UPM Raflatac expects to accelerate AMC’s growth and realize significant synergies.
Canfor Corporation is announcing the continuation of reduced operating schedules at its Western Canadian sawmills due to the ongoing global supply chain challenges. The Company has been operating at approximately 80% of production capacity since late March 2022. In addition, the Company will be implementing two weeks of rotating downtime across its primary sawmills in July and August, which will help align production capacity with the sustainable timber supply and transportation availability. The Company will use this downtime to complete maintenance projects and other site activities to help mitigate the impact on employees. These capacity reductions are expected to result in an incremental impact of approximately 275 million board feet by the end of August, in addition to the 100 million board feet reduction previously announced on March 30th.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) released its April 2022 Printing-Writing Monthly report. According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments remained essentially flat (+0.3 percent) in April compared to April 2021. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased one percent when compared to March 2022. U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers in April increased one percent compared to last April while the inventory level increased one percent compared to March 2022. UFS imports increased 12 percent while exports decreased 26 percent in March 2022. Coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments increased five percent compared to April 2021 while the inventory level increased two percent compared to March 2022. CFS imports increased 16 percent while exports decreased ten percent in March 2022. U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers in April decreased 21 percent compared to last April while the inventory level increased six percent compared to March 2022. CM imports and exports both decreased compared to March 2021, down 21 percent and nine percent respectively. Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments increased 15 percent compared to April 2021 while the inventory level increased one percent compared to March 2022. UM imports increased 13 percent while exports remained essentially flat (-0.1 percent) in March 2022.
Carol Hoffman Schoedinger has joined Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. as Senior Sales Manager. Ms. Schoedinger will have responsibility for selling Monadnock’s full suite of sustainable printing, packaging and technical/specialty papers in the U.S. Midwest. Prior to joining Monadnock, Ms. Schoedinger held a range of sales and business development roles with WestRock, Evergreen Packaging and Appleton Coated. She has a breadth of experience in the paper industry and a strong understanding of the needs of the print design community. Her strengths include developing long standing partnerships and exceeding customer expectations through creative graphic solutions.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, closed on the acquisition of Neu Kimya Anonim Şirketi on May 26, 2022. Located in Istanbul, Turkey, Neu Kimya serves the heavy/light water treatment and oil and gas markets in Turkey, Southeast Europe and the Middle East. The acquisition of Neu Kimya fits well with Solenis’ direct-to-market strategy and will offer customers in the region improved product and service offerings. "This new acquisition adds to our strategic growth plan following our recent ownership change to Platinum Equity," said John Panichella, CEO, Solenis. "With the ongoing support from the Platinum Equity team, we continue to proactively seek other opportunities for similar acquisitions that enhance our ability to serve customers."
Total European shipments of graphic papers in March 2022 were down 11.1% vs. March 2021 and are down 7.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in March 2022 were down 11.1% vs. March 2021 and are down 4.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in March 2022 were down 12.0% vs. March 2021 and are down 7.2% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in March 2022 were down 18.8% vs. March 2021 and are down 15.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in March 2022 were down 11.9% vs. March 2021 and are down 8.6% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in March 2022 were down 4.6% vs. March 2021 and are UP 3.2% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in March 2022 were down 10.0% vs. March 2021 and are down 9.6% year-to-date.
We appreciate your trust in Monadnock as your partner and supplier and want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate all of the unprecedented challenges relative to fulfilling your paper needs. Nothing could fully prepare any of us for the appearance and consequences of COVID-19 in 2020, nor did anyone comprehend the domino effect that would ensue relative to the availability of essential raw materials – specialty chemicals, fiber and adhesives, available converting capacity, logistics and transportation issues, and labor shortages. We are actively managing the challenges we face, providing transparency, and continuing to deliver results for all of our customers. Despite facing longer manufacturing lead times, we are leveraging our long-standing supply chain relationships to deliver what you need.
Stora Enso and wood technology company Modvion are partnering to establish wood as the material of choice for wind turbine towers. The collaboration’s purpose is to demonstrate the vast possibilities in using wood in demanding constructions. Modvion builds wind turbine towers with laminated veneer lumber (LVL), which proportionate to its weight is stronger than steel. Stora Enso is a leading supplier of mass timber products, including LVL. The towers are built in lightweight modules, enabling taller towers and easy transportation on public roads without permits or road reconstructions. Taller towers reach stronger winds, leading to more cost-efficient energy production.
Global consumer brands are facing increasing pressure from governments and consumers to improve their sustainability. Reducing the footprint of packaging and labelling is one critical area where sustainability can be improved. Compensating for today’s unavoidable emissions, UPM Raflatac has announced that RAFNXT+ is the world’s first CarbonNeutral® certified label material. Sustainable packaging and carbon neutral labelling, clearly explaining both the packaging and the labelling’s sustainable components, are increasingly seen as an important step to encourage consumers to purchase more sustainable products. To help their many customers take positive climate action, in 2019, UPM Raflatac announced that RAFNXT+ was the world’s first label material verified by the Carbon Trust to reduce its carbon footprint and help mitigate climate change. Now, the company has taken a step further and has introduced its RAFNXT+, the world’s first CarbonNeutral® label material certified as a CarbonNeutral® product by Natural Capital Partners.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy’s Board of Directors has agreed an ownership reorganization plan under which the production assets, debts, and liabilities relating to its Decor business will be transferred from Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy, without liquidation, to a newly formed company that will be named Munksjö. In the ownership reorganization, Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy will divest the majority share of and remain with a minority share in the new Munksjö company to Ahlström Capital BV (wholly owned subsidiary of Ahlström Capital Oy) and Nidoco AB, both of which are affiliates of the current minority owners of Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy. The planned reorganization is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2022, following which Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy will start preparing plans for changing its business name to Ahlstrom.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced ratification of a four-year collective agreement by Unifor union members at seven of the company's pulp and paper mills in Canada, following an agreement-in-principle reached on May 15, 2022. "We are pleased with the result of the vote, which is a testament to the hard work and collaborative efforts of both the company and the union in recent years to address the challenges we are facing and to ensure the competitiveness of the business," said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer. "Thanks to the support of our employees, we continue to pursue our vision to operate a model manufacturing company, built with the strongest business values, the highest respect for sustainability and the calling to serve our people and communities."
Stora Enso has launched a comprehensive biodiversity programme and related targets for its land holdings in Sweden. The programme, which covers the Company’s forest land in Sweden, has five focus areas, each with specific actions and measurable targets for 2030. Combined with the ongoing biodiversity work, the new biodiversity programme with more than 30 actions will lead to increased nature values and strengthened biodiversity across Stora Enso’s land holdings in Sweden. Some examples of activities from the programme’s focus areas and main targets for 2030: • Deadwood: Over 40% of red-listed forest species depend on deadwood. Stora Enso aims to increase the amount of dead wood on its land holdings by 40%. • Broadleaved trees: Broadleaved trees provide critical habitats for many species. Stora Enso will double the number of broadleaved trees in young forests and plant 700,000 birch trees annually. • Water: Watercourses and wetlands are often rich in biodiversity since many species depend on water for different life stages. Stora Enso will identify four major water landscapes for restoration and remove migration barriers in all identified valuable watercourses. • Species and habitats: An umbrella species is an animal or plant that lives in an area with many other endangered species. The new biodiversity programme focuses on protecting four umbrella species, which in turn benefit hundreds of other red-listed species. • Active biodiversity management: actions in this focus area include increasing annual prescribed burning by 20% on average in the protection areas over a five-year period.
Over the years, the definition of sustainability has evolved, and now customers are the driving force behind companies’ sustainability practices. Committing to environmental stewardship in product innovation and manufacturing processes will benefit the community, employees, and customers for generations to come. Encapsulating this philosophy, Sustana is elevating the principle of sustainability to a core corporate level and assimilating it as an integral part of their everyday business practice. The leading manufacturer of sustainably produced premium recycled fiber and paper solutions is committed to sustainable manufacturing and being good stewards of valuable resources such as energy and water. To read the full article in Manufacturing Technology Insights, go to: https://www.manufacturingtechnologyinsights.com/sustana
Sylvamo's board of directors authorized a share repurchase program to acquire up to $150 million of the company's common stock. "Our strong free cash flow enables us to begin returning cash to shareowners," said Jean-Michel Ribiéras, chairman and chief executive officer. "We also expect to continue paying down debt and will repurchase shares opportunistically to further increase our equity value.”
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has pledged to create sustainable, fiber-based solutions. PurposeSeal™ is pushing the boundaries of fiber-based end-use applications. PurposeSeal™ is a heat-sealed paper carefully constructed to ensure quality and protection for end-use packaging solutions. It boasts additional sustainability benefits when applied to Cristal™ Transparent Packaging Papers or trulyNatural™ unbleached papers. Ahlstrom-Munksjö recently received recyclability certification for the Cristal™ transparent paper product family, including PurposeSeal™ technology. These products have passed the SBS Equivalency (WMU SBS-E) testing protocol certifying these innovative papers recyclable from Western Michigan University. Additionally, Cristal™ and PurposeSeal™ have obtained 3rd party certification from Centre technique du papier, certifying Cristal™ heal seal coating is recyclable to the European Union’s EN13430 standards.
At Resolute, we continue to deliver on our strong commitment to climate change mitigation and green energy projects that optimize the use of renewables. Our two Florida tissue mills – Sanford and Hialeah – are taking advantage of the Sunshine State’s favorable climate to participate in ™, a community program offered by Florida Power & Lighting (FPL) that helps local homes and businesses access emissions-free energy. FPL operates dozens of solar energy centers across the state, increasing the use of solar power on the energy grid and helping to offset the use of other non-renewable energy resources. Resolute began participating in SolarTogether in July 2021. We anticipate a total annual reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of about 7,000 metric tons (7,716 short tons) of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in 2022 for our two Florida tissue mills. “This innovative program is helping Resolute achieve our sustainability targets,” said Patrice Minguez, president of Resolute Tissue. “Not only are we purchasing green energy to power our Florida operations, we are proud to support Florida’s clean energy revolution.”
Q1/2022 compared with Q1/2021 Pro forma • Net sales increased by 27.0% to EUR 918.9 million (723.5) • Comparable EBITDA improved to EUR 122.3 million (107.7), representing 13.3 (14.9) of net sales. Reported Q1/2022 compared with Q1/2021 - • Reported operating result was EUR 40.7 million (-8.0) and included items affecting comparability and other items of EUR -33.7 million (-47.4) • Net result was EUR 14.0 million (-23.9) including net financial items of EUR -16.1 million (-20.2) and taxes of EUR -10.6 million (4.3)
As previously announced, Julie Schertell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neenah, will serve as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Jeff Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of SWM, will serve as a strategic advisor. John D. Rogers, Non-Executive Chairman of the SWM Board, will serve as Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Directors. The senior leadership team announced today includes: Omar Hoek, Chief Operating Officer; Andrew Wamser, Chief Financial Officer; Ricardo Nuñez, General Counsel, Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer; Natalie Poteran, Chief Transformation Officer; Sarma Malladi, Chief Information Officer; Mike Rickheim, Chief Human Resources & Administrative Officer
Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced that it reached an agreement-in-principle for a four-year labor agreement with the Unifor union, representing most of the hourly employees in the company's Canadian pulp and paper operations. The agreement-in-principle is subject to member ratification. The master agreement covers seven of Resolute's pulp and paper mills in Canada: the Dolbeau; Gatineau; Kénogami; Saint-Félicien and currently indefinitely idled Amos and Baie-Comeau facilities in Quebec; and the Thunder Bay operation in Ontario. The collective agreement covers approximately 700 employees. The details of the agreement are confidential until union leadership presents its terms to members in the coming days.
Crown Van Gelder is going for Gold with development partners in the Eurosac Grand Prix on May 19-21 in Bilbao, Spain. This year, 3 members of Eurosac (Novidon, Fiorini and Crown Van Gelder) will pitch together, in collaboration with sugar beet pulp supplier Cosun and brandowner DLF in a 5 minute video, not as individual companies going for own glory, but as value chain partners. Herewith the partners show, that fast innovation for creating a greener world is possible. This is a story about how Cosun Beet Company, Novidon, Crown Van Gelder, Fiorini and DLF came together and from synergy created swift innovation with a more sustainable product as a result. DLF was looking for the reduction of the environmental impact of their 3-layer 15 KG bag for packaging grass seeds, compared to their current bag, produced with kraft paper. The new and more environmentally friendly packaging had to contribute to the sustainability ambition of DLF. The search of DLF led to Crown Van Gelder - who developed Crown Native sugar beet paper within a 5-year collaboration with Cosun - after which Fiorini as DLF’s bag producer and both Cosun and Novidon were involved.
Kruger announced that its affiliate Kruger Specialty Papers Holding L.P. entered into a definitive share purchase agreement pursuant to which one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries will purchase all the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of DKP Pulp ULC, a legal entity wholly-owned by Domtar Inc. that will, at the time of closing, own and operate the Kamloops Mill located at 2005 Mission Flats Road, Kamloops, British Columbia. The Kamloops Mill produces high quality Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp and unbleached softwood Kraft for customers in North America and Asia. "We're very excited about the opportunities that will arise from this acquisition, not only for Kruger but also for the Kamloops Mill, B.C. wood fibre suppliers and the local community," said François D'Amours, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Kruger Inc., Kruger Specialty Papers' parent company. "There is a natural fit between Kruger and the Kamloops Mill, which has an impressive track record in terms of performance, sustainability, health and safety and employee engagement. Kruger has always maintained excellent relationships with its employees, customers, suppliers and communities and will make every effort to ensure a smooth and efficient transition, and to continue and strengthen these relationships."
In October 2021, Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc., North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers and envelopes, introduced Paper With a Plan: A new attribute-driven approach to specifying paper. Mohawk refined and reorganized its paper portfolio into 5 distinct Collections that help make choosing paper by its properties and attributes easier. Mohawk’s paper grades are now grouped into the Beautiful, Sustainable, Expressive, Elevated, and Practical Collections. Mohawk Collections eliminate the guesswork behind paper specification giving you a simpler, more straightforward way to think about paper.
KPLP Q1 2022 Business and Financial Highlights: • Revenue was $398.7 million in Q1 2022 compared to $310.4 million in Q1 2021, an increase of $88.3 million or 28.5%. • Net income was $1.4 million in Q1 2022 compared to $6.8 million in Q1 2021, a decrease of $5.4 million. “We delivered strong sales growth of 28.5% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022, driven by an ongoing market recovery, increased capacity driven by Sherbrooke and a pricing increase mainly impacting our Canadian operations. Robust top-line growth was tempered by escalating inflation across many essential cost items such as pulp, freight, natural gas, packaging and labour,” stated KP Tissue’s Chief Executive Officer, Dino Bianco.
Interfor Corporation recorded Net earnings in Q1’22 of $397.0 million, or $6.69 per share, compared to $69.7 million, or $1.15 per share in Q4’21 and $264.5 million, or $4.01 per share in Q1’21. Notable items in the quarter: • Acquisition of EACOM Timber Corporation o On February 22, 2022, the Company completed the transaction to acquire 100% of the equity interests of EACOM Timber Corporation (“EACOM”) from an affiliate of Kelso & Company. The acquisition includes seven sawmills with a combined lumber production capacity of 985 million board feet, an I-Joist plant with annual production capacity of 70 million linear feet, and a value-added remanufacturing plant with annual production capacity of 60 million board feet (the “Acquired Eastern Canada Operations”). The Company paid total consideration of $731.2 million which was funded from cash on hand and drawings on the Revolving Term Line. o The Acquired Eastern Canada Operations contributed $5.1 million of Adjusted EBITDA to Interfor’s first quarter results, which is net of $68.0 million recorded in production costs related to fair value adjustments recognized at the acquisition date.
First Quarter of 2022 Highlights: First quarter 2022 (“Q1 2022”) net earnings were $34.0 million, or $0.18 per share (diluted), compared to $8.0 million, or $ 0.04 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2021 (“Q4 2021”), which was the Company’s first full quarter operating its acquired forest-products assets *Lumber pricing improved significantly in Q1 2022 and outlook continues to be strong for the remainder of the second quarter of 2022 and beyond, with continued volatility but above-historical levels expected *Asset-backed revolving loan facility of $65.0 million was undrawn at quarter end and has remained undrawn at May 11, 2022. Seasonal log inventory build up continued to be funded from strong operating cash flow *The Company plans to conclude its Transition Services Agreement with Rayonier Advanced Materials by end of May 2022
White paper, like white paint, is not just white. Brightness is an important characteristic in our paper products. The brightness of white paper matters to customers who use it for printing books, brochures or marketing mail. To achieve the specified brightness, our mills use chlorine dioxide in the pulping process, which is also widely used for treatment of drinking water. We use it to brighten pulp after it’s reduced from wood. The pulp goes through a three-stage bleaching process to achieve the desired brightness before continuing through the mill to become uncoated freesheet paper. Through a continuous improvement project, the team at our Johnsonburg Mill in Pennsylvania has managed to reduce the volume of chlorine dioxide used while maintaining the brightness our customers expect. The work also highlights Domtar’s commitment to quality and sustainability.
Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, has switched its entire portfolio of glassine-based release liners to certified base paper. The change is part of Mondi’s ongoing, proactive approach to sustainability, which includes developing solutions that are better for the environment. Glassine-based release liners are mainly used for labels, tapes, and medical applications. By moving to certified base paper, Mondi is improving traceability, working with partners who manage forests responsibly in line with its commitment to maintain zero deforestation in its forests and supply chain. This latest move to certified glassine-based paper is another step in Mondi’s commitment to responsible sourcing and supply chain transparency.
Financial summary for the quarter: • EBITDA excluding special items US$337 million (Q2 FY21 US$112 million) • Net debt of US$1,793 million (Q2 FY21 US$2,070 million) • Profit for the period US$188 million (Q2 FY21 loss of US$23 million) • EPS excluding special items 35 US cents (Q2 FY21 loss of 1 US cents)
UPM closed the sale of its Chapelle Darblay newsprint mill site to the Community of Rouen today. This sale is an asset sale, covering land, the buildings and the equipment. No personnel will be transferred. UPM had permanently ceased production and agreed a social plan for its employees at its Chapelle mill in Grand-Couronne, France already in June 2020. UPM had originally committed to selling the site to a consortium of two partners, Samfi and Paprec France SAS, in October 2021. The Community of Rouen then pre-empted the sale of the Chapelle Darblay land and buildings in February 2022, cancelling the sale to Samfi and Paprec France SAS. UPM will remain committed to the French newsprint market and will continue close collaboration with its partners and customers in France.
First-Quarter Highlights: *Net income of $26 million ($0.59 per diluted share) compared with $62 million ($1.41 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2021; first quarter 2022 net income includes the impact of a $68 million ($57 million, net of tax) impairment charge for our Russian operations as we evaluate options to exit the business *Free cash flow3 (non-GAAP) of $73 million compared with $162 million in the fourth quarter of 2021
Paper Excellence provided an update on skilled labour shortages in British Columbia that are impacting the company’s ability to execute many of its planned shutdowns on time. The company has been dealing with delays due to shortages of skilled pressure vessel welders at its Crofton facility which will impact the length of the shutdown resulting in incremental lost pulp production due to the delays. The company is concerned that similar shortages will impact upcoming shutdowns at Howe Sound and Skookumchuck. The company currently expects a loss of about 10,000 tonnes of NBSK pulp production in total across all three sites. Paper Excellence remains committed to its customers and can supply pulp products from its other unaffected mills during these delays.
UPM Raflatac extends its CarbonNeutral® product portfolio by achieving CarbonNeutral® product certification for the whole Linerless product range. The certification is issued by Natural Capital Partners in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. The leading global framework provides a robust and pragmatic blueprint for carbon neutrality. Direct thermal (DT) linerless labeling products help customers to reduce their packaging footprint and is in high demand in the packaging value chain. Sustainability and efficiency benefits of using linerless are significant as linerless brings up to a 40 percent reduction in material usage compared to traditional labelling technologies. DT linerless market has seen approximately 15 percent year-on-year growth in recent years.
Stora Enso invests in ACDF Industrie SAS and becomes a 35% shareholder of the French wood processing company. The investment is in line with Stora Enso’s growth strategy for mass timber building elements, enabling value-added, bespoke CLT (cross-laminated timber) solutions to its long-term French partners. ACDF Industrie SAS works with all engineered wood products like CLT, Glulam and LVL (laminated veneer lumber) and manufactures them into various value-added products such as walls, floors or roof elements for residential and non-residential buildings, mainly for the French market.
*Record net sales of $284.8 million, up 25 percent from the prior year, reflecting selling price actions to recover input costs and higher volume in both segments. Excluding the effects of the April 2021 Itasa acquisition and a facility closure, net sales were 12 percent higher. *Record net sales in Technical Products of $185.6 million were 28 percent higher than the prior year period. Excluding the effects of Itasa and the facility closure, net sales were 6 percent higher. *Net sales in Fine Paper and Packaging of $99.2 million, up 21 percent from the prior year, with strong organic growth in all categories. *As expected, operating income remained pressured by unprecedented increases in input and distribution costs and labor shortages. EBIT declined from $13.6 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $12.2 million this quarter. Excluding $12.5 million of unusual items in 2021 and $6.5 million in 2022, Adjusted EBITDA this quarter was $30.3 million compared to $35.7 million in the prior year. *In January, a fire occurred at our Brownville, New York manufacturing facility. Operations were fully restored before quarter-end, but the impact of repair costs and margin from lost sales was approximately $2 million. *On March 28, Neenah announced it has entered into a definitive all-stock merger of equals agreement with Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. (NYSE: SWM). The combination is expected to form a global leader in specialty materials with combined annual revenues of approximately $3 billion and generate highly achievable, initial cost synergies of $65 million. The Form S-4 is planned to be filed by SWM shortly, and the transaction is on track to close in the second half of 2022.
Paper Excellence announced today that it is nearing completion of a significant project to winterize the pulp mill at Prince Albert Pulp Inc (PAPI). Winterizing the mill means that the interior of the mill is now heated for the first time since 2014, when the site last operated. The project will cost approximately $500,000. “Winterizing and heating the interior of the mill is another step forward as we keep working on restarting PAPI,” said Carlo Dal Monte, VP of Energy and Business Development for Paper Excellence. “As we all know, Prince Albert winters can be very cold, so being able to heat the interior of the mill means a safer working environment for our team and contractors that may be on site with us. Winterizing the mill also helps to prevent weather-related damage to the exterior of the mill and important infrastructure inside.”
QUARTERLY DATA - Net sales grew by 13% to SEK 7 397 million (6 520). Excluding currency effects net sales increased by 11% Adjusted EBITDA* increased to SEK 1 664 million (1 003), corresponding to an adjusted EBITDA margin of 22% (15%) Operating profit was SEK 1 189 million (528), Net profit was SEK 884 million (377) Earnings per share amounted to SEK 4.27 (1.82)
Georgia-Pacific recently announced plans to upgrade areas of its 640-acre Muskogee bath tissue, towel and napkin manufacturing operations. The Muskogee Mill has proposed investments of more than $50 million during the next three years to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of operations, in addition to the investment of a new production line and equipment. “These investments will help Georgia-Pacific continue our focus on transforming manufacturing equipment and processes that result in better employee safety, environmental performance, reliability and quality,” said Amy Borovich, Muskogee Mill Facility Leader. “We appreciate the support from all of our Muskogee community partners, including the Muskogee City-County Port Authority, City of Muskogee and the City of Muskogee Foundation.” Georgia-Pacific’s Muskogee Mill employs more than 700 people, making it the largest private employer in the city. The mill makes bath tissue, paper towels and napkins for both retail and away-from-home markets, including such well-known consumer brands as Sparkle®.
Lecta is expanding its range of Adestor self-adhesive materials and services with the launch of the new line of Adestor Standard Films adhesive film products. This new line of standard products includes both polypropylenes, which offer rigidity and high transparency, as well as polyethylenes, which fit perfectly on flexible or compressible packaging, with various finishes and thicknesses that cover a broad range of applications. The launch of this new line also represents an increase in our services for roll products, including the grades most in demand in the Exact Cut program, allowing on-demand product widths to be ordered at preset reel lengths. The entire Adestor range is manufactured in accordance with the ISO 14001 and EMAS environmental standards, the ISO 50001 energy management standard, the ISO 9001 quality standard, and the ISO 45001 occupational health and safety standard.
Mondi delivered strongly in the first quarter of 2022. Demand was good across the business, supported by our broad range of innovative, sustainable packaging and paper solutions, product quality and customer service. Higher average selling prices more than offset continued cost pressures. Underlying EBITDA for the first quarter was €574 million, up 63% compared to the prior year period (Q1 2021: €353 million) and up 41% on a sequential basis (Q4 2021: €406 million). In the current context, the Group believes it is appropriate to report that excluding the Russian operations, underlying EBITDA for the first quarter was approximately €460 million, up around 70% compared to the prior year period. This performance is testament to the continued dedication of our people, our strong customer relationships and the strength of our integrated business model.
The company reported operating income of $235 million in the quarter, compared to an operating loss of $101 million in the fourth quarter. The improvement reflects higher selling prices in all segments ($206 million) and the net favorable impact of the indefinite idling of pulp and paper operations at the Calhoun (Tennessee) mill ($7 million). This was partially offset by lower shipments as a result of logistics constraints ($29 million), as well as higher fiber ($25 million) and freight expenses ($8 million). The company recorded lower selling, general and administrative expenses ($7 million), mainly due to lower share-based compensation expenses in the quarter. The prior quarter results were unfavorably affected by charges related to the indefinite idling of pulp and paper operations at the Calhoun mill ($171 million).
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. reported a net loss of $25 million or $(0.39) per diluted share for the quarter ended March 26, 2022, compared to net loss of $27 million or $(0.43) per diluted share for the same prior year quarter. The net loss from continuing operations for the quarter ended March 26, 2022 was $24 million or $(0.38) per diluted share, compared to net loss from continuing operations of $16 million or $(0.26) per diluted share for the same prior year quarter. The increase in the diluted loss per share was driven primarily by higher key input costs. Loss from discontinued operations for the quarter ended March 26, 2022 was $1 million or $(0.01) per diluted share, compared to a loss from discontinued operations of $11 million or $(0.17) per diluted share for the same prior year quarter. The Company sold its lumber and newsprint assets in the third quarter of 2021, and as a result, reclassified prior year amounts to conform to the presentation for discontinued operations.
The investment in new bleaching technology will increase the capacity of the mill and support Stora Enso’s ambitious climate targets. In addition, it will improve operational performance, enhance the overall efficiency of mill maintenance and thus reduce the site’s carbon footprint. Delivery is on EPC basis and includes the installation of two COMPACT PRESS wash presses, a new reactor, an effluent fiber filter, and MC equipment – all from ANDRITZ. The COMPACT PRESS wash press is characterized by its small footprint and high availability, including extremely good washing efficiency, thus ensuring high-quality production and highest pulp cleanliness. For added sustainability and circularity, the mill will reuse the Stora Enso Oulu mill’s bleaching reactor (also supplied by ANDRITZ) and some of the mixers there.
UPM Raflatac and the Finnish Paperworker’s Union signed a business specific collective labour agreement on April 22, 2022. As a result, the Paperworker’s Union’s strike at the Tampere factory in Finland ended on the same day and employees returned to work on April 25. The production ramp-up has proceeded as planned. Production volumes reached normal levels during the first week after the strike. “We are pleased that a new business-specific agreement is now reached with the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union, enabling us to better serve our customers in the future. The agreement allows for additional production flexibility at our Tampere factory and gives us the ability to better respond to demand peaks. Increased capacity utilization also opens future opportunities for employment,” says Antti Jääskeläinen, Executive Vice President, UPM Raflatac.
UPM Biochemicals and KRAHN Chemie Deutschland GmbH signed an exclusive distribution agreement to market UPM BioMotionTM Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. RFF are a completely new category of functional fillers, replacing fossil-based carbon black and precipitated silica. The distribution agreement covers UPM BioMotion™ X10, X20 and X40 product grades to be used in plastics, adhesives and sealants as well as paints and coatings. UPM BioMotion™ Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) have a significantly lower CO2 footprint compared to traditional, oil-based products. They enable companies to respond to drastically changing market conditions, increasing consumer demands for advanced product sustainability and to make a tangible contribution to achieving the 2050 climate targets.
Interfor Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Interfor East Ltd. , has acquired a total of 28,684,433 common shares in the capital of GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. (“GreenFirst”) from Rayonier A.M. Canada G.P., which represents approximately 16.2% of GreenFirst’s issued and outstanding common shares. The total cash consideration was approximately C$56 million, or C$1.94 per share, and certain price protection provisions will apply in limited circumstances during a defined period following the transaction. This acquisition was made for investment purposes and builds upon, and is complementary to, Interfor’s recent expansion into Eastern Canada through the acquisition of EACOM Timber Corporation in February 2022.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced that it has sold 28,684,433 common shares of GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Interfor Corporation for approximately $43.3 million. The agreement contains a Purchase Price Protection clause whereby the Company is entitled to participate in further stock price appreciation under certain circumstances and for a specified period. Consistent with prior communications, the Company expects to use cash proceeds from this transaction to opportunistically repay debt or assist with a holistic refinancing of its capital structure, including its Senior Notes due on June 1, 2024.
Overview • Q1 2022 reported operating income of $742 million driven by strong lumber segment results with near record-high North American lumber pricing and strong earnings for the Company’s European lumber operations • Shareholder net income of $534 million, or $4.29 per share • Completed acquisition of Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.’s (“Millar Western”) solid wood operations and associated tenure for $440 million, including net working capital • Announced $165 million (US$130 million) investment in the US South to significantly upgrade and expand Urbana’s sawmill and planer facility • Announced the implementation of a comprehensive plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
• Q1 2022 reported operating loss of $26 million; net loss of $20 million, or $0.31 per share • Notable uptick in global US-dollar pulp list prices in Q1; ongoing global supply chain challenges resulting in majority of price gains being realized in Q2 and Q3 • Lower furnace rebuild of recovery boiler number one (“RB1”) completed mid-April; focused on optimizing production performance going-forward • Together with Canfor Corporation, announced the implementation of a comprehensive plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 • Available liquidity of $111 million at March 31, 2022
FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS *Delivered strong performance due to continued strength in the paperboard business and improvements in tissue *Higher pricing in both businesses helping to offset inflation *Net sales of $488 million, up 15% compared to the first quarter of last year *Net income of $17 million, or $0.97 per diluted share *Reduced net debt by $31 million in the quarter
Mercer International Inc. reported first quarter 2022 Operating EBITDA increased to a $154.5 million from $82.0 million in the first quarter of 2021 and decreased from $164.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, net income was $88.9 million (or $1.35 per basic share and $1.34 per diluted share) compared to $5.9 million (or $0.09 per share) in the first quarter of 2021 and net income of $74.5 million (or $1.13 per basic share and $1.12 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2021.
*Order intake amounted to 2,588.6 million euros (MEUR) and was thus 49.7% higher than in the previous year’s reference period (Q1 2021: 1,729.5 MEUR). In particular, the Pulp & Paper and Hydro business areas were able to increase order intake significantly compared to the reference period of the previous year. *The order backlog as of March 31, 2022, reached a record level at 9,435.1 MEUR and has thus risen significantly once again compared to the end of 2021 (December 31, 2021: 8,165.8 MEUR). *Revenue at 1,526.9 MEUR were 2.3% higher than in the previous year’s reference period (Q1 2021: 1,493.2 MEUR). This rise is largely attributable to the Metals and Separation business areas. *The operating result increased more than revenue, reaching 122.3 MEUR (+10.3% compared to Q1 2021: 110.9 MEUR). As a result, the Group’s profitability (EBITA margin) increased significantly to 8.0% (Q1 2021: 7.4%). This is mainly due to continuing good business development in the Pulp & Paper business area and the substantial earnings improvements achieved by the Metals and Hydro business areas. *Net income increased to 71.5 MEUR (Q1 2021: 62.1 MEUR).
Stora Enso will invest EUR 10 million at its Enocell pulp mill in Finland to replace fossil-based heavy fuel oil with renewable pitch oil. This will reduce the environmental impact of the operations and help in reaching the ambitious target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the main energy sources for Enocell pulp mill are renewable black liquor, bark, and saw dust powder, but fossil-based heavy fuel oil is needed when the pulp mill is started up after maintenance stops or production disturbances. By replacing heavy fuel oil with pitch oil that is made from trees, Enocell pulp mill aims at becoming a site running 100% on bio-energy and, thus, reduce its fossil CO2 emissions by almost 70 000 tonnes annually, which is approximately 50% of Biomaterials division’s fossil CO2 emissions, and a significant contribution to achieving Stora Enso’s climate targets.
Q1/2022 (year-on-year) • Sales increased by 23% to EUR 2,798 (2,276) million. • Operational EBIT increased by 53% to EUR 503 (328) million. • Operational EBIT margin increased to 18.0% (14.4%). • Operating profit (IFRS) increased to EUR 394 (161) million. • Strong cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 403 (185) million. Cash flow after investing activities was EUR 224 (-9) million. • The net debt to operational EBITDA ratio improved to 1.1 (2.3). The target is to keep the ratio below 2.0. • Operational ROCE excluding the Forest division almost doubled to 23.6% (12.0%), the target being >13%.
JANUARY–MARCH 2022 (1–3/2021) *Sales were EUR 1,594 million (1,400). *Operating result was EUR 341 million (136). Comparable operating result was EUR 244 million (174). *Result before taxes was EUR 330 million (121). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 232 million (160). *Comparable return on capital employed was 15.8% (12.6). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 135 million (95).
*Operating profit for January–March 2022 was SEK 1 883 million (January–March 2021: 849). Operating profit includes net SEK +266 million related to the damaged turbine at Workington, which is being treated as an item affecting comparability. Excluding the item affecting comparability, operating profit increased by SEK 768 million to SEK 1 617 million because of higher selling prices for paper and wood products. *Compared with the fourth quarter, operating profit excluding the item affecting comparability increased by SEK 432 million, mainly due to price increases for paper and increased deliveries of wood products. Profit for the fourth quarter included just over SEK +200 million from the sale of a British forest property. *Profit after tax for January–March amounted to SEK 1 483 million (675), which corresponds to earnings per share of SEK 9.2 (4.2).
Norske Skog’s EBITDA in the first quarter of 2022 was NOK 610 million, an increase from NOK 422 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Sales prices for all grades increased in the quarter as a consequence of unprecedented high energy costs in Europe and a tightened publication paper market situation. The European mills operated at full capacity during the quarter. The pellets facility Nature’s Flame was sold at a gain of NOK 175 million in the quarter. Cash flow from operations was NOK 196 million in the quarter compared to NOK 317 million in the previous quarter, positively impacted by the improved operating margins, but negatively impacted by change in working capital, being mainly an increase in trade and other receivables. Operating earnings in the first quarter of 2022 were NOK 593 million compared to operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2021 of NOK 479 million. Net profit in the quarter was NOK 583 million compared to a net profit of NOK 400 million in the previous quarter. Net interest-bearing debt was NOK 924 million at the end of the first quarter, with an equity ratio of 37%.
First Quarter 2022 Financial Highlights: *Produced revenue of $965 million, an increase of 8% compared to the prior year, primarily driven by higher revenue from TiO2 and pig iron *Generated income from operations of $69 million and net income of $16 million, inclusive of a one-time fee regarding the settlement agreement reached with Venator totaling $85 million including the break fee and related negotiated interest *Achieved GAAP diluted EPS of $0.10; adjusted diluted EPS of $0.60 (non-GAAP) primarily due to the settlement *Invested $103 million in capital expenditures and generated free cash flow of $86 million
Ahlstrom-Munksjö reinforces its commitment to the PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) industry worldwide by launching its biggest-ever global range of sustainable release papers for silicone coating. The expanded and harmonized range contains three main product families, and offers release papers based on sustainable, renewable fibers, spreading from 41 g/m2 up to 215 g/m2. Products feature various technologies and finishes to match any release liner application, even the most demanding and specified one. The ACTI-V® product family includes supercalendered Glassine release papers based on proprietary technology, ensuring the highest efficiency and reliability in silicone coating. ACTI-V® Industrial products, suitable for double side silicone coating, feature ideal dimensional stability for highly technical release liner applications.
Sappi, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and dissolving pulp, today launched Arrio, a decorative laminate surface solution that delivers remarkable aesthetics, premium haptics and scratch and fingerprint resistance for high-wear surfaces. By designing Arrio to serve the unmet needs of customers, Sappi will now become the only company that provides high-fidelity, 100% replicated textured finished surfaces available in flat, then expanding to include a 3D texture library over time. With its durable acrylic surface, Arrio provides extraordinarily detailed, realistic finished surfaces that will eventually support multiple textures and décor colors, gloss effects, varying depths and visible contrast. Sappi’s high-precision manufacturing process generates the exact same surface finish over time without variation or loss of definition. Arrio, which offers a superior surface to conventional melamine in aesthetics and performance, is a perfect solution for decorative and functional surfaces on furniture, work surfaces, kitchen cabinetry and more.
Sylvamo's board of directors unanimously adopted a limited-duration shareholder rights plan to protect the interests of all shareholders. The rights plan is effective immediately. The board adopted the plan after Atlas Holdings confirmed it entered into a block trade that would give Atlas nearly 14% of Sylvamo's outstanding shares and informed Sylvamo it also holds an unspecified amount of derivatives on Sylvamo shares. Sylvamo's leaders maintain open dialogue with Sylvamo's investors, including Atlas, and plan to continue these conversations. Sylvamo recognizes Atlas' extensive experience in the paper industry.
Q1 highlights • Sales increased by 12% to EUR 2,507 million (2,234 million in Q1 2021) • Comparable EBIT was in line with last year at EUR 277 million, 11.0% of sales (279 million, 12.5%) • Operating cash flow was EUR 12 million (217 million) • Net debt increased to EUR 837 million (83 million) and net debt to EBITDA ratio was 0.46 (0.06) • Sales prices increased in all business areas and more than offset the negative impact of higher variable costs • Transformative growth projects in Uruguay and in Germany proceed well, investment estimate updated for the Leuna biorefinery
First Quarter 2022 Results by Segment: Label and Graphic Materials - Reported sales increased 8% to $1.5 billion. Sales were up 12% ex. currency and 12% on an organic basis Reported operating margin decreased 240 basis points to 14.0%. Retail Branding and Information Solutions - Reported sales increased 41% to $679 million. Sales were up 43% ex. currency and 20% on an organic basis, reflecting strong growth in both the high value product categories and the base business. Reported operating margin increased 90 basis points to 13.3%. Industrial and Healthcare Materials - Reported sales decreased 1% to $190 million. Sales were up 1% ex. currency and 1% on an organic basis, reflecting a low-single digit decrease in industrial categories and a low-double digits increase in healthcare categories. Reported operating margin decreased 410 basis points to 8.2%.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in February 2022 were down 6.2% vs. February 2021 and are down 5.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in February 2022 were down 2.9% vs. February 2021 and are down 2.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in February 2022 were down 11.7% vs. February 2021 and are down 4.2% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in February 2022 were down 15.0% vs. February 2021 and are down 13.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in February 2022 were down 10.1% vs. February 2021 and are down 6.8% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in February 2022 were UP 6.7% vs. February 2021 and are UP 8.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in February 2022 were down 7.5% vs. February 2021 and are down 9.4% year-to-date.
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. is pleased to announce that the Government of Ontario has announced that it is prepared to offer a loan of up to $17.2M (the “Loan Facility”) to support the Company’s plan to relocate and redevelop the Kenora sawmill over the next 3.5 years. Completion of the Loan Facility is subject to due diligence and negotiation of binding agreements. If completed, the Company would be able to draw down on the Loan Facility to cover 20% of its eligible project expenditures provided that the Company meets certain performance parameters including but not limited to job-creation targets and other project milestones. This strategic relocation would open the necessary expansion opportunities to ensure the mill is viable and sustainable.
Canfor Corporation is pleased to announce it will invest approximately $130 million USD to significantly upgrade and expand its sawmill and planer facility located in Urbana in Union County, Arkansas. The investment will capitalize on the abundant supply of high-quality fiber to enhance the manufacturing of high-value products, increase annual production at the facility by 115 million board feet, and result in a meaningful reduction in the facility’s cost structure. The investment aligns with Canfor’s growth and diversification strategy to keep pace with growing customer demand. “We are excited to be investing in our Urbana facility with state-of-the-art technology to modernize the work environment for our valued employees and significantly increase our ability to produce sustainable wood products that will meet the growing needs of our customers,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor.
First Quarter 2022 Operating Results: Sales of $5.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022 increased 7 percent compared to the year-ago period. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales 2 percent. Organic sales increased 10 percent as net selling prices rose 6 percent, volumes grew 2 percent and product mix increased sales 2 points. In North America, organic sales increased 13 percent in consumer products and increased 5 percent in K-C Professional. Outside North America, organic sales rose 10 percent in developing and emerging (D&E) markets and 8 percent in developed markets. First quarter operating profit was $693 million in 2022 and $770 million in 2021. Results in 2022 include the net benefit of the acquisition of a controlling interest of Thinx and 2021 results include charges related to the 2018 Global Restructuring Program.
Stora Enso has entered into an agreement to divest its two sawmills in Russia. The Company’s Nebolchi and Impilahti sawmills will be divested to local management. In addition, the divestment includes Stora Enso’s Russian forest operation which through its harvesting supplies wood to the sawmills. Stora Enso’s assessment is that due to the uncertainties in the Russian market, local ownership and operation can provide a more sustainable long-term solution for these business operations and the employees working there. The transaction is, pending necessary approvals, expected to be concluded within Q2 2022 and will have no material impact on Stora Enso’s annual sales and Operational EBIT. Due to decreased business prospects on these businesses, an impairment loss of EUR 70 million has been recorded in the first quarter result. The additional loss on the transaction under IFRS will be approximately EUR 60 million, consisting mainly of currency translation adjustments to be recorded at the closing date. The expenses are considered as items affecting comparability.
UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union have agreed on first-ever business-specific collective labour agreements for five UPM businesses. The strike at UPM mills in Finland will end immediately and employees will return to work. The strike covered UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels units in Finland. UPM will restart customer deliveries as soon as possible. The conciliator submitted settlement proposals for separate collective labour agreements for UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac ja UPM Biofuels yesterday, and both parties approved them on April 22, 2022.
UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union have not been able to come to new collective labour agreements. Today, the union turned down four settlement proposals submitted by the conciliator. The exceptionally long strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels units in Finland continues. “We are deeply disappointed in the decision of the union and in the continuation of the strike that has already lasted 3,5 months. UPM has been negotiating with an earnest mind and made several compromises. We also accepted the conciliation proposals. Modernising the agreement stemming from 1940’s would be important both for the employees and the company,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets at UPM. “It is very disappointing that after intensive negotiations, no business was able to reach a conclusion. Petri Vanhala, chairman of the Paperworkers’ Union, confirmed in the mediation of all businesses that each business can be agreed separately. The mediation found settlement proposals for four businesses that took the needs and wishes of both parties into account. We were confident that both parties undertook to accept these settlement proposals and industrial peace would resume. Now that the union has turned down the once drafted proposals, our businesses will make a fresh start," Hollmén continues.
Conciliator Leo Suomaa has submitted a proposal for UPM Biofuels in the collective labour negotiations with the Paperworkers’ Union. The conciliator has asked the parties to state their position on the proposal by 14 April 2022 at 10:00 EEST, which is also the deadline for the settlement proposals for UPM Pulp, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac, given earlier by the conciliator. The conciliation for UPM Communication Papers was interrupted last weekend. "Settlement proposals have now been given to four out of five UPM businesses aiming at collective labour agreements. More than half of UPM’s employees affiliated with the Paperworkers’ Union are now covered by settlement proposals", says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets at UPM.
Conciliator Leo Suomaa has submitted proposals for UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac in the collective labour negotiations with the Paperworkers’ Union. The conciliator has asked the parties to state their position on the proposals by 14 April 2022 at 10:00 EEST, which is also the deadline for the settlement proposal for UPM Pulp, given earlier by the conciliator. In the meanwhile, conciliation will continue between the Union and UPM Biofuels. The conciliation for UPM Communication Papers was interrupted last weekend, and no further meetings have been agreed. "I am pleased that the negotiations have reached a point where conciliation settlements are presented. I hope agreements will be reached soon, and we get to start the mills", says Riitta Savonlahti, Executive Vice President, Human Resources at UPM.
The new product Blue4est® Pro of the Thermal Paper division is a paper-based label material that is also known as facestock. It is being used for the new generation of environmentally friendly labels because it is produced without chemical developers. This means that it can be disposed of as wastepaper and is also approved for direct contact with food. As with the Blue4est® POS till receipt, the Blue4est® Pro self-adhesive label can be instantly recognized by consumers as environmentally friendly by its blue color. The partnership between Koehler Paper and HERMA has given rise to the world’s first, and as yet only, thermal adhesive material without chemical developers. This is yet another example of outstanding development work by the Koehler Innovation & Technology division of the Koehler Group at the headquarters in Oberkirch, Germany.
The conciliator has announced that the conciliation between UPM Communication Papers and Paperworkers’ Union has been interrupted, as the parties’ views are still far apart. At the same time, the conciliator announced that the conciliation in UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels continues. For UPM Pulp the conciliator has already submitted a settlement proposal. Unlike before, the Paperworkers’ Union is now ready to finalise agreements for UPM’s different businesses non-simultaneously. This means that UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac, and UPM Biofuels prepare to find solutions on the same schedule as UPM Pulp, which is expected to state its position on the settlement proposal by April 14, 2022. Next meetings between UPM Communication Papers and the Paperworkers’ Union have not been scheduled.
BillerudKorsnäs’ Annual and Sustainability report for 2021 is from today available on the company’s website at: https://www.billerudkorsnas.com/globalassets/cision/documents/2022/20220408-billerudkorsnas-annual-and-sustainability-report-2021-en-0-4233775.pdf
Initially announced in January 2020, Ahlstrom-Munksjö has completed its investment and started production for additional capacity in both filtration and energy storage materials at its plant in Turin, Italy. By successfully expanding manufacturing facilities, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is making a strong commitment to customers in both the High-Performance Filtration and Energy Storage markets. The new machine at the Turin plant is a state-of-the-art line specifically designed to produce glass microfiber media. The line will serve applications where glass microfiber media is required, supporting Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s growth initiatives in industrial filtration as well as in Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM), a key component in Lead Acid Batteries. In addition, the new line will also be able to deliver online saturated filter media, supporting the increasing global demand for filtration media.
Frank Shaffer has joined Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. as Technical Services Manager. In this newly developed role, Frank will act as liaison between Monadnock and its vendors and customers relative to new product development, quality, sales and marketing. Prior to joining Monadnock, Frank was with Hub Folding Box, Mansfield, MA, for the past six years. Prior to that he held positions with Timbar Packaging & Display, and Two C Pack Systems. Frank also founded Souhegan Color, Inc. which merged with Eastern Rainbow in 1999. He has a strong background in commercial print operations, secondary packaging, and media. He is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS degree in Printing Technology. “I’m pleased to welcome Frank to our team,” said Dr. Rajan Iyer, Vice President of Research & Development and Technical Services at Monadnock. “His extensive background in print platforms, post-press converting, and product development raises the level of consultative service we can provide to our customers.”
Pixelle Specialty Solutions Holding LLC announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Pixelle was formed in 2018 by Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm that focuses on partnering with families, founders and management teams seeking to actively build their businesses. Pixelle has built an industry-leading four-mill specialty paper platform with mills in Chillicothe, OH; Jay, ME; Spring Grove, PA; and Stevens Point, WI. Collectively the mills operate 11 paper machines and produce more than one million tons of paper annually. Timothy Hess, Pixelle’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Together with Lindsay Goldberg, Pixelle has developed a broad, innovative portfolio of industry leading brands across the specialty papers and sustainable packaging markets. In under four years, we have transformed Pixelle into the leading specialty-focused paper producer in North America through three strategic acquisitions and successful implementation of a continuous improvement program. We thank Lindsay Goldberg for their partnership and look forward to our next chapter with H.I.G. Capital.”
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. is pleased to announce plans to restart the second paper machine at its Kapuskasing Paper Mill. GreenFirst has received over $1.2 million from the Skills Development Fund of the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to support the recruiting, hiring, and training of more than 45 new employees. On August 28, 2021, GreenFirst acquired the Kapuskasing Paper Mill from Rayonier Advanced Materials, which was only operating one paper machine at the time. GreenFirst will begin to restart the second paper machine in May, thereby increasing direct employment to almost 300 jobs in Kapuskasing and surrounding areas, these positions welcome youth, women and Indigenous applicants. The restart will occur in multiple phases starting in May, with the goal of full production (7 days – 24 hours operation) by October 2022.
The A62 paper machine at our Ashdown Mill is once again fully operational thanks to excellent planning and foresight by our commercial paper team, along with outstanding dedication and agility from our manufacturing production team. The strategic initiative to restart the previously idled machine, as well as a sheeter to convert the rolls into cartons of copy paper, is helping us maintain our leadership position in the North American uncoated freesheet paper market and deliver the service and quality our customers expect.
The Paperworkers’ Union announced that the strike at most UPM’s Finnish mills will continue until 30 April 2022, unless new collective labour agreements are reached before that. Yet another extension of two weeks to the strike comes at a moment when negotiations between the union and UPM businesses continue intensively, and the conciliator has submitted a settlement proposal in the negotiations between UPM Pulp and the union. The parties must state their position on the proposal by 14 April. "Drafting of business specific collective agreements, led by the conciliator, has continued intensively during the past weeks. There is already a settlement proposal for UPM Pulp. Now it is important to focus on solving the open questions in the remaining UPM businesses", says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour markets, UPM.
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. welcomed Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to the Paper Mill in Kapuskasing to announce that the Ontario government is providing $400,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to support and strengthen the forestry sector in Northern Ontario. Funds will go towards the restart of the curtailed paper machine that would allow GreenFirst to reposition the operation towards further growth while adding 45+ new jobs at the Kapuskasing Paper Mill.
Canfor Corporation announced that it will implement reduced operating schedules at its Western Canadian sawmills effective April 4, 2022 due to the cumulative effects of the unprecedented global supply chain crisis that has been ongoing for several months. The reduced operating schedules will remain in effect for a minimum of four weeks and the Company will continue to assess and make adjustments to operating schedules as supply chain conditions evolve. “We are experiencing extreme supply chain challenges that are significantly impacting our operations and it has become imperative to reduce operating schedules to address our unsustainable inventory levels. We regret the impact that the reduced operating schedules will have on our employees, contractors and communities and we will make efforts to mitigate the negative effects,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor. “We will continue to leverage our global operating platform to minimize disruptions in supply to our customers.” It is anticipated that the reduced operating schedules will impact production capacity by a minimum of 100 million board feet.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc.is announcing a minimum six-week extension of the curtailment of BCTMP production at Taylor Pulp due to the ongoing transportation shortages that have resulted in continued high finished product inventories at the pulp mill. “Unfortunately, the ongoing rail transportation situation has not improved, and we have no choice but to extend the current production curtailment,” said Kevin Anderson, VP Operations, Canfor Pulp. “We are very disappointed in the ongoing impact this is having on our employees, their families and the community.” The curtailment extension will further reduce the production of BCTMP by at least 25,000 tonnes.
WestRock Company announced Alpa Sutaria has joined the Company as senior vice president, Strategy and Sustainability. In her role, Sutaria will lead WestRock’s enterprise strategy development work as well as partner with business leaders to drive company-wide strategic initiatives. She will also be responsible for strengthening WestRock’s position as a leader in sustainability Alpa comes to WestRock from the Coca-Cola Company, where she most recently served as vice president and general manager of Sustainability, North America, responsible for embedding sustainability into the company's overall business strategy. She led efforts to advance the company’s sustainability objectives, including efforts to reduce packaging waste, increase water sustainability and improve the company’s carbon footprint. Throughout her tenure at Coca-Cola, Alpa held a variety of Strategy, Marketing, and Finance leadership roles. Additional experience includes a strategy and operations role at Deloitte where she led a broad range of complex projects from concept through execution.
Verso Corporation announced it has received necessary approvals from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to complete its previously announced merger with BillerudKorsnäs AB ("BillerudKorsnäs"). Verso has now received all regulatory approvals necessary to complete the merger. The transaction is expected to close on March 31, 2022.
UPM Raflatac’s innovative Vanish PCR plastic labeling materials for the U.S. market have again been independently certified by SCS Global Services as featuring at least 90 percent post-consumer recycled content (PCR) in both the face and liner. The UPM Raflatac Vanish™ PCR range of clear PET films label materials enables brands to maximize eye-catching visuals with more sustainable labels that support the circular economy. Ideal for food, beverage, or personal care end-uses, these thin yet robust products use less raw material compared to other standard clear-on-clear products. Vanish PCR is the only clear-on-clear labeling solution on the market that incorporates recycled content, featuring PET face and liners made from 90 percent post-consumer recycled content. The recycled content in all of the UPM Raflatac 1.2 mil and 0.92 mil face and liner label materials have been verified in accordance with SCS Global Services’ Recycled Content Standard.
Stora Enso has initiated a sales process for a possible divestment of four paper production sites. In line with Stora Enso’s strategy, paper is not a strategic growth area for the Group. The divestment intent is aligned with the Group’s strategy to focus on long-term growth potential for its renewable products in packaging, building solutions and biomaterials innovations. Stora Enso’s paper production sites intended for divestment are: Anjala in Finland, Hylte and Nymölla in Sweden, and Maxau in Germany. The assets are high-quality sites for paper and pulp production with strong infrastructure, and skilled and experienced staff.
After two consecutive years achieving a Gold Level evaluation status, Solenis has earned the Platinum Recognition Level for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance by EcoVadis, a collaborative platform providing sustainability ratings and performance improvement tools for global supply chains. “We are extremely delighted that Solenis has been able to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and in return was awarded the Platinum status, EcoVadis’ highest possible rating,” said Dr. Daniel Grell, Chief Safety, Regulatory and Quality Officer at Solenis. “Building further on our internal emphasis on people, performance and continuous improvement in the area of sustainability, we were able to continue this rewarding journey. As a result, we improved our overall score from last year by more than 15 percent!”
Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. and Neenah, Inc., two leading global manufacturers of specialty materials, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals with combined revenues of approximately $3 billion, expanded scale and capabilities, and accelerated growth opportunities. This transaction brings together two organizations with highly complementary technologies, geographies and product portfolios in specialty materials. The combined company will capitalize on powerful megatrends with strong positions in large, growing categories including Filtration, Healthcare & Wellness, Protective & Adhesive Solutions, Industrial Solutions, and Packaging & Specialty Paper. Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, shareholders of Neenah will receive 1.358 shares of SWM common stock for each share of Neenah common stock owned. Following the closing of the transaction, SWM shareholders will own approximately 58 percent of the combined company, and Neenah shareholders will own approximately 42 percent of the combined company, in each case, on a fully diluted basis.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in January 2022 were down 3.3% vs. January 2021 and were down 3.3% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in January 2022 were UP 0.9% vs. January 2021 and were UP 0.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in January 2022 were UP 4.7% vs. January 2021 and were UP 4.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in January 2022 were down 12.7% vs. January 2021 and down 12.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in January 2022 were down 2.9% vs. January 2021 and down 2.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in January 2022 were UP 9.4% vs. January 2021 and UP 9.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in January 2022 were down 11.1% vs. January 2021 and down 11.1% year-to-date.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced that it qualifies as an “Inspected Raw Material” by Nordic Swan Ecolabelling. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel sets strict environmental requirements in all phases of manufacturing, including requirements for eco-friendly chemicals used in ecolabeled products. The status will appear on products made with RYAM’s fluff pulp and indicates to consumers and commercial buyers that the product is sustainably produced and environmentally friendly. “The Nordic Swan Ecolabel exemplifies our commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing and is an important component of realizing RYAM’s BioFuture,” said Vito Consiglio, President and CEO of Rayonier Advanced Materials. “Increasingly, consumers expect that the products they buy be sourced with eco-friendly materials. The ecolabel will help consumers easily identify products made with our fluff pulp as green sustainably produced and environmentally friendly.”
Fourth Quarter of 2021 Highlights *The fourth quarter of 2021 (“Q4 2021”) was the Company’s first full quarter operating its newly acquired forest products business **Q4 2021 net earnings of $8.0 million or $0.04 earning per share *Lumber pricing improved in Q4 2021 and into 2022 with continued volatility expected *Made significant strides in reducing reliance on transitional services arrangement with key hires in human resources, IT and accounting *Asset backed revolving loan facility of $65.0 million was undrawn at December 31, 2021 and has remained undrawn at March 23, 2022. Cash from operations has funded the seasonal log inventory build-up *Invested in Boreal Carbon Corporation, an entity focused on acquiring and managing forestry projects in North America to generate carbon credits
Due to the current extraordinary situation, a temporary cost surcharge for our products is unfortunately unavoidable. The general surcharge will be levied on a segment basis and will apply from 1 April 2022 until further notice. The cost surcharge will affect all products produced in Germany. The surcharge will be shown separately on the invoice. Against the background of the current dynamics in the markets, we ask for your understanding for this measure and the short notice involved. Thank you very much.
Climate change requires everyone to use natural resources more efficiently, and more and more consumers demand sustainable products. The numbers relating to increased eco-awareness are quite substantial: over a third of consumers are prepared to pay up to 25 percent more for a more sustainable option and 85 percent of people indicate having shifted their purchase behaviour towards more sustainable options. Sustainability is becoming an important purchase criterion and 60 percent of consumers already consider it as such. Stora Enso’s pulp customers are getting more and more questions about their products’ sustainability and if these products are compostable. As responsibility lies at the heart of Stora Enso, we initiated a project to certify all our paper pulp grades as compostable. This means that Stora Enso’s paper pulp grades must fulfill specific compostability criteria according to EN 13432 standard; these are measured by an independent external party.
To support the shift to renewable and recyclable materials in shopping and takeaway bags, Stora Enso launches CarrEco Brown™. Made from 100% fresh fibers, the material has high strength and tear resistance properties and is also safe for direct food contact. By offering renewable, fiber-based materials suited for paper bags, Stora Enso accelerates the shift away from plastic. Stora Enso now expands its paper bag materials portfolio with CarrEco Brown, a new unbleached and uncoated board that is fully recyclable. Through its unique three-layer structure, CarrEco Brown offers exceptional strength properties suitable for strong shopping bags. The material is also safe for direct food contact and contains only FDA-compliant chemicals which makes it ideal for takeaway food and groceries. “Unbleached paper bags are a good fit with the preferences of today’s eco-conscious consumers. We are well-positioned to meet the growing demand for paper bags, especially in trending end-use areas such as takeaway food. Our newest material CarrEco Brown can help our customers seize these growth opportunities in a sustainable way,” says Oscar Duarte, Business Segment Director, Kraftliners at Stora Enso Packaging Materials.
Tronox Holdings plc, the world’s leading integrated manufacturer of titanium dioxide pigment, announced that it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with the South African independent power producer, SOLA Group, to provide 200 MW of solar power to Tronox’s mines and smelters in the Republic of South Africa. The Company anticipates the project should be fully implemented by the fourth quarter of 2023. Today’s announcement is only one example of numerous projects and investments being pursued by Tronox to meet its publicly announced goal to align with a global warming scenario below 2° C and achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050. “Tronox’s renewable energy project with SOLA Group will reduce our global carbon emissions by approximately 13% compared to our 2019 baseline and has the full support of our Board of Directors and senior management,” commented Melissa Zona, Tronox Holdings plc’s Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer.
ND Paper, the US subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, is taking critical steps to build on its growth in packaging products. At ND Paper's Biron, Wisconsin mill, the company will be converting its B26 paper machine at the end of 2022 from coated mechanical papers to lightweight, high-strength recycled packaging products. Today, the Biron Division, located in central Wisconsin, employs more than 300 full-time personnel and operates two paper production lines with a combined annual production capacity of approximately 530,000 short tons. Its B25 paper machine produces approximately 270,000 short tons annually of corrugating medium and linerboard for packaging applications, while the B26 machine produces approximately 260,000 short tons annually of lightweight coated mechanical (CM) papers for end uses like catalogs, magazines and retail inserts. Upon completion of the conversion, both the machine and the mill will have increased annual manufacturing capacity. The B26 machine will have capacity for over 500,000 short tons of packaging paper, and the mill, in total, will have capacity for over 800,000 short tons.
Part of innovating means pushing boundaries and taking risks to bring new and exciting products to the market. Mohawk Renewal launched in April 2020 as a groundbreaking line of papers made with recycled cotton textiles and alternative fibers, including straw. To make Mohawk Renewal possible, we had to forge together an unprecedented supply chain with strategic partners. One of these partners, Columbia Pulp — the only North American supplier responsible for processing wheat straw into pulp to make Mohawk Renewal Straw — announced in February 2022 that they were ceasing operations. We have exhausted every avenue in Columbia Pulp's absence, but without a supplier, we cannot continue to support this industry-disrupting product and will have to discontinue Straw from the Mohawk Renewal portfolio effective immediately. We will sell the remaining inventory of Mohawk Renewal Straw to depletion without replenishment.
Conciliator Leo Suomaa has submitted a proposal for a settlement in the collective labour agreement negotiations between UPM Pulp and the Paperworkers’ Union. The conciliator has asked the parties to state their position on the proposal by 14 April 2022 at 10:00 EET. In the meanwhile, the conciliator will continue the conciliation with the Union and with UPM’s other businesses. Paperworkers’ Union has now also agreed that all business can run the negotiations parallel instead of having them one by one. "I am pleased that the negotiations have reached a point where the conciliator has seen it possible to submit a proposal for a settlement. I am hopeful that the agreement will be reached, and I hope we get to start the mills as soon as possible," says Juha Kääriäinen, Vice President, Finland Pulp Operations at UPM Pulp, the chief negotiator for UPM Pulp.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced a cost surcharge of USD 146 (EUR 133) per metric ton applicable to all shipments of its cellulose specialties and viscose-grade products. This surcharge is necessitated by the impacts of rapidly escalating inflation and directly correlates to the significant increase in the Company’s costs for energy, logistics, chemicals, and wood. The surcharge is effective immediately and will be applied to all shipments April 1, 2022, or later.
UPM Raflatac has achieved sustainability certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Scheme ISCC Plus at its Nancy factory in France. This certification is an addition to UPM Raflatac’s already extensive ISCC Plus certification portfolio. UPM Raflatac’s ISCC PLUS products are certified via a mass-balance approach. “Three of our factories and 14 of our distribution terminals around the world already hold the ISCC Plus certification. The new certification in Nancy is a great addition to our ISCC Plus certification portfolio. It provides a strong external proof of sustainably managed raw materials and value chains for renewable and chemically recycled products,” says Suvi Rasa, UPM Raflatac’s Sustainability Manager. UPM Raflatac aims to be the first label material company beyond fossils.
Metsä Group has made donations of EUR 160,000 to Aalto University, LUT University, Tampere University, Åbo Akademi, University of Jyväskylä and University of Eastern Finland. Depending on the university, the donations will be allocated to the fields of technology, natural sciences or agriculture and forestry. “High-quality university research and education form the basis for the development of the forest industry as a whole. It’s very important for us to secure future competence,” says Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group. Earlier in December, Metsä Group donated a total of EUR 500,000 to its partner universities University of Helsinki and University of Oulu. The donations are part of the matched funding scheme, through which the Government supports donations made to universities by private foundations, companies and individuals. The matched funding scheme will run until the end of June 2022.
Paper Excellence today announced it hopes for a speedy end to the CP Rail labour dispute which will begin to impact Skookumchuck Pulp Inc., Paper Excellence’s mill located in the East Kootenays. Global logistics have been incredibly challenging for the company during the pandemic and the additional impacts from devastating wildfires and flood events in BC last year made the situation ever more difficult. The CP Rail strike will further disrupt and impact Skookumchuck Pulp mill. PE respects the collective bargaining process. However, the company is concerned that a protracted disruption in rail service would impact the operation of our mill and employment in the rural communities that support our operation. The Skookumchuck mill, which employs 280 people and infuses over $1 million daily into Canada’s economy, is highly dependent on rail service to get finished pulp to the coast of British Columbia. Paper Excellence remains committed to servicing our customers’ needs during this interruption.
Today, the Bruck paper mill will gradually resume production as energy markets have stabilised to some extent and commercial terms reflecting the current energy situation have been entered into with customers. The new energy boiler is progressing well with its commissioning phase. The boiler is scheduled for takeover in April and will reduce the mill’s gas consumption and improve its energy supply. With somewhat calmer energy markets and required commercial terms, we are pleased that the Bruck paper mill is able to gradually resume production. The new energy boiler, in combination with the existing gas turbine, will give Bruck improved energy flexibility in increasingly uncertain energy markets, says Sven Ombudstvedt, President and CEO of Norske Skog.
SCA to invest SEK 150 million in new processing equipment at Munksund paper mill in an initiative set to reduce environmental impact. “We will increase our production of pine oil, which is used to produce biofuels. At the same time, we’ll reduce energy consumption,” says Jens Riglert, site manager at Munksund’s paper mill. Pine oil is a by-product of the production of pulp and originates from the wood used. The chemical industry has long used pine oil to produce a wide variety of products including paint and detergents, but now it is also a sought-after raw material for producing biofuels. “Pine oil is key to the transition to a fossil-free society. It can replace fossil fuels and thus help reduce global warming. Demand is increasing in Sweden and globally, as interest in biofuels increases,” says Riglert.
U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers increased seven percent in February compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased one percent when compared to January 2022. U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers in February increased five percent compared to last February while the inventory level decreased two percent compared to January 2022. UFS imports and exports both decreased compared to January 2021, down 16 percent and 28 percent respectively. Coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments increased eight percent compared to February 2021 while the inventory level increased one percent compared to January 2022. CFS imports increased 43 percent while exports decreased 23 percent in January 2022. U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers in February decreased nine percent compared to last February while the inventory level increased one percent compared to January 2022. CM imports and exports both decreased compared to January 2021, down four percent and 12 percent respectively. Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments remained essentially flat (+0.3%) compared to February 2021 while the inventory level increased four percent compared to January 2022. UM imports and exports both increased compared to January 2021, up two percent and 25 percent respectively.
Negotiations for the new collective labour agreements between UPM businesses and Paperworkers’ Union have continued intensively. Today the union announced a two weeks’ extension to the strike at most UPM’s Finnish mills, until 16 April 2022, unless new collective labour agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland began 1 January 2022. Currently, approximately 200 union members work at the mills in tasks critical to society, such as power plants and water treatment facilities. “In recent weeks the parties have negotiated primarily in one-on-one negotiations. Despite intense negotiations, agreements have not been reached. Therefore, UPM Pulp’s negotiations continue now in the official conciliation process”, says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour markets at UPM.
Start-up is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. The new press section has a design speed of 1,200 m/min and a width of 5.32 m at the pope reel. The aim of the rebuild is to significantly increase the dryness content after the press – while also saving energy – and to improve other paper properties. This new press section will enable Burgo to achieve a remarkable reduction in steam and specific energy consumption, resulting in a smaller CO2 footprint. The scope of supply includes a new PrimePress X shoe press for the 4th nip, with a line load of 1,450 kN/m. With this type of shoe press, highest dry content levels are possible compared to the market standard. In addition, the runnability of the machine will be improved.
Kevin will be focused on optimizing the value of Canfor Pulp’s business and he will start this work by leading the company through a comprehensive business review. “Kevin’s proven ability to build and lead highly effective teams, in combination with his extensive experience in the forest sector, make him the ideal choice to lead Canfor Pulp as the Company works to improve operational reliability and optimize the use of our fibre supply,” said John Baird, Chair, Canfor Pulp Board of Directors. “I’m excited to welcome Kevin to lead the Canfor Pulp team. Kevin is a highly successful leader with strong knowledge of the forestry and pulp industries and I am confident he will lead the organization to a profitable and sustainable future,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor.
The production at the Leitza factory was resumed last Saturday, March 12, following the agreement reached in the negotiation of the Collective Agreement between Lecta and the Trade Union Committee of the Leitza factory. The agreement was ratified by the workers last Friday, March 11. With the settlement of the agreement, the work centre re-establishes the production program in metallized, thermal, cast coated and carbonless products foreseen in these facilities. The company reiterates its commitment to providing the best service to all our customers.
Given the current global situation driving rapid escalation of raw material costs along with the sharp rise in crude oil resulting from the U.S. and U.K. governments’ decision to ban the purchase of Russian oil derivatives, Solenis is experiencing unprecedented weekly volatility in our cost to serve our customers. As a result, Solenis will move to monthly pricing on all product lines effective April 1, 2022. All product lines and market segments are being severely impacted by these world events. We continue to focus our team on mitigating the impact of this situation on our customers’ operations by exhausting every pathway to procure raw materials to support customer demand and avoid run outs. However, these volumes are coming at an extremely high cost which requires our temporary shift to a monthly pricing structure. We consider this a temporary situation, and we will continue to monitor this volatile situation and will keep lines of communication open to allow de-escalation of monthly pricing as energy pricing and other raw material feedstocks normalize.
Skutskär Mill in eastern Sweden is a modern pulp mill focusing on the production of fluff pulp for absorbent hygiene products such as diapers, other hygiene products and air-laid nonwovens. Skutskär Mill has a long history of continuously reducing the environmental footprint of its operations and products. Skutskär Mill started production already in 1895 with an annual capacity of only 6,000 tonnes of pulp. Today the mill’s annual capacity has reached 545,000 tonnes. As production has grown, so have Stora Enso’s goals for improving the mill’s environmental footprint. During the years, many steps have been taken towards Skutskär Mill becoming a carbon neutral mill. Today this goal is very close to becoming reality. Today, all the energy, heat and power produced at Skutskär Mill is based on biofuels. Recent measurements made in December 2021 showed that the mill was also 93% self-sufficient in electricity. At times, the mill is able to sell excess energy to the national grid as production exceeds the mill’s own needs.
Verso Corporation announced that, at a special meeting of stockholders held today, its stockholders voted to approve the previously announced merger with BillerudKorsnäs AB ("BillerudKorsnäs") as well as other related proposals. The merger proposal was supported by approximately 98.5% of votes cast, representing approximately 73% of outstanding shares of Verso's common stock. The final voting results of the special meeting, as tabulated by an independent inspector of elections, will be filed as part of a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Verso and BillerudKorsnäs now expect the merger to close in late-March or April of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of approvals from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 ("HSR") expired effective February 10, 2022. The State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services consented to the transaction on February 25, 2022 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order authorizing the transaction on March 8, 2022.
Mactac® has acquired CSI – SoCal, a custom slitting and distribution center for roll label printers located in Ontario, Calif., under an asset purchase agreement. A $2.5 million investment, the acquisition is the latest in a major Mactac operational expansion plan. The strategically located West Coast finishing center provides Mactac a turnkey, high-performing roll label slitting and distribution center with a talented operations team and newer world-class slitting assets. Mactac is also investing nearly $10 million in expanding its slitting and service capability, including installing five new world-class slitters across its North America network beginning this summer. The strategic move is part of an ongoing commitment by Mactac to deliver the roll label market and customers' enhanced products and services, supply chain continuity, and added reliability.
On February 11, Paper Excellence first publicly raised serious concerns about poor rail service provided by CN Rail. Full CN rail service is critical to moving products from Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp mill to global markets. While rail service has not yet improved, Paper Excellence has appreciated the recent advocacy the Saskatchewan government has undertaken with the federal government and the Minister of Transport, Minister Alghabra. Specifically, Minister Fred Bradshaw has written a strong letter to Minister Alghabra that raises the rail challenges we, and many other industries, continue to face, and we would like to thank the Minister for doing that. Saskatchewan’s economy relies significantly on rail companies to transport goods to market, and we look forward to the government’s continued support in rectifying, as soon as possible, the ongoing lack of CN rail service that continues to negatively impact our business operations.
As previously announced, Mondi’s operations in Russia represented c. 12% of the Group’s revenue by location of production in 2021 and, over the last three years, generated c. 20% of the Group’s underlying EBITDA. Mondi has operated in Russia for over 22 years. The most significant facility is a wholly owned integrated pulp, packaging paper and uncoated fine paper mill located in Syktyvkar (Komi Republic). The Group also has three converting plants in Russia. All these facilities primarily serve the domestic market and have continued to operate through this time of heightened geopolitical tension. Mondi employs c. 5,300 people in these operations. In Ukraine, Mondi has one paper bag plant located in Lviv, west of the country, employing c. 100 people. Production is currently suspended.
KPLP Q4 2021 Business and Financial Highlights • Revenue was $424.1 million in Q4 2021 compared to $385.0 million in Q4 2020, an increase of $39.1 million or 10.2%. • Net income was $42.3 million in Q4 2021, compared to a loss of $28.5 million in Q4 2020, an increase of $70.8 million. • Announced additional investment of $111.5 million in the Sherbrooke Expansion Project, for a total investment of $351.5 million. KPLP Full Year 2021 Financial Highlights • Revenue was $1,465.2 million in 2021 compared to $1,516.0 million in 2020, a decrease of $50.8 million or 3.4%. • Net income was $42.0 million in 2021, up from $27.3 million in 2020, an increase of $14.7 million.
UPM will suspend purchasing of wood in and from Russia as well as the UPM Chudovo plywood mill operations for the time being. The company is preparing a mitigation plan accordingly. UPM also informed on 3 March 2022 that it will cease deliveries to Russia. The suspension will be implemented with due consideration of UPM’s local employees, customers and stakeholders as well as the legislation in Russia. UPM continues to honour its obligations towards its employees in Russia. UPM businesses will keep their customers and suppliers informed of the situation. We also continue to monitor the development of the sanctions and will make further decisions accordingly. Today’s decision is in line with the recent analysis and positions by major forest certification bodies FSC and PEFC. They have excluded the wood originating from Russia and Belarus from their certification systems.
North Pacific Paper Company is pleased to announce its recognition as a Best-in-Class Employer in a recently released survey of midsize employers conducted by global human resources firm, Gallagher. Gallagher’s 2021 Benefits and Benchmarking Survey found the Longview, WA-based papermill to be a leading employer in providing innovative solutions for creating organizational structures and workplace policies and rewards which inclusively engage its employees. Gallagher’s Best-in-Class awards recognize employers that excel in supporting their employees’ physical, emotional, career and financial wellbeing for better organizational outcomes.
Due to unaffordability of operations in the current energy environment, temporary downtime has been initiated at the Bruck paper mill in Austria. The new boiler scheduled for start-up in April is expected to contribute to alleviate the situation by reducing the mill’s gas consumption and improve its energy supply. The boiler project and the packaging conversion project at the Bruck mill continue as planned. Bruck has delivered newsprint and LWC magazine paper to its customers despite a challenging energy market since the second half of 2021. Although we have secured parts of the mill’s energy supply in March, the energy prices we presently experience make operations at Bruck unsustainable, says Sven Ombudstvedt, President and CEO of Norske Skog. Norske Skog expects underlying EBITDA for the group in the first quarter of 2022 to be approximately in line with the fourth quarter of 2021.
Key Updates: *Restart of Brownville facility ahead of schedule *Limited direct Russia/Ukraine business exposure *Full-year 2022 Adjusted EBITDA on track to be $135-145 million, an increase of 15-25% over prior year. Neenah announced today the restart of its Brownville, New York manufacturing facility. The facility, which has been closed as a result of a recent fire, is resuming production earlier than anticipated. Although the restart will not materially reduce the estimated $3.0 million impact on the first quarter, it provides additional capacity to address the elevated level of demand and reduces supply uncertainty for Neenah’s customers. Secondly, in light of the rapidly deteriorating events in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, Neenah is confirming its limited direct exposure to the region. The Company does not have facilities or inventory located in these countries. Annual sales in the region have historically been less than 1% of overall revenue, and the Company does not have meaningful exposure to raw materials sourced from these countries. Like many businesses, however, the company may experience ancillary impacts, including elevated energy prices, which the company is prepared to manage.
Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) joined Paper Excellence today in calling on CN to provide more rail cars for Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp Inc. The pulp mill is dependent on CN, which has failed to adequately transport Meadow Lake mill’s product to ports for months. Paper Excellence leadership announced a further production slowdown due to the lack of rail service on February 11th. The mill has not operated at full capacity since December. Currently, CN continues to provide less than 40% of requested rail cars and now the mill has had to resort to participating in a CN auction process that drives up prices for the few cars that are available.
Sylvamo is beginning an orderly suspension of operations in Russia. The suspension will focus on employee and contractor safety and environmental stewardship. It will be conducted in a manner to allow a resumption of full operations in an environment consistent with the company’s values. “We are suspending operations in Russia,” said Jean-Michel Ribiéras, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are appalled by the suffering and loss of lives in Ukraine, and we continue to hope for an immediate cease-fire agreement and diplomatic resolution.” The company is also announcing a $250,000 donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist the people of Ukraine.
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is to initiate negotiations on changes related to its plans to discontinue the sawn timber production in Kyrö. According to the plans, production will end in the summer of 2022. The change negotiations at the Kyrö sawmill concern all the sawmill’s 73 employees. “The Kyrö sawmill has reached the end of its technical service life, which is why we’ve initiated plans to close down its operations,” says Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre. The annual production capacity of the Kyrö sawmill is approximately 230,000 m3 pine sawn timber, and the annual wood consumption is approximately 450,000 m3.
The operations of Metsä Group's only production unit in Russia, the Svir sawmill, have been suspended. Wood procurement in Russia for the Svir sawmill and imports to Metsä Group’s Finnish and Swedish mills has also been discontinued.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, will increase prices on various product lines of pulp & paper and water treatment chemicals across the Asia Pacific region. The increase will be up to 35 percent, and will be effective from April 1, 2022, or as customer contracts allow. As a consequence of continued and sustained cost increases in raw materials, energy and transportation, further price increases will be initiated for the selected products lines. The increase is necessary due to the significant impact on key feedstocks across the product range.
The German Felix Schoeller Group sources a small part of its raw material demand of titanium dioxide and starch from the Ukraine. We are currently working on alternative sources to secure our supply. In addition, one of our TiO2 suppliers obtains part of its raw material from the Ukraine. This source is also disrupted. We are working at full speed on the resulting consequences and will inform you shortly. As an energy-intensive company, we are highly dependent on gas and electricity. More than 50% of German natural gas imports are sourced from Russia. We do not expect any bottlenecks in the short term. Nevertheless, we are currently examining possible alternatives to secure our energy supply. We are currently seeing unprecedented prices and very high volatilities in the energy markets. This will therefore also influence our pricing policy.
As a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the geopolitical situation in Europe has permanently changed. This has wide-reaching human, political and economic implications in Europe and the situation is evolving rapidly. Our primary concern are the people suffering from the war. UPM is providing support to its employees in the affected areas. We have also started providing humanitarian and material support to Ukraine this week. UPM will cease its deliveries to Russia for the time being. UPM businesses will keep the Russian customers and suppliers informed of the situation. While the forest industry is not directly targeted by the international sanctions at the moment, sanctions against the financial sector may impact UPM’s or its customers’ businesses and transactions in Russia. The full impact of the current and possible new sanctions and counter-sanctions will be known only as the situation evolves. UPM monitors the situation closely and makes decisions accordingly. UPM has employees, customers and suppliers in both countries but UPM’s exposure to Russian and Ukranian markets is limited. UPM Raflatac has a distribution terminal in the Kyiv region with 13 employees. The terminal operations have been closed until further notice. In Russia, UPM employs 800 persons most of whom work at the Chudovo plywood mill. The operations are currently running as usual. UPM’s sales to Russia and Ukraine combined was approximately 2 % of UPM’s total sales in 2021. Assets in Russia are less than 1 % of the group total. In 2021, less than 10 % of UPM’s wood sourcing to Finland originated from Russia.
The geopolitical situation has changed dramatically. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and everyone else impacted by the war in Ukraine. Ahlstrom-Munksjö is following the situation closely. We have initiated a centralized crisis alert team on the first day of the invasion to carry out our Business Contingency and Preparedness Response Plan. Our primary focus is on the safety and well-being of our 87 employees in our Tver plant in Russia, and that manufacturing, and customer service continue in normal order. Of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s 45 manufacturing and converting facilities globally, one is located in Russia, in the city of Tver. The factory is part of the company’s Glass Fiber Tissue business, which operates a similar production facility in Finland in the city of Karhula. Ahlstrom-Munksjö has recently started the construction works of a new line in Madisonville, Kentucky, U.S. Russia represented 1.3% and Ukraine 0.1% of Group's pro forma net sales of EUR 3,077 million in 2021.
BillerudKorsnäs and Viken Skog plan to initiate a feasibility study about future pulp production at Follum. This will be completed during the first half of 2023. The intention is to establish a state-of-the-art production line for bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP) at the Follum mill with a capacity assumption of up to 200 kt/a. The Follum mill already has much of the infrastructure needed to establish such a production line and is located in an area with competitive and sustainable wood supply and good transports to BillerudKorsnäs’ board mills. If the project will proceed after the feasibility study is completed, the investment for BillerudKorsnäs is estimated to be in the range of 600-800 MNOK. “This initiative forms part of BillerudKorsnäs’ strategy for sustainable and profitable growth and supports our ambition to grow in paperboard. To cover the increasing need for BCTMP for our growing board operations, we want to explore the possibilities of producing this pulp quality in Follum together with Viken Skog. As part of this partnership, the intention is also to enter into a long-term wood supply agreement with Viken Skog. We initially see good prospects for creating an efficient supply chain and competitive access to the raw materials needed to produce the packaging materials of the future,” comments Christoph Michalski, President and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs.
Facing inadequate supplies of critical raw materials, Sylvamo may curtail or temporarily shut down pulp and paper production at its Svetogorsk, Russia, mill later this week. The mill is currently operating while the company takes steps to mitigate the supply chain issues and continue production. The Svetogorsk mill, located at the border with Finland, employs approximately 1,700 people and produces uncoated freesheet, coated paperboard and pulp. The mill relies on raw materials and other critical supplies and services imported from Europe. The mill is also the primary water, electricity and water treatment provider for the Svetogorsk community. The company is committed to continuing to provide those critical services. The Svetogorsk mill has an annual capacity of 720,000 short tons of pulp, paper and paperboard. Russian operations accounted for roughly 15% of Sylvamo’s 2021 total revenue.
Overview • Record-high 2021 operating income before adjusting items of $2.2 billion; adjusted shareholder net income of $1.5 billion, or $12.16 per share • Fourth quarter of 2021 adjusted operating income of $216 million; adjusted shareholder net income of $155 million or $1.24 per share • 2021 includes impairment charges totaling $294 million or $1.47 per share, resulting in reported operating income of $1.9 billion for the year, net shareholder income of $1.3 billion or $10.74 per share; fourth quarter of 2021 operating loss of $67 million, net shareholder loss of $23 million or $0.19 per share • Completed acquisition of Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.’s (“Millar Western”) solid wood operations and associated tenure located in Alberta, Canada, for $420 million, including an estimated $56 million in working capital, adding 630 million board feet to Canfor’s annual production capacity • Announced sale of Mackenzie forest tenure and sawmill assets for combined proceeds of $70 million
Canfor Corporation is announcing that it has completed the purchase of Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.’s solid wood operations further to the Company’s news release dated December 16, 2021. “We are very excited to welcome the employees at the Whitecourt, Fox Creek and Spruceland facilities to the Canfor team,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor. “The additional manufacturing capacity in Alberta positions Canfor well to meet the growing demand of our customers for high-quality, sustainable wood products.”
Michael Grech succeeded Thomas Komin on March 1, 2022 and is thus the new Head of Sales SC Paper for the global sales of supercalendered papers of the "Grapho" brand at Laakirchen Papier. In his function, Michael Grech is the first point of contact for SC customers.
Avery Dennison Corporation announced that Deon Stander has been appointed as president and chief operating officer, effective March 1, 2022. Mr. Stander, 53, has been the vice president and general manager of the company’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) division since June 2015, where he led a significant transformation of the business. In addition, as Avery Dennison’s sustainability leader, he has served as a key architect in shaping the company’s sustainability strategy and partnering across the company’s businesses to develop and implement an ambitious roadmap. As COO, Stander will be responsible for the company’s global business operations, with all business unit leaders reporting to him. Mitch Butier continues as chairman and chief executive officer. “Deon has led the remarkable transformation of our RBIS business, establishing a strong foundation for profitable growth, and he has been an excellent thought partner at the enterprise level,” said Mitch Butier, chairman and CEO, Avery Dennison. “He is highly respected throughout the company for his exemplary vision, and I look forward to our continued partnership. This appointment reflects the next evolution of our leadership capabilities that will enable our continued success over the long term, as we accelerate our strategies to deliver value for all of our stakeholders.”
Latvijas Finieris, a global producer of birch plywood products under the brand Riga Wood, now uses bio-based glue in plywood production. The fossil-based phenols in the glue are replaced with bio-based lignin Lineo® by Stora Enso, and thanks to the long cooperation between Stora Enso and Latvijas Finieris, we are able to reduce the carbon footprint of Riga Wood plywood products without compromising their technical performance. According to Latvijas Finieris, their plywood’s potential environmental impact has been reduced by up to 49%. Across markets, there are calls for change as consumers are increasingly turning to eco-friendly products. At the same time, the business demand for renewable, bio-based and circular solutions is growing rapidly. We want to do our part and replace fossil-based materials with safer and more natural alternatives. “Plywood is usually seen as a mature product in a rather mature market. We found the idea of using a lignin-based glue interesting and we welcome new innovations. Since 2017, we have worked together with Stora Enso to test and develop the bio-based binder, and finally we are proud to say that we can replace fossil-based resins with lignin-based alternatives in our plywood production processes,” explains Māris Būmanis, Head of Development Research at Latvijas Finieris.
"Thanks to the efforts of the Verso team, Verso delivered excellent safety results and solid financial performance in the fourth quarter driven by improved sales and operations year-over-year," said Verso President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Nebel. "As we look toward the future, we believe our pending combination with BillerudKorsnäs will enable our customers and employees to benefit from enhanced opportunities as part of a larger, stronger organization. Our full Board believes the proposed merger maximizes value for shareholders, who will receive a significant premium and immediate and certain value for their shares of Verso." Net sales for the three months ended December 31, 2021 increased $14 million or 4% compared to the three months ended December 31, 2020 driven by favorable price/mix of $57 million, partially offset by $43 million, or 14%, in decreased sales largely attributable to our sold Duluth and idled Wisconsin Rapids mills. Total company sales volume was down from 392 thousand tons during the three months ended December 31, 2020, to 341 thousand tons during the same period of 2021, primarily attributable to our sold Duluth and idled Wisconsin Rapids mills.
Teemu Salmi, CIO, Head of IT & Digitalisation and a member of the Group Leadership Team, has decided to leave his position at Stora Enso. After five years in the company, Teemu will assume the CEO position at Finnish cyber security company Nixu. Teemu will continue working in Stora Enso until 20 May 2022. “Teemu has been instrumental in driving and accelerating Stora Enso’s digitalisation agenda, supporting our transformation to become the renewable materials company. I want to express my gratitude and thanks to Teemu for his contributions to Stora Enso, while also wishing him all the very best for his new exciting career opportunity,” says Annica Bresky, President and CEO at Stora Enso. As part of Stora Enso’s new operating model, IT & Digitalization will moving forward be part of the CFO organisation and report to CFO Seppo Parvi. Seppo and Teemu will immediately start the handover process to ensure a smooth transfer of the responsibilities.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in December 2021 were UP 3.2% vs. December 2020 and were UP 4.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in December 2021 were down 5.5% vs. December 2020 and were down 3.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in December 2021 were down 6.9% vs. December 2020 and were down 0.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in December 2021 were UP 9.7% vs. December 2020 and were UP 3.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in December 2021 were down 6.2% vs. December 2020 and were UP 2.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in December 2021 were UP 11.2% vs. December 2020 and were UP 11.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in December 2021 were UP 10.2% vs. December 2020 and were UP 10.7% year-to-date.
In a world desperate for alternatives to plastics, the market-pull for dry molded fiber is enormous. To support converters in the transition to the new technology, PulPac continuously expands its network of preferred partners and suppliers. Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals focused on delivering sustainable solutions, has joined this global network of leaders supporting the dry molded fiber community. "We are excited to be a force for sustainable change in the packaging industry by contributing to this groundbreaking technology. Solenis has a prominent culture of innovation, consistently delivering new-to-the-world products and next-generation technologies to meet the ever-changing market needs and challenges our industrial customers face. I believe we are uniquely positioned to provide safe and sustainable barrier solutions designed for circularity to the dry molded fiber converters that lead the way and set new standards for fiber-based packaging,” says Daniel Palrén, Business Development Manager at Solenis. “Fiber-based products coated with these barrier coatings typically are repulpable, recyclable, compostable and biodegradable, thereby offering packaging producers a way to improve their sustainability credentials with brand owners, retailers and consumers.”
Neenah, Inc. announced a 25 million euro investment in new meltblown capacity in our German filtration facility. Neenah is committed to accelerating growth in life science and industrial filtration markets. Our portfolio of meltblown products promotes higher filtration efficacy and lower energy usage, which our customers value. Our electrostatically charged NeenahPure® media solutions support HVAC, air pollution control, and air purification systems, delivering market leading efficiencies >99.9%. "Clean air and water are critical to our communities and environment. Meltblown technology effectively removes harmful particles from the air we breathe and the water we drink. This new meltblown line intensifies our innovation efforts and allows us to continue to grow with our customers," said President and CEO Julie Schertell.
Stora Enso announced that it has signed a letter of intent to divest the Kvarnsveden site in Sweden to Northvolt. Due to structural decline in demand for graphical paper, in April 2021 Stora Enso announced a plan to close its Kvarnsveden paper production site. Founded in 1900, Kvarnsveden produced pulp and paper for over 120 years until production ended in September 2021. Northvolt is a European supplier of sustainable battery cells and will develop the site into a battery manufacturing plant, reusing and refurbishing the existing facilities and site infrastructure. According to Northvolt, the gigafactory is expected to start the first part of its operations in late 2024, and will employ up to 1,000 people.
Canfor Corporation has entered into a Letter of Intent with McLeod Lake Indian Band and Tsay Keh Dene Nation to sell its forest tenure in the Mackenzie region of British Columbia (BC) and a separate agreement with Peak Renewables to sell its Mackenzie site, plant and equipment for a combined price of $70 million. Canfor, McLeod Lake Indian Band and Tsay Keh Dene Nation intend to work towards a definitive agreement for the sale of the forest tenure and will seek approval from the BC Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for the tenure transfer.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced that it has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in Thinx, Inc., an industry disruptor and the leader in reusable period and incontinence underwear category. The company made an initial minority investment in Thinx in 2019. "Our investment in the success of Thinx represents a compelling strategic fit as we build our portfolio of period and light bladder leakage solutions, and we are excited for the opportunity this expanded partnership will provide to both Kimberly-Clark and Thinx," said Russ Torres, Group President of Kimberly-Clark's North American consumer business. "The investment in Thinx paves the road for collaboration and allows us to work together to drive category growth with our retail partners while continuing to support Thinx in direct-to-consumer channels."
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, will increase prices across all product lines in North America and Latin America by 10 to 25 percent, effective April 1, 2022, or as customer contracts allow. These price increases are necessary because of increased costs for raw materials, energy, transportation, and packaging. These increases will allow Solenis to continue to provide value-added solutions to customers.
Intense negotiations between UPM and Paperworkers’ Union continue. Today the union announced a three weeks’ extension to the strike at most UPM’s Finnish mills, until 2 April 2022, unless new collective labour agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland began 1 January 2022. Currently, approximately 200 union members work at the mills in tasks critical to society, such as power plants and water treatment facilities. “In recent weeks the parties have negotiated both in the presence of the National Concialiator as well as in one-on-one negotiations. The parties now are familiar with each other’s objectives, so the negotiators have the chance to bargain and reach business-specific agreements,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour markets, UPM. “Intense negotiations will continue. We call for rapid progress and spirit of compromise, so we can find satisfactory solutions for all parties and start our mills again. UPM businesses are doing their best to advance an open dialogue between the negotiating parties,” Hollmén concludes.
*Net loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was $28 million, $1 million favorable to the comparable period in 2020 *Amidst strong demand, secured double-digit percent price increases along with volume improvements for cellulose specialties contracts in 2022 *Expect to drive EBITDA growth in 2022 focused on higher pricing, managing costs and improved reliability; expect a stronger back half with extensive maintenance outages heavily weighted to the first half of 2022 *Enhanced sustainability disclosures in updated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, including a Greenhouse Gas reduction target of 40% by 2030 from 2020 levels
In the next two years Sappi will be investing a sum in the low double-digit millions to expand its Centre of Excellence for speciality papers at its facility in Carmignano, northern Italy. With this investment, the company plans to increase production capacity to support further growth in the existing dye sublimation business, in combination with an improved first-class service and lead times. *Expansion of the Mill facility to meet growing demand *Support the current growth of the dye sublimation industry *Improve lead time and sustainability footprint of the Mill. The conversion is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.
Metallized, Thermal, Cast Coated and Carbonless products impacted - Unsuccessful collective agreement negotiations between Lecta and the trade unions representing the labour force in the Leitza mill resulted in the trade unions starting an intermittent strike as of January 30. Despite all the efforts put in finding a reasonable solution to this issue, trade unions informed that the strike will become indefinite as of today. This unfortunate event will disrupt production schedule in the Leitza mill and will result in orders of the impacted products being postponed and/or cancelled. Lecta is taking all relevant measures to end this conflict as soon as possible and mitigate any inconvenience or disruption this unfortunate situation may have on our clients and is committed to restoring regular production schedule as soon as possible.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Ellepot, and OrganoClick have partnered to provide 100% biobased and biodegradable solutions to the horticulture market. Organic 2.0 paper pot is an entirely organic-based solution to grow crops on an industrial scale. The new product has allowed the companies to enter the organic crop segment, which is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Organic 2.0 results from a close collaboration between Ellepot, OrganoClick and Ahlstrom-Munksjö's R&D team. After years of co-development, the three companies created a sustainable and more economical solution to grow plants by using paper pots planted directly into the soil. The pots degrade away after time which allows for the crop's roots to penetrate through the media and supports the healthy growth of the plants. Organic 2.0 paper pot consist of 100% fully compostable and biodegradable materials and has a decomposition time of 6 to 8 weeks.
The construction of Wisdome Stockholm, a scientific experience arena, is now underway. The building at Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm has a pioneering design and will be a landmark object for sustainable and climate-smart construction in wood. Stora Enso is the main partner and delivers wood construction materials to Wisdome Stockholm. Wisdome Stockholm is a spectacular wooden building design of 1,325 square meters with a unique vaulted roof. Inside the building, there is a globe-shaped dome theatre of 21.6 meters in diameter hosting a 3D cinema with a spherical screen. "We are a proud supplier to this ground-breaking project. Wisdome Stockholm pushes the boundaries and shows what is possible to create with wood as a climate-friendly construction material. Through unique projects like this we can strengthen our customer offering as well as our leading position within renewable construction materials,” says Per Lyrvall, Country Manager Sweden, Stora Enso.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc. is announcing a minimum six-week curtailment of BCTMP production at Taylor Pulp in response to significant transportation shortages that have resulted in inventories at the pulp mill reaching capacity. “Taylor Pulp has been dealing with ongoing transportation challenges that have significantly impacted the facility’s ability to ship product,” said Don Kayne, Chief Executive Officer, Canfor Pulp. “We regret the impact the curtailment will have on our employees, their families and the community.” Already facing increasing fibre costs due to the constrained fibre supply in the region and a weaker longerterm outlook for BCTMP markets, the current logistical issues have created a very challenging business environment for Taylor Pulp. During the curtailment, Canfor Pulp will continue to monitor the supply chain constraints and assess opportunities to improve the operating economics of the mill. The curtailment will reduce the production of BCTMP by at least 25,000 tonnes.
Full Year Highlights *We achieved an improvement in our safety recordable incident rate by approximately 30 percent. *Net sales of $1,028.5 million increased 30 percent compared to 2020, primarily driven by organic volume growth, pricing actions and the impact of the acquisition of Itasa. *In April 2021, we acquired Itasa, a leading global coater and converter of release liners used in hygiene, tapes, industrial labels, composites and various other end markets. The purchase price was $240.2 million, and in the first nine months of ownership, Itasa has generated incremental net sales of $106.9 million. *We executed several operational initiatives, including a $13 million investment in new coating capacity starting up in 2023, closure of our Appleton, Wisconsin facility to save $7-8 million annually, and restarting an idled asset to support growth in premium packaging. *We made meaningful progress on key environmental, social and governance initiatives, including actions designed to reduce energy usage, water consumption and greenhouse gases, recognition through leading sustainability rating agencies (including EcoVadis Gold Medal in Spain and Silver Medal in all other locations) and advancements in the diversity of our Board of Directors (with half identifying as female or underrepresented minorities).
U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers increased nine percent in January compared to the same month last year. Total U.S. printing-writing paper inventory levels increased one percent in January 2022 when compared to December 2021. *Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments decreased three percent compared to January 2021 while the inventory level increased two percent compared to December 2021. UFS imports and exports both decreased compared to December 2020, down eight percent and 13 percent respectively. *U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers in January increased 29 percent compared to last January while the inventory level remained essentially flat (+0.4 percent) compared to December 2021. CFS imports increased 58 percent while exports decreased eight percent in December 2021. *Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments increased nine percent compared to January 2021 while the inventory level decreased six percent compared to December 2021. CM imports increased 24 percent while exports decreased 20 percent in December 2021. *U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers in January increased eight percent compared to last January while the inventory level increased six percent compared to December 2021. UM imports and exports both increased compared to December 2020, up 21 percent and 18 percent respectively.
Mercer International Inc. reported fourth quarter 2021 Operating EBITDA increased to a record $164.9 million from $49.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and from $148.1 million in the third quarter of 2021. In the fourth quarter of 2021, net income was $74.5 million (or $1.13 per basic share and $1.12 per diluted share) compared to a net loss of $13.0 million (or $0.20 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and net income of $69.1 million (or $1.05 per basic share and $1.04 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2021. In 2021, Operating EBITDA increased to a record $478.8 million from $192.7 million in 2020. In 2021, net income was a record $171.0 million (or $2.59 per basic share and $2.58 per diluted share) compared to a net loss of $17.2 million (or $0.26 per share) in 2020.
Norske Skog Saugbrugs, together with its research and industry partners, has been granted NOK 60 million in research funding from the Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway under the Green Platform Programme. The portfolio of products to be developed aims to remove or greatly reduce the use of petroleum-based raw materials and harmful materials, as well as to contribute to increased recycling of plastics. «It is through research and innovation that we create tomorrow's sustainable society. Green platform is an important measure to ensure profitable green transition, and will help us become more skilled at scaling up and linking research to the market», says Jan Christian Vestre, Minister of Trade and Industry (Labour Party). CEO of Norske Skog, Sven Ombudstvedt, says: «Norske Skog will connect strong professional R&D environments to develop unique and sustainable nanocellulose and biocomposite products that the world will demand more of in the future. Our unique fibre expertise will be a valuable contribution in creating sustainable commercial value chains by utilising recycled and renewable raw materials».
Canfor Corporation announced the permanent reduction of 150 million board feet of production capacity at its Plateau Sawmill to resize the facility and align it with the available, sustainable timber supply in the region following the devastating impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation and other constraints on the timber harvesting land base. The reduction in production capacity will be achieved through a partial plant closure and the elimination of one of the three production lines in the mill. The capacity reduction is expected to impact approximately 70 employees at the facility and is anticipated to take effect at the end of the second quarter of 2022 following the depletion of existing log inventory. Canfor will mitigate the impact to affected employees by offering employment opportunities at other Canfor locations, along with relocation and transition support. “As the allowable annual cut has decreased in the region, it is necessary to resize the facility to align with the sustainable fibre supply,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor. “I want to thank our Plateau employees for their ongoing dedication and hard work, and we are committed to providing comprehensive support to those employees impacted by today’s announcement, including offering jobs at other Canfor facilities. We will work to minimize the impacts this decision has on our employees, their families, our contractors and the community.”
Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced two separate transactions to grow and improve the competitiveness of its wood products business. Resolute reached an agreement with Louisiana-Pacific Corporation to acquire the latter's 50% equity interest in two joint ventures that produce I-joists in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec for $50 million, subject to customary adjustments. Resolute-LP Engineered Wood Larouche Inc. and Resolute-LP Engineered Wood St-Prime Limited Partnership are located in Larouche and Saint-Prime, respectively, and are equity method investments in which Resolute has a 50% interest in each entity. Resolute operates the facilities and its joint-venture partner, Louisiana-Pacific, sells the products. Resolute will enter into agreements with Louisiana-Pacific to continue to serve as the exclusive distributor of the engineered wood products manufactured at the two operations. In a separate transaction, Resolute also announced an agreement signed on February 11 with Boralex (TSX: BLX) for the purchase of a cogeneration facility in Senneterre, Quebec. "The purchase of the 34.5-megawatt cogeneration facility, adjacent to our Senneterre sawmill, builds on our significant investments in the region, including the ongoing project toward a new planer and associated equipment we announced last summer, as well as operational improvements recently completed at our Comtois sawmill. With this cogen, we will maximize the use of biomass from our regional operations, generating green power and providing a platform for future growth and enhanced competitiveness in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. We are pleased to welcome the 30-plus employees of the cogeneration facility to Resolute," added Mr. Lalonde.
Paper Excellence today announced an indefinite production slowdown of its Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan BCTMP mill due to repeated lack of railway service. Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp Inc., which employs 190 people and infuses over $1 million daily into Canada’s economy, is dependent on CN Rail, which has failed to transport Meadow Lake’s pulp production to ports for months. The mill has exhausted local storage facilities. “While we remain committed to servicing our customers’ needs during this slowdown, we are extremely concerned about this railway situation and hope that it can be resolved soon,” said Stew Gibson, Vice President, Operations and Logistics.
Fourth-Quarter Highlights: *Net income of $62 million ($1.41 per diluted share) compared with $92 million ($2.09 per pro forma share1) in the third quarter of 2021 *Free cash flow4 (non-GAAP) of $162 million compared with $135 million in the third quarter of 2021. Fourth-Quarter Commercial and Operational Highlights: *Price and mix improved by $41 million versus the prior quarter and volume improved by $14 million, reflecting solid industry fundamentals and continued commercial excellence performance by our teams *Operations improved by $2 million and total planned maintenance outage expenses increased by $24 million versus the prior quarter *Input costs increased by $39 million versus the prior quarter, reflecting higher costs for wood, energy, chemicals, packaging and distribution *Repaid $124 million of debt, achieving a gross debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio of 2.4x at year-end
Stora Enso invests EUR 9 million in an automated CLT (cross-laminated timber) coating line at the Ybbs sawmill in Austria. The investment will further strengthen Stora Enso’s position as a leading global provider of engineered wood products for low carbon, sustainable buildings. In the construction industry, there is labor shortage and a pressure to shorten the construction time on-site. The investment enables industrially pre-applied CLT coatings on the CLT walls and floors produced at Stora Enso’s Ybbs site. The automated coating solution results in shorter construction times and higher wood protection. “With this new automation line, we can apply high-quality water-based coating to approximately 500,000m² of CLT walls and floors per year – making us the world leader in this segment. Our customers will benefit from improved protection of CLT against moisture, sunlight, insects and fire, as well as nicely coloured visual surfaces,” says Lars Völkel, EVP Wood Products division.
Tork, an Essity Brand, has announced a strategic partnership with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) once again in 2022. APIC is the leading association for infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, with more than 15,000 infection preventionist (IP) members. The APIC Strategic Partner program establishes long-term relationships with industry partners united in the common goal advancing the science and practice of infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities and beyond. APIC Strategic Partners play an important role in supporting many of the educational initiatives and services that benefit APIC’s membership, which is comprised of nurses, physicians, epidemiologists, microbiologists, public health professionals and other individuals dedicated to preventing the spread of infection.
The boards of Rottneros and Arctic Paper have decided to invest 15 million euro in a moulded fiber tray factory at Arctic Papers premises in Kostrzyn, Poland. The factory will be operated in a separate legal entity and as a 50/50 joint venture, in line with the LOI that was signed by the parties on October 22nd, 2021. “We are seeing a rapidly growing demand for moulded fiber trays, and we are pleased to announce that we are now ready to move forward with our plan to launch the first industrial scale production of high barrier fiber-based packaging. The collaboration of the two parties combines Arctic Papers favorable location and existing infrastructure with Rottneros technological know-how and will bring benefits to both companies”, said the CEOs of Rottneros and Arctic Paper, Lennart Eberleh and Michal Jarczyński, in a joint statement.
We are very pleased to announce that, effective 1 March 2022, Gilles Van Nieuwenhuyzen will become CEO of Lecta Group. He will also be appointed as Director of Lecta Ltd succeeding Eduardo Querol. Gilles has a vast and diversified experience in different industries such as chemicals (DSM ), packaging (Rexam and Stora Enso), food ingredients (Danisco and CSM), and paper & board (Stora Enso). He has also served several positions as independent advisor and top interim executive . Gilles has proven all along his career a successful focus on the same pillars which form the basis of Lecta transformation today. He will drive with energy and passion our path to profitable growth through innovation, value selling and focused investment while developing further our operational excellence initiatives.
HIGHLIGHTS • Pulp sales of 2,722 thousand tons (+2% vs. 4Q20). • Paper sales of 371 thousand tons (+5% vs. 4Q20). • Adjusted EBITDA1 and Operating cash generation²: R$6.4 billion and R$4.8 billion, respectively. • Adjusted EBITDA1 /ton from pulp of R$2,114/ton (+59% vs. 4Q20). • Adjusted EBITDA1 /ton3 from paper of R$1,619/ton (+32% vs. 4Q20). • Average net pulp price in export market: US$630/ton (+38% vs. 4Q20). • Average net paper price3 of R$5,109/ton (+24% vs. 4Q20). • Pulp cash cost ex-downtime of R$747/ton (+20% vs. 4Q20). • Leverage down to 2.4 times in USD and 2.5 times in BRL.
JANUARY–DECEMBER 2021 (1–12/2020) •Sales were EUR 6,017 million (5,055). •Operating result was EUR 874 million (376). Comparable operating result was EUR 914 million (368). •Result before taxes was EUR 832 million (330). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 872 million (322). •Comparable return on capital employed was 16.2% (7.1). •Net cash flow from operations was EUR 1,023 million (667). OCTOBER–DECEMBER 2021 (10–12/2020) •Sales were EUR 1,560 million (1,357). •Operating result was EUR 221 million (97). Comparable operating result was EUR 220 million (94). •Result before taxes was EUR 215 million (88). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 214 million (86). •Comparable return on capital employed was 14.7% (7.4). •Net cash flow from operations was EUR 427 million (306).
UPM’s negotiations with the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union (Paperiliitto) are now underway for UPM Pulp, with the other UPM businesses expected to follow, according to media reports from Finland. Finnish trade publication Print&Media has reported that, following movement with the situation on Friday, negotiations have started today (7 February) for the UPM Pulp business and negotiations on UPM’s other divisions should also begin this week. The publication was also sent a comment from labels division UPM Raflatac, in response to the warning from the European association for the self-adhesive label industry, Finat, on the availability of label stocks, which it shared with Printweek: “The strike further aggravates the industry level supply situation which has been tight and constrained already since early 2021.
After 14 years with Canfor, Alan Nicholl, Executive Vice President, Bio-Based Solutions & Pulp Operations, has accepted the role of Managing Director with Licella Holdings, Canfor’s joint venture partner in Arbios Biotech (Arbios) effective April 2022. Alan will continue to serve as President & CEO of Arbios. David Calabrigo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary, has assumed responsibility for leading the Bio-Innovation team as the Company continues to pursue opportunities to develop bio-based solutions to address the growing demand for low carbon, renewable products. Kevin Anderson, Vice President, Operations, Canfor Pulp is now reporting directly to Don Kayne, CEO, Canfor Pulp.
Verso Corporation announced the filing of a definitive proxy statement for a special meeting of stockholders, at which Verso stockholders will consider and vote upon various items related to the proposed and previously announced transaction with BillerudKorsnäs AB. If approved, all Verso stockholders will receive $27.00 per share in cash upon closing of the transaction, representing immediate and certain value at a significant premium. The consideration corresponds to a premium of approximately 57% compared to the unaffected closing price of Verso's shares on July 9, 2021, the day prior to the submission of an unsolicited, non-binding proposal to acquire Verso for $20.00 per share in cash, and a 35% premium over that unsolicited proposal.
Commenting on the group’s results, Sappi Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie said: “I am very pleased with an excellent performance from the group. We outperformed the guidance provided at the end of the last quarter with EBITDA at US$240 million, a 36% increase over the prior quarter (US$177 million) and more than double the equivalent quarter last year (US$98 million). Robust market demand in all product segments combined with the implementation of higher sales prices facilitated the growth and offset rising costs. This achievement was despite logistics and transport bottlenecks, as well as significant increases in energy, pulp and other raw materials.” Financial summary for the quarter: • EBITDA excluding special items US$240 million (Q1 FY21 US$98 million) • Net debt US$1,917 million (Q1 FY21 US$2,056 million) • Profit for the period US$123 million (Q1 FY21 loss of US$17 million)
With a soon-to-be-launched gluing innovation at Nymölla Mill in Sweden, where Multicopy is produced, the mission towards a more competitive and sustainable paper production continues. One of the latest sustainable innovations at Stora Enso and Multicopy is the EcoSeal ream adhesive technology with a new dotting pattern application, that has recently been launched and will gradually be implemented in the paper production at the Nymölla mill. This new technology, supplied by Valco Melton, a global leader in sustainable gluing, coating machinery and quality assurance technologies, is a great process improvement both when it comes to bond strength and reduced environmental impact. The gluing guns are assembled by hand, and specifically designed for packaging, engineered for every sort of application and high-speed precision gluing.