Stora Enso's consumer board machine at Beihai Mill in China successfully started production on 26 May. The first consumer board on reel was produced 18 months after the start-up of Stora Enso's large-scale mill construction project in Beihai, Guangxi region. The project started from a greenfield site. In addition to the board machine, it includes a full site with infrastructure, power plant, water and effluent treatment capacities. Highest levels of work safety standards have been followed. With a peak of 5,500 workers on site, over 16 million working hours have been accomplished with only one Lost Time Accident.
International Paper (NYSE: IP) received a dividend of $100 million from Ilim Group, IP’s joint venture partner in Russia. The dividend is based on prior year performance, and in 2016, the JV set production records at all three of its mills and realized higher sales volume due to increased demand for its products. Since inception in 2007, IP has received a total of $516 Million in dividends from the Ilim JV.
“This dividend reflects the significant progress we’ve made together during the past 10 years,” said Mark Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This summer marks the 10th anniversary of our joint venture with Ilim, and we are very pleased with the investment and the relationships we’ve forged as we work together to create an even better business. The business is focused on serving customers in key markets such as Russia, Asia and Europe with a world class, low cost asset base and excellent commercial capabilities. The JV is a great example of IP’s strategy of establishing advantaged positions in attractive markets.”
A key element of Ilim’s strategy was the 2014 completion by the JV of a $1.5 billion capital investment over a five-year period at two of its three mills. This unprecedented investment in the Russian pulp and paper industry upgraded equipment, increased production capacity and allowed for high-value product development. Additionally, the investment was a key element in the JV’s strategy to improve environment, health and safety standards across operations.