Sonoco Launches New URB Machine as Part of Project Horizon

Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the largest sustainable global packaging companies, today announced that the new uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) #10 machine is operational as part of its previously announced Project Horizon—the $125 million investment to transform its former corrugated medium machine in Hartsville, S.C to a state-of-the-art URB operation.

“We are excited to share the successful launch of our updated #10 machine. This machine was designed to be one of the largest and lowest cost producers of URB in the world—paving the way for the future of our Hartsville paper mill complex and our global position as a high quality URB provider,” said Rodger Fuller, Sonoco’s Chief Operating Officer. “With these state-of-the-art capabilities, Sonoco is able to produce a wider range of high-value paper grades to serve our Industrial and Consumer converted products businesses and external trade customers.”

Project Horizon was initiated, in part, to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of Sonoco’s 100-year-old Hartsville Mill Complex, at which the Company produces almost one-third of its U.S. and Canadian URB. The introduction of the new operation is projected to drive $30 million in annual cost savings by 2024 and will ensure the mill remains globally competitive.

This launch also marks Sonoco’s move to 100% recycled fibers in the Hartsville Mill Complex, which eliminated the manufacturing complex’s virgin pulp processing and chemical recovery operation. This conversion to 100% recycled fiber is expected to reduce electricity consumption, driving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and total water use—advancing Sonoco’s long-term sustainability commitment.

As previously announced and planned, with the introduction of the high-capacity #10 URB machine, the less efficient #1 and # 9 cylinder machines will be permanently shut down by the end of October 2022.

Fuller concluded, “The start-up of the #10 machine is an important milestone for Sonoco to demonstrate our ability to update and improve long-standing machines to meet changing market conditions and better serve our customers. We congratulate and thank the entire Sonoco team and our valuable suppliers for their efforts to execute this successful project.”

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