Brussels, Belguim 25 September 2012 -- Sappi Alfeld Mill to refocus production to meet strong growth in demand from the Release Liner and Flexpack paper markets. Coated paper production to be moved to other Sappi Mills in Europe.
In response to strong growth and positive market forecasts for the packaging market, Sappi Fine Paper Europe has begun the process of converting its Sappi Alfeld Mill in Germany to focus exclusively on producing one-sided coated paper for packaging, labels and technical applications. The project will take 12 months to complete.
At the same time, Sappi will actively manage its graphic paper capacity by transferring the current coated paper production of the Sappi Alfeld Mill to other Sappi Mills in Europe in close consultation with these customers. This action will further improve Sappi’s cost position in coated woodfree paper in Europe and elsewhere.
The strong growth and improved margins in this market are due to the growth in the demand for paper packaging and a lack of standardization; high degree of customization; and the long qualification times imposed by customers. Sappi has also been successful in the development of innovative and sustainable solutions for this market in close cooperation with end-use customers and converters.
Commenting on the conversion, Sappi Fine Paper Europe CEO Berry Wiersum said: “Our decision is in line with the Sappi group strategy to invest in higher growth and higher margin businesses. In addition, it will further improve Sappi’s cost position in coated woodfree paper in Europe and elsewhere.”
The decision will entail the conversion of paper machine number 2 (PM2) from producing 150,000 tons of coated fine paper per annum to producing 135,000 tons per annum of speciality paper. Paper machines 1, 3, 4 and 5 at Sappi Alfeld Mill already produce jointly 165,000 tons of speciality paper and board per year.
Once the conversion is complete, the Sappi Alfeld Mill will benefit from increased margins, improved quality, increased efficiencies on raw material consumption and an optimized fixed cost profile. The mill will become the biggest and lowest cost producer of these one-sided coated speciality grades globally; with the converted PM2 the fastest and most productive speciality machine in the world. The PM2 product range will focus on one-sided coated grades from 40 – 180gsm for packaging, technical purposes, liner and label applications.
Sappi Fine Paper Europe is the leading European producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Sappi Fine Paper Europe is recognised for innovation and quality. Its graphic paper brands include Magno, Quatro, Royal, Galerie and GalerieArt ranges. Algro, Fusion, Leine and Parade are the brands for speciality labelling, topliner, packaging papers and boards. Jaz is the paper brand for digital printing. Sappi papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification and EMAS registration for all our mills in the EU. SFPE’s mills hold chain-of-custody certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes.
Sappi Fine Paper Europe is a division of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,900 employees and manufacturing operations on four continents in 9 countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.