Publication: Pulp & Paper International
Worldwide NewsNew Zealand
IP takes majority shareholding in CHH
International Paper (IP) has taken a majority stake in New Zealand papermaker Carter Holt Harvey (CHH), at a cost of around $1,150 million. IP, which was previously the largest shareholder in CHH with a 23.7% stake, began increasing its holding by buying the remaining 7.6% of CHH shares owned by Brierley Investments for $313.6 million, pushing IP's overall stake to 31.3%. It then paid a total of NZ$1,238 million (around $832 million) for a further 325.8 million shares with an offer of NZ$3.80/ share. The company agreed to purchase no more shares in CHH for six months after it secured the majority holding.
The deal considerably increases IP's pulp and paper capacity, as well as giving the company access to significant timber plantations, which are becoming increasingly scarce in North America.
In New Zealand, CHH has a capacity of around 450,000 tons/yr of paper and board, and around 500,000 tons/yr of pulp, of which some 200,000 tons/yr is sold on the market. Its annual turnover is around $1,500 million, of which around one-third comes from its pulp and paper operations, and one-third from forestry and wood products. In addition, CHH owns some 330,000 ha of radiata pine plantations. The company also holds an indirect stake in Chilean pulp producer Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion.
Soporcel looks at building second PM
Soporcel is studying the possibility of installing a second paper machine at its mill in Figueira da Foz. The company stressed that no decision has been taken on whether to go ahead with a new PM, but said its board would propose the plan to its shareholders soon. A decision on the project, which would cost some Esc 50,000 million (over $340 million) is expected by the end of this year.
The potential sticking point is the timing of the project, the company said. It remains unclear whether work on the PM--if the plan gets the go-ahead--would begin immediately or after six months or more, Soporcel explained.
It also remains to be decided whether any new machine would make the same grades as the existing PM--copier and offset papers. However, the company commented that a new machine would likely be similar in size to the 260,000-ton/yr PM 1, and that it would be "most logical" for it to make the same type of paper.
If installed, the new machine would use mainly bleached eucalyptus pulp from the Figueira da Foz mill itself. PM 1 currently consumes just under 50% of the output from the 420,000-ton/yr mill. While the remainder of the mill's pulp is currently sold on the market, the proposed paper machine would leave only some 20,000 to 25,000 tons/yr for sale outside the company.
Caima stake set to change hands
Ibstock, Celulose do Caima's majority shareholder with a stake of 56.3%, is discussing a possible sale of its holding in Caima. Ibstock earlier announced that it was looking worldwide for possible bidders both from the pulp and paper industry and from the financial and institutional sector, but it would give no details of the parties currently interested. The merchant bank Lazard Brothers is acting as advisor for Ibstock.
Ibstock claimed that Caima has good business prospects due to its production of totally and elemental-chlorine-free pulps, a good environmental record and its own forestry resources.
Celulose do Caima currently operates only its Constancia mill, which has a capacity of 85,000 tons/yr of eucalyptus sulfite pulp. The 45,000-ton/yr Albergaria mill was idled in July 1993 due to the poor pulp market.
Portucel modernizes Setubal pulp mill
Portucel is to modernize its mill in Setubal, near Lisbon, and increase capacity from 360,000 to 400,000 tons/yr of elemental-chlorine-free (ECF) bleached eucalyptus pulp. Investment in the project will be around Esc 5,500 million ($38 million). The rebuild, which will also reduce the consumption of bleaching chemicals and decrease pollution, will be carried out in July.
The modernization includes a conversion of two digesters to Iso Thermal Cooking (ITC) by Kvaerner Pulping, in order to reduce the kappa number and retain pulp strength.
In addition, Valmet will rebuild the mill's drying machine and modernize the cutter layboy. Drying capacity will be increased by 15% to 1,075 tons/day.
Ahlstrom will modernize the recovery boiler and evaporation system, and work on the precipatators will be carried out by ABB Flakt.
Stora restarts SC PM at Langerbrugge...
Stora plans to restart the idled supercalendered (SC) paper machine, PM 1, at its mill in Langerbrugge, Belgium, by the third quarter of this year. The company originally stopped the PM, which has a capacity of 80,000 tons/yr, around two and a half years ago.
Stora is also investing SEK 69 million (around $10 million) in a third supercalender for its SC mill in Reisholz, Gemany, which will raise capacity by a further 16,000 tons/yr. The installation is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 1996.
The company pointed out that the Langerbrugge PM has been regularly maintained, and that no notable investment is required to restart it. The restart will boost the mill's total capacity to 315,000 tons/yr of newsprint and SC paper on three PMs.
Stora explained that while there had been considerable overcapacity of SC when the machine was stopped, the current increase in demand has led to the market being under-supplied. European consumption rose 12% during the first quarter of 1995, compared with the year-earlier figure.
The operating profit of Stora's printing papers business area, which includes SC papers, rose to SEK 468 million (around $65 million) in the first quarter of this year, up over 160% from the year-earlier level of SEK 179 million. Turnover from the sector reached SEK 3,826 million for January-March 1995, up around 33% from SEK 2,880 million in the year-earlier quarter.
...and invests in European operations
Stora has also given the green light to a number of other investments elsewhere in Europe, including the purchase of outstanding shares in the Celbi pulp mill, and a rebuild of PM 2 at its Gruvon mill in Sweden.
The company, which already owns some 71% of the shares in the mill, is to buy the remaining 29% from the state-owned company, IPE. Stora will pay some SEK 500 million (around $70 million) for the shares. The company commented that the deal was a "good, sound investment," and that as IPE was willing to sell, Stora was simply taking advantage of an existing opportunity.
The Celbi mill has a capacity of around 250,000 tons/yr of bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp. Raw materials are supplied by the company's own forests in Portugal, which cover an area of around 47,000 ha.
Aiming high: Meanwhile, Stora has also decided to spend some SEK 100 million on a rebuild of PM 2 at its Gruvon mill in Sweden. This will allow the machine, which currently makes mainly white-top liner, to switch to the production of highly-refined kraft paper for use in carrier bags, photo bags and flexible packaging.
The white-top liner output will be switched to the new 320,000-ton/yr board machine, PM 8, being installed at the company's Skoghall mill. As the PM is scheduled to come on stream in January 1997, the conversion of the Gruvon machine will not take place until then.
IP makes offer for full takeover of Holvis
IP has launched a bid for all shares in Holvis, which produces nonwovens and which also has paper-distribution operations. IP has offered SF 435 (around $382) in cash for each share. The offer, which was to run until 30 May with a possible two-month extension, is conditional on IP receiving a majority stake in Holvis.
Mercury Asset Management, one of the main shareholders in Holvis, has agreed to sell shares under its management totalling some 31% of the outstanding shares in Holvis to IP.
However, Holvis' board has recommended that its shareholders reject the offer, and is discussing a counter-offer with several interested parties.
Holvis' two main businesses are Fiberweb, an international nonwovens producer with operations in the USA, Sweden, France and Italy, and Muhlebach, a paper-distribution company based in Switzerland.
SCA denies new PM
SCA has denied rumors that it is planning to install another newsprint PM in England. However, the company confirmed that an expansion of the Aylesford mill would be "natural" in the long term.
A 50/50 joint venture between SCA and Mondi is currently building a new 280,000-ton/yr, 100%-recycled newsprint PM at the Aylesford mill. The PM, which will cost some 250 million pounds (around $400 million), is set to start up this month.
Scott to sell off pulp and timber
Scott Paper is planning to sell off its global pulp operations and around 600,000 ha of timberlands for some $800 million this year. The company commented that many parties have already shown interest in the operations. While one industry observer said at least one large North American company was looking at the operations on offer, several others felt buyers were more likely to come from Europe or the Far East. A consultant predicted that Scott would have difficulty in selling the pulp mills as a single package.
The US pulp mills to be sold include a 515,000-ton/yr bleached hardwood/softwood kraft unit in Mobile, Alabama, and a 125,000-ton/yr bleached softwood kraft market pulp mill in Everett, Washington. In Canada, the company operates a market pulp mill in Abercrombie Point, Nova Scotia, with a capacity of 240,000 tons/yr (80% bleached hardwood kraft and 20% bleached softwood kraft) or 230,000 tons/yr when producing only bleached hardwood kraft.
In Spain, Scott Iberica includes a 140,000-ton/yr bleached hardwood kraft market pulp mill, and the company is also selling its holding in a pulp mill and timberlands in Chile.
If and when Scott sells the mills, its pulp requirements will be met through long-term contracts and the increased use of low-cost fibers, including recycled fibers.
The divestments will reportedly help support Scott's financial growth and worldwide tissue business strategies, which include the launch of some 100 new consumer and away-from-home products worldwide this year.
The company has already sold off significant non-core assets in the past months, including its S.D. Warren coated papers business to Sappi for $1,600 million. Its aim is to raise a total of around $3,000 million from the whole divestment program.
No bid made for MoDo
Fredrik Lundberg, the main shareholder in MoDo with 45.8% of the votes, denied rumors in the press and the industry that Georgia-Pacific was set to make a bid for his stake. Lundberg stressed that he was not discussing his shareholding with anyone, and that he had no intention of selling his stake.
In addition, MoDo commented that it was not aware of any discussions with other shareholders. Apart from Lundberg, MoDo's main shareholders include the Kempe Foundations (with 14.1% of the votes), the Handelsbanken (9.5%) and the AP Fund (5.9%).
Ence to list more shares
The shareholders of Empresa Nacional de Celulosas (Ence) have approved a capital increase of the company. Teneo, a group of Spanish public companies which currently owns around 65% of Ence, will subscribe to its Ptas 10,000-million rights issue. Teneo is expected to earn a net revenue of up to Ptas 3,000 million from the deal.
At the same time, Teneo will carry out a public share offer of the Ence shares, for a value equivalent to the increase in capital. The offer will be directed towards both Spanish and foreign institutional investors.
Around 4.2 million more Ence shares will be listed on the Madrid stock exchange. Over 6 million shares, representing 34.3% of Ence's capital, are already listed.
Following the operation, Teneo will keep a minimum of 51% of the shares, and the rest, an estimated 10.5 million shares, will be publicly owned.
Enso rebuilds PM 8
Enso-Gutzeit is investing FIM 50 million (around $12 million) in the specialty paper PM 8 at its Tervakoski mill. Once the machine is restarted, in April 1996, it will have a capacity of 30,000 tons/yr of specialties, including release, cable, water-marked and 4-color copy papers.
The project is also aimed at improving product quality, and the mill's annual sales are expected to increase by some FIM 50 million from the current FIM 670 million. Energy efficiency will also be improved, Enso explained.
The Tervakoski mill has a current capacity of around 82,000 tons/yr of specialties on five PMs. Output also includes thin printing, bible and cigarette papers.
Pudumjee plans pulp and paper projects
Pudumjee Pulp and Paper plans to build a new mill to produce 500 tons/day of pulp and 200 tons/day of paper using bamboo as raw material in Myanmar, involving a $70- to 80-million joint venture with a state-owned company. The company, which already has planning permission to modernize an existing plant in Myanmar, rather than build on a new site, also plans to take over a large area of forest.
In addition, Pudumjee, producer of machine-finished, SC and specialty paper, is looking for a joint-venture partner for a pilot plant in India, following the collapse of its proposed joint venture with Repap. It plans to use its Punec ethanol pulping process for bagasse, which is similar to Repap's Alcell for wood chips.
Meanwhile, tissue producer Pudumjee Agro Industries plans to expand its tissue operations with a new 15,000-ton/yr tissue machine for hard and soft tissue.
The company claims that it already controls 90% of the tissue market in India and has just signed a memorandum of understanding with Scott to set up a joint venture to convert tissue in India and sell under the Scott brand name.
Kymmene goes ahead with rebuild at Nordland
Kymmene has ordered a rebuild of the fine paper PM 3 at its Nordland Papier mill in Dorpen, Germany, to raise its capacity from 600 tons/day to some 720 tons/day. The restart of the 7-m machine is scheduled for January 1996.
The mill will install a new Sym-Belt shoe press on the PM, which the supplier, Valmet, claimed will be the first time the unit is used on a fine paper machine. The aim is to increase the capacity without having to make major changes to the dryer section.
The company will also convert the existing size press into a Sym-Sizer film-transfer size press, and it will install a new machine calender. The new equipment is designed to operate at a speed of 1,500 m/min.
The company's other investments at the mill include a second coater for PM 4. The machine currently has a capacity of around 350,000 tons/yr of uncoated woodfrees, and when the PM is restarted in June 1996, it will be able to produce 350,000 tons/yr of coated woodfrees, with the remainder of its output being uncoated.
Output from the Dorpen mill reached some 800,000 tons of coated and uncoated fine papers, art paper and board last year.
Ajanta expands with newsprint PM
Ajanta Paper and General Products will install a second-hand 36,000-ton/yr newsprint machine at its mill in Kalyan, near Bombay. The machine is being shipped from Mexico City in July this year with first production scheduled for the second quarter of 1996. Total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rupees 600 million (around $19 million). The privately owned company will launch a share issue to finance the project.
The 3.3-m waste-based machine will be rebuilt to increase its speed from 350 to 600 m/min. A new headbox, press section and dryer section will be fitted. No suppliers have been chosen yet for the machine's stock preparation and deinking systems.
The mill already has a 2,000-ton/yr tissue machine running at 200 m/min using wastepaper, cotton and jute as raw materials, and a 10,000-ton/yr newsprint machine using 100% wastepaper, of which half is locally supplied and half imported. The tissue machine will be modified in August this year to produce printing and writing paper due to the poor growth in the tissue market.
The Ajanta group also operates Panchsheel Paper Mills in Erandol, northeast of Bombay, which has a 16,000-ton/yr duplex board machine and a 4,000-ton/yr waste-based machine producing packing and wrapping paper.
Ashok mill to re-open
The Sanghi group of industries will reportedly re-open Ashok Paper Mill in Assam, northeastern India. The group has obtained a 25-year lease costing Rs 1.2 million (around $38,000), which has been accepted on a zero-liability basis. The mill's previous liabilities will be borne by the Indian government, the group said.
Sanghi plans to spend Rs 500 million on restoring the mill to its capacity of 27,500 tons/yr within six months. This represents the group's first dealings with the paper industry and it is said to be keen on investing in the mill because of its natural resources. Sources said that some 3,600 ha of land is reserved as the plantation area for the bamboo used as raw material.
The group also intends converting part of the mill into a 300-ton/day viscose plant with an additional investment of Rs 3,000 million.
The Indian government has reportedly granted Rs 670 million for the reopening of the mill and has already released more than Rs 110 million. Some Rs 370 million was for previous liabilities, with Rs 100 million for salaries and Rs 160 million for the reopening.
The mill was established in 1970 as part of a joint venture between the governments of Assam and Bihar, the Maharaja of Darbhanga and financial institutions. Production came to a standstill in 1983 due to recurring losses as a result of financial mismanagement. In 1991 the mill was brought under state control and negotiations were held with several parties before Sanghi accepted the offer.
Aurangabad seeks second-hand PM
Aurangabad Paper Mills, Gujurat, wants to produce 150 tons/day of printing and writing paper, and is looking for a second-hand bagasse-based PM. Expected to cost Rs 750 million (around $24 million), the machine should start up by the end of 1996. The machine is likely to be one from the UK.
The mill had been planning the machine for some time, but installation had been delayed due to poor market conditions.
The company already operates two PMs producing 15,000 tons/yr of kraft and 20,000 tons/yr of deinked newsprint. Aurangabad claims it is the first non state-owned company to have begun newsprint production in India in October 1991.
The mill's kraft paper line was closed down in January 1994 due to the high cost of caustic soda, and the kraft machine was switched to newsprint but is due to be switched back soon.
Star Paper modernizes
Star Paper Mills will increase capacity by 13,300 tons/yr at its mill in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, involving an investment of Rs 1,290 million (around $41 million). The mill currently produces 46,200 tons/yr of paper and board on four machines, including printing and writing grades. A Rs 565-million share issue is to help finance the project.
The company also intends to double its capacity within five years and has asked the government for permission to set up sugar mills to use the bagasse for papermaking. It claims the integration of a sugar mill with papermaking would solve its raw material problems.
The current project also includes a switch from 60% to 100% bleached grades as well as investments to control pollution and save energy.
Three of the mill's machines will be rebuilt. On the pulp side, three digesters will be replaced and a chlorine dioxide bleaching plant from Hindusthan Dorr-Oliver will be installed. The recovery boiler, heat recovery equipment, causticizing plant and lime kiln will all be modernized. Startup is planned for October this year and the equipment is mostly from Indian suppliers.
The move to bleached paper should boost the profit margin, the company said. The modernization and expansion program was planned around 18 months ago when paper prices in India were low. Over the last year, prices are said to have risen by around 22 to 25%.
Hindustan Ups Capacity
State-owned Hindustan Paper plans to invest Rs 6,000 million (around $191 million) on expanding capacity by 125,000 tons/yr within five years at its newsprint mill in Kotayam, Kerala, southern India. The company has asked the Indian government permission for the project. Approval could take a year, and work is expected to begin in 1996-97. Hindustan has also proposed issuing shares to provide some of the project financing and to reduce the government's stake to 51%.
The project includes the installation of a twin-wire machine, a boiler and power turbine and a water treatment plant. Also included would be two 200-ton/day wastepaper deinking plants that would supply 60% of the mill's fiber. The balance will come from the eucalyptus plantations established by the company over the past two years.
Hindustan is also studying whether the existing Voith Sulzer Paper Technology machine can be speeded up to 1,000 m/min to produce 120,000 tons/yr. The speed has already been increased to 850 m/min and the PM can currently produce 100,000 tons/yr.
The company also plans to invest Rs 2,000 million at its two other mills, Cachar and Nogaon, to install an oxygen delignifcation plant, reduce fiber loss, increase fiber strength and brightness as well as reduce environmental problems and energy consumption. The mills, which each have a capacity of 100,000 tons/yr of printing/writing paper, including 20,000 tons/yr of newsprint, use bamboo as raw material.
Two of the company's uneconomic mills, Nagaland and Mandya, were closed down two years ago and put up for sale. The government closed the bidding for buyers at the beginning of April.
Donghae increases kraft pulp capacity
Donghae Pulp will increase capacity of its second line from 640 tons/day to 800 tons/day at its bleached hardwood kraft mill in Kyungsang Nam-Do. It will also modify the first line, including the installation of an oxygen delignification plant which will raise capacity by around 50 tons/day. The extra capacity will be sold on the domestic market.
Around $12 million will be invested between 1996 and 1997 on the project, which also involves the reduction of chemical consumption in bleaching and the improvement in quality of the pulp pitch and the effluent.
In addition, the pump and heat recovery capacity of the dryer section will be increased in the second line. Changes to knotters and screening will also take place in both lines. A decision about suppliers has not been made.
Papermakers go on expansion trail
New Oji Paper has announced plans to boost papermaking capacity with new equipment and modernizations of existing machines. The company will invest around Yen 50,000 million (almost $600 million) during the 1995 financial year ending 31 March 1996, almost doubling the amount it invested last year. The company will raise Bitokoshi capacity by 100,000 tons/yr.
The company is also increasing its newsprint capacity by 100,000 tons/yr, with a modernization of PM 1 at its flagship newsprint mill at Tomakomai in Hokkaido prefecture. The main aim of the project, which is scheduled for completion this year, is to allow the PM to produce offset newsprint.
The expansion plans also include two new 100-ton/day deinking lines, bringing the company's deinking capacity to 1,600 tons/day. Startup is scheduled for end-1997. The new lines will be installed at the company's Kure mill in Hiroshima prefecture and the Tomioka mill in Tokushima prefecture. Both mills produce white printing papers, and the company plans to add the deinked pulp to the furnish for Bitokoshi, in response to increasing demand for recycled content in coated papers.
More pulp capacity to come: New Oji's investments also include a Yen 6,000-million modernization of the bleached kraft pulp line at the Tomioka mill, due to be completed end-1995. This will increase pulp capacity by 100 tons/day.
The country's other papermakers, meanwhile, are also boosting pulp capacity. Nippon Paper is to rebuild the bleached kraft pulp line at its Iwakuni mill in Yamaguchi prefecture, at a cost of around Yen 11,000 million. Scheduled for completion around the end of this year, the project will increase pulp capacity by 200 tons/day.
Hoketsu Paper is also modernizing its pulp line at a cost of Yen 8,000 million. Capacity will increase by around 140 tons/day,and the project is timetabled for completion in 1997.
Yellow Sea Pulp mill project delayed
The construction of Shandong Rizhao Yellow Sea Pulp's 170,000-ton/yr greenfield bleached softwood kraft pulp mill has been delayed, but is still proceeding. Originally scheduled for end-1996, startup is now set for the first half of 1998, with construction due to begin at the end of this year.
The investment structure of the project has also been changed. Although the mill was initially intended to be a joint venture, the plan is now to use only local government funding for the $270-million investment.
In addition, the project now also includes the installation of an 80,000-ton/yr solid bleached sulfate (SBS) machine. The pulp mill will supply some 68,000 tons/yr of pulp for the PM, with the remaining 102,000 tons/yr to be sold on the market.
The definitive list of suppliers for the project has not yet been finalized, but a contract is due to be signed in July this year.
Meanwhile, a source reported that output of virgin-fiber pulp is due to fall significantly in the Shandong province, as mills try to improve their environmental records. The 110 small- and medium-sized mills in the region are to close down their virgin-fiber pulp lines, which have a combined capacity of 1.8 million tons/yr of pulp, and gradually replace them with wastepaper treatment lines.
The Ling Yi and Liao Chang pulp mills are currently preparing to do this, and both have plans to install a 50,000-ton/yr deinking line at their sites. Total investment is expected to reach around $10 million.
Papermaker orders two new board PMs
An unnamed Thai company has reportedly ordered two corrugating materials PMs and other equipment from Japanese supplier Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries. The first unit, which is said to be scheduled for startup in October 1996, will reportedly have a capacity of 450 tons/day of corrugating materials. The second PM, for which no capacity details were available, was said to be timetabled for startup in January 1997.
Packages ups pulp and paper capacity
Packages is expanding pulp and paper capacity with investments totalling Rupees 750 million ($24 million). The company is raising the capacity of PM 1 from 24,000 tons/yr to 41,000 tons/yr of paper and board, with the machine due to restart in January 1996. In addition, Packages is expanding unbleached sulfite pulp capacity from 20,000 tons/yr to 36,000 tons/yr by end-1995. The company earlier boosted its capacity of bleached sulfite pulp from 13,000 tons/yr to 23,000 tons/yr, with production restarting in October last year. Suppliers for the project include Sunds Defibrator and Valmet.
The company is also investing more than $16 million in environmental upgrades. The project includes improving effluent treatment and reducing chemicals and water use. The company is reportedly also planning to install a chemical recovery plant. The whole project is expected to be completed by June 1996. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide financial assistance of $37.5 million for the project.
Amcor raises quality and recycled content
Australian Paper, Amcor's papermaking business in Australia, is investing A$72 million (around $53 million) in its Maryvale mill. The aim of the project is to improve the appearance and printability of its linerboard, and to allow the mill to use more waste-ased furnish.
The company will modernize PM 4 at the Maryvale unit, as well as installing a new wastepaper treatment plant. The project is scheduled for completion early in 1996, with some 75% of the investment being spent on Australian equipment. Together with the new A$50-million wastepaper plant being installed at the company's Fairfield mill in Melbourne, the plan will raise Australian Paper's consumption of wastepaper by around 100,000 tons to 700,000 tons/yr.
Swazi gets 2nd-hand PM
Swazi Paper Mills is installing a second-hand paper machine with a capacity of around 17,000 tons/yr of waste-based kraft paper at its mill near Mbabane, Swaziland. The machine, which was bought from a company in the UK, was expected to start up in the past weeks. Total cost of the project was estimated to be $11.9 million.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided a $5-million loan for the project, to be paid back over eight years. The project will increase Swazi Paper's use of recycled fiber and comply with World Bank environmental guidelines.
The 2.4 m-wide PM, which operates at a speed of 360 m/min, uses mostly wastepaper to produce kraft paper in a basis weight range of 40-150 g/m2. Most of the production from the Bruderhaus one-wire machine will be exported to South Africa. The PM has a pressed air headbox, an MG creping cylinder, size press and single-nip calender.
Swazi Paper Mills, started in 1986, is, according to the IFC, the only producer of kraft and tissue paper in Swaziland.
Smurfit increases containerboard capacity
Smurfit Carton plans to increase capacity at its Mocarpel mill in San Felipe, northern Venezuela, from around 110,000 to 160,000 tons/yr by 1996 and to 200,000 tons/yr by 1999. The mill produces corrugating materials in a basis weight range of 127-200 g/m2. No suppliers have been chosen yet for the project, but the extra capacity will be used for the export market, the company said.
Smurfit Carton has also completed a program of modernization at the mill, reportedly costing $100 million, to switch from bagasse to wood pulp as well as comply with the government's regulations for effluents.
The modernization included a new 60,000-ton/yr semichemical pulp line using eucalyptus and tropical hardwood, with one continuous digester. A new 30,000-ton/yr chemical line using Caribbean pine has also been installed with six batch digestors. Both lines use the anthraquinone and soda process. The chemical recovery plant has also been modernized to include a Babcock & Wilcox recovery boiler, evaporators and a causticizing plant. A new woodyard has been installed with a handling capacity of 500,000 tons/yr.
Modifications to the paper machine include a new rewinder and a new primary headbox, with the latter to be installed in September this year. In addition, the stock preparation line has been expanded to process 100,000 tons/yr of wastepaper, up from 50,000 tons/yr.
Riverwood looks at sale/merger options
Riverwood is considering strategic alternatives, available to it and in the best interest of the company's shareholders. The company added that before "a transaction involving the sale or merger of Riverwood" could take place, issues involving contractual relationships between Manville (Riverwood's parent company) and Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, which has a stake of around 78% in Manville, would have to be resolved.
Riverwood stressed that it had made no decision to "enter into any transaction" or even on "what form any such transaction might take." J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs are helping with the review.
Meanwhile, the company, which is "committed to remaining innovation leaders in our industry," plans to spend around $30 million on a new carton converting plant in Houston County, Georgia. Construction is expected to start in July this year, with startup scheduled for March 1996. The company noted that the plant would be near its coated board mill in Macon, Georgia, as well as a number of Riverwood's largest beverage customers in the region.
VCP orders expansion
Votorantim Celulose e Papel (VCP) has now ordered the rebuilds of its Jacarei (Simao) and Luis Antonio (Celpav) pulp mills. The projects will expand the capacity of the Jacarei mill by some 240,000 tons/yr of bleached eucalyptus market pulp, while the Luis Antonio unit will receive peroxide and ozone bleaching stages. The supplier for the project will be Kvaerner Pulping.
At Jacarei mill, the company will install a new fiber line including washing, screening, oxygen delignification and bleaching systems, with a nominal capacity of 800 tons/day. The new line will allow the mill to produce both elemental- and totally chlorine-free pulp, with low consumption of freshwater. The mill is also installing a new 700-ton/day oxygen delignification system on the existing fiber line. Both of the new systems are scheduled to come on stream early in 1997.
The orders are part of VCP's $250-million investment program aimed at raising both pulp and coated paper capacity. As well as installing new bleaching stages, the company will also carry out a debottlenecking program at the Luis Antonio mill, raising the unit's pulp capacity to 350,000 tons/yr. All additional pulp output is to be sold on the market.
To finance the expansion, VCP issued $100 million in shares to existing shareholders, with the rest of the cost being paid from the group's own resources.
Cibrapel installs new waste processing line
Cibrapel, a producer of industrial-grade papers, is installing a new wastepaper-processing system for its 40,000-ton/yr mill in Guapimirim, in Rio de Janeiro state. The new system, which will have a capacity of 150 tons/day, and which will use old corrugated containers (OCC) as its raw material, will supply furnish for the production of corrugating medium. The supplier will be Beloit Industrial. The company plans to install a second such system at the mill following the startup of the first system, which has been scheduled for February 1996, according to the supplier.
CMPC goes ahead with Laja rebuild
La Compania Manufacturera de Papeles y Cartones (CMPC) has now ordered a new cooking system, recovery boiler and a rebuild of the evaporation plant at its Laja chemical pulp mill, as part of a major modernization of the unit. The total cost of the work will reach around $130 million. Capacity is not expected to increase.
The new digester will use ITC (IsoThermal Cooking) technology supplied by Kvaerner Pulping and have a capacity of 700 tons/day of softwood pulp. The evaporation system will be designed to produce black liquor with a high dry-solids content, aimed at improving the performance of the recovery boiler, which will have a capacity of 1,000 tons/day of dry solids.
The Laja mill currently has a capacity of 245,000 tons/yr of pulp from two lines and 70,000 tons/yr of paper on two paper machines.
Meanwhile, CMPC is also planning to build a new $160-million folding boxboard mill with a capacity of 100,000 tons/yr for startup in 1997.
K-C to spin off its cigarette paper mills
Kimberly-Clark is to spin off its cigarette paper division, which the company claims is the world's largest producer of the grade, to its shareholders. The plan is aimed at allowing the company to concentrate on its wide-circulation products, including Huggies diapers and Kleenex household tissue products. The company explained that the tobacco business was imcompatible with its strategic direction as a producer of consumer and health-care products. The spin-off is expected to be completed in late 1995 or early 1996.
The spin-off will include the division's paper mills and other operations in the USA and France, which have a combined turnover of approximately $400 million. The mill locations include six in the USA and three in France.
Stone ups board capacity at 7 mills
Stone container is raising capacity by a total of 640 tons/day with "incremental" increases at seven of its 12 US container-board mills. The projects, which are due to be completed between December 1995 and October 1996, will cost a total of $61.6 million.
While players in the US corrugated board market are reportedly worried about a potential slowdown in demand while capacity is on the increase, an analyst with Salomon Brothers claimed Stone's project was not really a major capacity expansion. The main aim of the investment, according to the analyst, was to reassure customers worried about price rises and tight supplies.
Table 1 -- Stone Container: Mill-by-Mill Capacity Increaset1
PCA sells fluting mill
Packaging Corp. of America (PCA) has sold its 200-ton/day waste-based corrugating medium mill in Sylva, North Carolina, to Jackson Paper Manufacturing. The Sylva mill was part of Dixie Container, which PCA bought in 1990. Dixie also has six corrugating plants, which PCA will continues to run.
PCA claimed that the sale of the Sylva unit, which has one PM, would not affect its converting operations, as the loss of capacity would be offset by expansions at PCA's other containerboard mills. The company pointed out that it is currently raising the capacity of PM 2 at its Counce, Tennessee, linerboard mill from 975 tons/day to 1,200 tons/day with a $73-million modernization project.
The rebuild includes two new Sym-Flo T hydraulic headboxes, a top fourdrinier, an LNP press and a Sym-Belt shoe press, to be supplied by Valmet. Beloit will also carry out a rebuild of the drying section. Startup is scheduled for March 1996. The machine will run at 853 m/min to produce linerboard in a basis weight range of 160-205g/m2.
Abitibi-Price cuts pulp costs with TMP lines
Abitibi-Price is to install new thermomechanical pulp lines at its groundwood paper mills in Iroquois Falls, Ontario, and Alma, Quebec. The projects, which will cost a total of C$242 million ($180 million), will replace groundwood and sulfite pulp lines.
One of the main benefits of the investment will be to reduce pulp costs by C$87/ton at the Iroquoi Falls mill and C$80/ton at the Alma unit, Abitibi explained. Papermaking capacity will not be increased at the mills. Alma has a capacity of 250,000 tons/yr of newsprint and directory paper, and Iroquois has around 280,000 tons/yr of newsprint and groundwood specialties.
The detailed engineering for the two-line plant to be installed at Iroquois Falls will be carried out by NLK Consultants. The unit will have a capacity of 800 bone dry tons/day. The plants at both mills are scheduled to start up in the third quarter of 1996.
Smurfit left alone in race for Limousin
Following the approval by the French stock exchange authorities of the bid made by Smurfit for Papeteries du Limousin, Emin-Leydier has now stated that it will not raise its own offer. Smurfit bid FF 500/share in cash for Limousin, valuing the company at FF 452 million (around $93 million). Emin-Leydier's offer was FF 450/share.
Limousin's board of directors has unanimously approved Smurfit's bid, and shareholders with a combined stake of over 47% have irrevocably committed their shares to the offer and to any higher offer which Smurfit might make. The commitments would not apply if Smurfit chose not to improve on a higher counter-offer. Smurfit's current bid is conditional on it receiving 75% plus one of the share capital in Limousin.
STONE CONTAINER: MILL-BY-MILL CAPACITY INCREASE
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