Sappi Ltd., Johannesburg, South Africa, a global producer and supplier of diversified wood fiber products, yesterday (Feb.8, 2017) announced the approval of a range of projects in Europe and the U.S, including the approval of a $165 million capital project to expand Sappi North America's manufacturing capabilities and flexibility to include a variety of consumer packaging products. This investment on PM No. 1 at its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine, establishes a strong platform for growth in paper-based packaging while maintaining Sappi's leadership position in the graphic paper market, increasing annual production capacity at this mill to almost one million tons per annum.
"This move complements our long term 2020Vision strategy, which seeks opportunities to substantially increase our group EBITDA," said Steve Binnie, CEO of Sappi Limited. "By investing in our business to pursue growing areas of demand, we can remain profitable and competitive in the global marketplace."
Mark Gardner, president and CEO of Sappi North America, added that "Somerset's existing world class infrastructure, together with its talented workforce and access to high quality fiber, makes the mill an excellent and obvious choice for this investment. Increasing our flexibility and expanding the paper mill's capability and capacity will ensure that we continue to make superior products at Somerset for years to come."
The planned project at the Somerset Mill in Maine is slated to come online early in 2018.
Sappi Ltd. is a global company focused on dissolving wood pulp, paper pulp, and paper-based solutions to its direct and indirect customer base in more than 160 countries around the world. The company has more than 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and group sales of $6 billion. Sappi North America operates four diversified businesses – coated printing papers, specialized cellulose, release papers, and specialty packaging – and is a leading producer of specialized cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods.