Sappi has announced a number of projects which include capacity expansions in Europe and the US. They aim at increasing capacities for packaging and specialty paper at different facilities.
Sappi plans to raise capacities for packaging and specialty papers and on the other hand reduce capacities in the coated graphic paper segment. The different measures are to be implemented during the next three years, from 2017 to 2019. About $140m are to be spent on the measures in Europe and another $165m on those in the US.
As one of the projects, Sappi intends to convert its Maastricht plant in the Netherlands to a solid bleached board facility. The company expects that the solid bleached board business at the site will grow to 150,000 tpy in the next three years.The displaced graphic paper volumes would be assigned to other mills, Sappi said.
Sappi furthermore announced it would expand lightweight packaging and specialty papers capacity at its German Alfeld site by 10,000 tpy. The company also said that equipment would be upgraded and efficiency improved at its plants in Alfeld and Ehingen in Germany as well as in Lanaken, Belgium and Maastricht.
In addition, PM 8 at the Lanaken site will progressively transition to coated woodfree paper production over the next three years, according to Sappi. The measure was in line with the expected decline in the coated mechanical market, said the company. By 2020, Sappi wants to reduce coated graphic paper capacities by about 200,000 tpy.
In the US, Sappi will upgrade PM 1 at the Somerset mill. The project is set to increase overall capacity of the mill by 180,000 tpy and is expected to be completed in 2018. The company produces coated freesheet papers, grease-proof packaging papers and bleached chemical pulp at the site.