Pulp-Paperworld.com / European News

Sappi Europe is pleased to announce that it has signed a collaboration agreement with HP Indigo, as part of HP Indigo’s Alliance One programme. The alliance underlines both companies’ continued commitment to print media as the leading force in wood free coated paper and digital imaging technologies respectively.  The collaboration will cover commercial, research & development and market related topics with multiple contacts being established as part of the co-development  between the two companies.

sappi logoSappi’s flagship Magno and GalerieArt products have been certified for use on HP Indigo presses, providing unrivalled global availability of certified paper for use on the HP Indigo installed base.

Marco Eikelenboom VP Sales & Marketing at Sappi Europe commented:

“As market leader in coated graphical papers, our Sappi Europe Alliance One collaboration with HP Indigo is a logical component in our mission to secure the attractiveness of printed media within the media mix. Only such true relationships can safeguard the required drive for product innovation, which is exhibited in our certified media portfolio as part of the Magno, GalerieArt and EuroArt families. We’re looking forward to working together with HP Indigo & the other Alliance One media members on the sustainable success of printed media”.

Alon Bar-Shany, HP Indigo’s General Manager completed:

“Sappi and HP Indigo have worked together for years to help our joint customers grow profitably. It is very exciting to take our relationship to the next level I look forward to working together and bring the Sappi quality and capabilities to our customers.”

About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 8 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 18 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

Published in European News

ABB will provide Sappi’s Vulindlela project with automation, electrification and instrumentation to futureproof operations

Sappi, the world’s largest producer of dissolving wood pulp, has chosen digital technology leader ABB to supply engineering, procurement and construction for the electrical, control and instrumentation portion of their project Vulindlela. The project is an ambitious plan to increase mill production by approximately 14 percent while reducing the pulp mill’s environmental impact. Due for completion in the winter of 2020, the project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all electrical and automation equipment at Sappi’s Saiccor Mill located in Umkomaas, South Africa.

“Our ability to deliver a complete, multi-faceted solution, centered around a collaborative automation platform that supports the optimization of the entire production process, was key to securing this flagship order,” said John Manuell, Local Business Line Manager for South Africa, ABB Process Industries. “We look forward to helping Sappi reduce its environmental impact with safe processes and equipment, as well as assisting in realizing significant production gains.”

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Based on the ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS), the automation solution is the first pulp and paper project to use the single channel, Ethernet-based Select IO, which enables the decoupling of project tasks. This can lead to a significant reduction in commissioning time and helps ensure on-time, on-budget project execution.

Additionally, the solution is complemented with software tools including Field Information Manager to help manage smart field devices and mobile workplaces that will give operators and production staff access to plant information from anywhere in the mill.  

“A history of working successfully with ABB gave us full confidence in their ability to provide a complete solution that will help futureproof our operations,” said Wayne Weston, Vulindlela Project Director, Sappi. “As world leaders in dissolving wood pulp, we welcome this pioneering, integrated solution that will help us achieve our Project Vulindlela goals.”

Other ABB Ability™ digital offerings, such as Asset Management, Energy Management, Safety systems and Manufacturing Operations Management will help provide total visibility into, orchestration and control of Sappi Saiccor’s entire operation.  In addition to the automation platform, the scope includes the extension of the 132kV distribution infrastructure, the medium voltage reticulation and the process electrification.

Sappi Limited is a global leader in paper, paper pulp and dissolving wood pulp solutions, Sappi Limited (SAP - listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing operations on three continents, in seven countries (nine mills in Europe, three mills in America and four mills in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB is today a leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by its common ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s market leading Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.

Published in European News

Sappi has appointed Kouris Kalligas as Head of Digital Transformation for Sappi Europe. Kouris started his career in Sappi in 2008 as a management trainee and then became the Supply Chain Service Manager for Sappi Europe. He then spent 5 years in Silicon Valley navigating the world of Venture Capitalists, gaining first-hand experience of running a tech start-up. 

sappi logoBerry Wiersum, Sappi Europe’s CEO comments on three reasons as to why Sappi is ready for a Digital Transformation. ‘’One is driven by the market we operate in, one is driven by its own workforce, and the third one is driven by the desire to not only be good, but great.

  1. The market Sappi operates in is a tough one. But over the last few years  we have done much to start winning in the graphics market  and we have  made big strides  to grow in our  Packaging & Specialities  business. . . However, markets continue to change and the digital revolution requires us to offer our customers the solutions they will be looking for in the future.
  1. Sappi’s  workforce is ready to embrace new initiatives and digital solutions offer a new platform for innovation and efficiency. They give our workforce the opportunity to contribute to improving Sappi and make the company ready for the future.
  1. In its long history Sappi has constantly adapted and transformed to meet the requirements of its customers and changing markets, so it is logical for us to invest in new technology as it’s developed. We firmly believe that Digital Transformation will play a positive role in the future dynamism of the company.”

In the coming years, Sappi aims to launch internal initiatives with the goal to empower its workforce with new methods & tools to do business, introduce a more connected experience with customers and seek partnerships across the value chain. 

Sappi has already launched Octoboost, a technology startup whose core mission is to develop innovative digital solutions for the print industry. Sappi is also implementing

transformative initiatives in Sales, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing to take advantage of new technologies and applications in the world of Industry 4.0.

Kouris will play a key role in the navigating Sappi’s journey of digital transformation in the years ahead.

About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 8 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 18 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

Published in European News

Sappi and PerfectPattern signed a global strategic alliance in an effort to roll-out AI driven dynamic print planning and ganging technology to print businesses worldwide.

The partnership aims to enable offset and digital printers the opportunity to make significant savings in paper waste, plate consumption and production time. The SaaS-based offer utilises PerfectPattern´s sPrint One technology.

OctoBoost is Sappi´s internal startup which develops innovative digital solutions for the print industry, well in-line with Sappi´s commitment to improve printers´ business and ultimately make print more efficient, attractive and sustainable.

Perfect Pattern GmbH is a Munich based company which creates industrial Artificial Intelligence solutions, using Reinforcement Learning, intelligent prediction models and other AI technologies to control and optimize industrial production processes.

2019 07 08 115906

Picture from left to right:

  • Robert Meissner, Perfect Pattern Founder and COO
  • Fabian Rüchardt, Perfect Pattern CEO
  • Flavio Froehli, Sappi Europe - Director Business Strategy & Development
  • Anna Oñate, Sappi Europe -  Intrapreneur, OctoBoost CEO & Co-founder

Sappi´s first digital product, OctoBoost, was launched in October 2018 in the DACH region and further rolled out to the Benelux and Nordic markets this year. Based on the e-commerce platform Magento and sPrint One it combines future-proof online print with powerful dynamic planning and ganging technology. It also provides insightful metrics through print intelligence dashboards.

For those printers who are already advanced in the online print journey and need no web-to-print solution, Sappi has launched OctoSprint: The technology will be distributed exclusively by Sappi & the OctoBoost team through a flexible SaaS model.

Significant savings, higher productivity

The technology is compatible with all digital and offset printing machinery. It has proven to reduce paper waste (by up to 50%), plate consumption (by up to 40%) and increase print capacity (by up to 22%), while automating pre-press and planning efforts. Average net savings are up to 5% of a print house´s revenue. Print businesses can find out concrete savings potentials through an OctoDiagnosis simulation on www.octoboost.com.

“Sappi and PerfectPattern´s enhanced partnership is a natural match”, says

Anna Oñate, CEO and Co-Founder of OctoBoost. “Both companies are passionate about print with the ambition of transforming the industry through further co-developing print automation and efficiency technologies.”

“Manufacturing companies in all industries need to optimize their competitiveness – and Artificial Intelligence can unlock significant potential for value creation in industrial production”, says Fabian Rüchardt, CEO of PerfectPattern. “We are very pleased to extend our partnership with Sappi OctoBoost to enable the printing industry to take advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence for their business in an straightforward manner.”

About PerfectPattern

PerfectPattern was established in 2012 as a technology and software company based in Munich. The team creates software solutions that combine unique, powerful algorithms for process optimization with artificial intelligence. The solutions enable the fully automatic planning of virtually any production process in real time, making the “smart factory” a reality. The three key objectives are flexibility, punctuality and the reduction of production costs.

PerfectPattern has developed two revolutionary KI technologies, PYTHIA and CORTEX. PYTHIA is a platform product for pattern recognition, time series prediction and anomaly detection in real-time data streams. Through the innovative combination of methods from deep learning, stochastic and quantum field theory, it unsupervised finds even the most hidden patterns. CORTEX is a decision making technology that reaches decisions based on the global objective functions through reinforcement learning. CORTEX is the basis of sPrint One.

Further information is available at www.perfectpattern.de, where you will also find a growing glossary of artificial intelligence terms

About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 8 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 18 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

Published in European News

Sappi’s Lanaken mill in Belgium has recently undergone a two month long rebuild on its PM8. As of June, 12th 2019 the PM now has the ability to produce woodfree coated paper in addition to light weight coated paper. 

sappi logoAfter a scheduled ramp-up and optimization this widened product capacity will provide excellent flexibility. Sappi will use this flexibility to meet the market demands.

About Sappi
Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 8 of our 10 mills in Europe.

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 18 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com

Published in European News

Good ideas become great solutions when they address problems in a novel way and yield tangible results. In line with the 2018 Global Technical Innovation Awards’ theme, ‘Thinking together’, the winning team from Sappi Maastricht Mill collaborated to bring about a packaging machine improvement that will impact our bottom line.

From left: Gary Bowles (Group Head Technology), Steve Binnie (CEO Sappi Limited), Tjerk Boersma (member of the Global TIA winning team) Berry Wiersum (CEO Sappi Europe) and Jos Daniels (member of Global TIA winning team).From left: Gary Bowles (Group Head Technology), Steve Binnie (CEO Sappi Limited), Tjerk Boersma (member of the Global TIA winning team) Berry Wiersum (CEO Sappi Europe) and Jos Daniels (member of Global TIA winning team).

At the global awards ceremony held in Venice on 06 May 2019, Multilayer Headbox project team - Tjerk Boersma, Jos Daniels, Rob de Koning, Jean Peerlings and Peter Pijpers - were named the 2018 winners for designing a completely new ‘three layers in one headbox’ for paper board packaging that combines good printability with high bulk and good creasability.

This step-change technology was successfully applied to the rebuild of PM6, making Maastricht Mill the only producer worldwide to use this novel concept for its packaging product range. An added benefit is that it opens the possibility to develop other grades.

“With innovation must come delivery and successful management of concepts – from idea generation through to completion and a meaningful impact on our profitability,” said Sappi CEO Steve Binnie. He stressed that innovation is at the heart of Sappi’s strategy. No growth is possible without innovation. He reminded the audience that for Sappi, innovation is not an end in itself, but rather it must provide a sustainable, competitive advantage that will make a significant difference. He praised the excellent collaboration which the projects displayed, and encouraged even closer collaboration between R&D, Sales and Marketing, HR and all other functions.

Global TIA finalists

The powerful combination of innovative thinking, teamwork and turning a good idea into a workable solution, also led to success among our regional Global TIA finalists.

In Sappi North America, the team from Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Center and the SSA Technology Centre – Lester Li, Dan Menor, Nelson Sefara and Brad Yliniemi – developed a near-infrared technique to reduce pulp transition waste at Cloquet Mill.

From left: Mark Gardner (CEO Sappi North America), Dan Menor (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Centre and the SSA Technology Centre), Nelson Sefara (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Centre and the SSA Technology Centre), Brad Yliniemi (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Centre and the SSA Technology Centre). Not pictured: Lester Li.From left: Mark Gardner (CEO Sappi North America), Dan Menor (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Centre and the SSA Technology Centre), Nelson Sefara (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Centre and the SSA Technology Centre), Brad Yliniemi (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Cloquet Mill, the SNA Technology Centre and the SSA Technology Centre). Not pictured: Lester Li.

In South Africa, regional winning team from Tugela Mill - Ricky Singh and Ernst Vos - managed to increase neutral sulphite semi-chemical (NSSC) digester capacity to meet the growing demand for the mill’s Ultraflute product.

From left: Alex Thiel (CEO Sappi Southern Africa), Ernst Vos (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Tugela Mill) and Ricky Singh (member of the Global TIA finalist team – Tugela Mill).

“The global marketplace – together with existing and future customers – makes it an absolute necessity to drive innovation that creates value and continued sustainability,” said Gary Bowles, Group Head Technology. “The finalists for 2018 reflect the breadth of topics that innovation covers at Sappi. The 2018 TIA finalists have contributed to these goals by developing products and processes with exceptional qualities in line with our values. Well done and thank you for contributing to Sappi’s success.” He also indicated that a pilot project will be launched to expand the drive for innovation in Sappi beyond technical innovation, to ensure that we capture even more opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

Other TIA finalists in each of the regions were:

Europe

  • The Material flow forecast team from Gratkorn Mill - Franz Fleck, Walter Fulterer, Kadvael Le Boulch Rauno Timperi and Eric Zeyringer
  • The CTMP refiner segments team from Lanaken Mill – Jajal Alajdi El Idrissi and Frans Rondags

North America

  • The McCoy Gift Card team from Cloquet Mill and the SNA Technology Center – Barry Beyer, Nikki Colborn, Ken Jewett and Jeff Whittum
  • The Odin project team (fibre reductions on text weights) from Cloquet Mill and the SNA Technology Center - Jessica Adams, Brad Browers, Joe Fernandez, Raynelle Meseroll and Jeff Whittum

South Africa

  • Project Rufus and Ngodwana Mill and the SSA Technology Centre – Berdine Coetzee, Hunphrey Landman, Rendani Madula, Sanet Minnaar and Johann Wauts
  • The PM2 project improvements team from Tugela Mill – JP Cillie, Devan Perumal and Atish Singh
Published in European News

Specified by brand owners seeking a unique visual and haptic solution for their communications, Heaven 42 was initially launched in 2007 and is now being produced by Sappi through its sustainable manufacturing platform in Europe.

sappi logoAs the owner of the Heaven 42 brand IGEPA wanted to ensure the long term availability and quality standards of the product and Sappi, as the leading producer of fine paper, was able to meet these stringent requirements and ensure continuity of supply.

Heaven 42 absolute white offers a 155 CIE whiteness enabling vibrant colour reproduction combined with the distinctive haptic of a soft-mat surface in basis weights 115g/m2 to 400g/m2.

Flavio Froehli, Sales Director at Sappi said: ‘’Sappi and IGEPA have a long and successful partnership, we are looking forward to supporting the brands future success by utilising Sappi’s leading manufacturing and service platform’’.

About Sappi

Sappi Europe SA 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 Europe is recognised for innovation and quality. Its graphic paper brands include Magno, Quatro, Vantage, Royal, Galerie and GalerieArt ranges. Algro®, Leine®, Parade®, Fusion® and Atelier™ are the brands for innovative solutions of speciality papers and boards.

Sappi papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification and EMAS registration for all our mills in the EU. Sappi European 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 Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in nine countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

Published in European News

At a special conference just organised as part of the Paper and Beyond 2018 event in Brussels, the first phase of the PROVIDES  project was officially completed. PROVIDES, which stands for ‘PROcesses for Value added fibres by Innovative Deep Eutectic Solvents’, is a research and innovation project within the Biobased Industries Initiative, with the goal of significantly reducing CO2 emissions in pulp and papermaking.

Sappi is an active participant in the project, thus supporting the pulp and paper industry’s technological transition towards meeting its climate objectives.

2018 10 18 090152

The completion of the first phase was celebrated with the publication of a booklet describing the potential of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) for creating breakthrough innovations in the pulp and paper industry. The publication ‘Deep Eutectic Solvents in the paper industry’ can be downloaded here.

Revolutionising the industry

In November 2011, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) launched its vision for the sector in the next 35 years, concluding that breakthrough technologies would be needed to make the industry more sustainable. Specifically, it aims to achieve an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions and at the same time create 50% more value. The PROVIDES consortium shows that a revolutionary change is now possible. New, mild pulping technologies based on natural Deep Eutectic Solvents lead to a significantly more sustainable process that is energy-, cost- and resource-effective, while producing much lower CO2 emissions.

The total DES concept

Deep Eutectic Solvents are nature-based, renewable, biodegradable, low-volatile and cost-effective. The overall objective of the DES concept is to achieve a 40% reduction of energy use and an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions in pulp and papermaking. The DES concept will enable the industry to obtain a radically new, sustainable and techno-economically feasible pulping technology, while also enabling the selective recovery of dissolved components. In addition, DESs can be regenerated and recycled, ensuring economical use of resources. This technological innovation produces high-quality cellulose fibres for papermaking, while simultaneously producing high-quality lignin and hemicellulose fractions for a variety of high-volume applications.

Results and achievements

In the first phase of the PROVIDES project, more than one hundred new DESs were developed. Of these, two have been further developed as successful delignifying agents. The project proved that the entire DES pulping process can be run at operational costs similar to those kraft pulping, and that the resulting cellulose fibres have good tensile strength and extreme internal bond strength. In addition, it was proven that DES delignification results in 95% lignin removal, and that the lignin can be successfully recovered and the DES regenerated.

Next steps

In the coming years, the pulping part of the DES research cluster, coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT), will continue to conduct further applied research towards the realisation of a DES pulping pilot and demo, ultimately leading to commercial implementation in 2030.

Published in European News

Building on its reputation for quality, service and responsibility, Sappi has just moved to strengthen its leadership in the dissolving wood pulp (DWP) market with the launch of the Sappi Verve brand.

Demand for DWP continues to grow as consumer preference increases for products made from renewable, sustainably sourced and processed woodfibre. As a significant producer of DWP over the past decades, Sappi today produces close to 1.4m tons per annum, enjoying a significant 16% share of the DWP market. Sappi continues to invest to ensure customers are able to meet demands for sustainably grown and responsibly processed dissolving wood pulp. 

2018 10 05 103251Commenting on the launch of the Sappi Verve brand, Steve Binnie, Sappi Limited CEO said: “Our products and service offering within the dissolving pulp market are highly valued and we remain an industry leader in this space. Verve gives recognition to this enviable reputation and the value we offer this market. Brands, including industrial business-to-business brands carry tremendous value, not just to customers but to the whole value chain. Sappi Verve represents our commitment to the entire value chain from brand owners through to the cellulosic fibre producers; our commitment to producing a natural fibre sourced from sustainably managed forests. As a responsible corporate citizen it is a commitment to our ethos of sustainability within the context of people, planet and prosperity.”

The majority of dissolving wood pulp is consumed in the viscose industry where pulp is converted through the value chain to yarn and ultimately textiles providing naturally soft, breathable fabrics which is smooth to the touch, hold colour well and drape beautifully. DWP cellulosic fibre is also used for a myriad of household, industrial and pharmaceutical applications including for tablets, personal hygiene, cellophane, washing sponges etc. 

In the past, DWP sold by Sappi was unbranded and industry generic names were used as product names. This did not reflect the specific benefits which has always differentiated Sappi’s DWP. The new Sappi Verve brand creates a very specific identity within the DWP market.

Bernhard Riegler VP Marketing for Sappi’s dissolving wood pulp explains: “At Sappi we have always known there is something special to our dissolving wood pulp products. We have consistent, outstanding quality products, supported by dedicated customer service, all underpinned by a strong sustainability story.  As a fibre produced from natural and renewable resources, Verve provides the value chain with a sustainable choice not only within the broader textile sphere which includes cotton and polyester, but as a preferred sustainable choice within the dissolving wood pulp market.”

Riegler continues: “Committing to a brand such as Sappi Verve means committing to the broader values it denotes, not only the product attributes but also the broader commitments and values that Sappi as the parent brand stands for. Consumers are becoming more active in making the right choices to contribute toward a tomorrow that is better than today. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important within a brand promise. Sustainability that uplifts people, builds communities, generates economic value and secures the environment.  Sappi Verve represents enthusiasm, life, vigour and energy. Sappi Verve is the sustainable choice and our way of making tomorrow better than today.”

Binnie concludes: “Sappi Verve aligns perfectly with our goals as a business – diverse, sustainable, committed to growth and adding value to our customers, communities and investors. Sappi Verve meets the needs of a discerning, fast-growing and thriving world.”

About Sappi

A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing facilities on three continents, in nine countries (ten operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable dissolving wood pulp, paper (speciality, packaging and graphic), paper pulp, and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: flexible packaging, label, release liner, containerboard and fluting, coated fine papers, casting release papers and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers. These products serve the fashion, FMCG and industrial sectors. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

www.sappi.com

Published in European News

Sappi has just announced further progress in the development of its biorefinery capacity with the confirmation that it will construct a demonstration plant to further scale up its novel Xylex® technology for the production of Xylitol and Furfural. The plant will be located adjacent to the existing sugars and lignin extraction plant at Ngodwana Mill. It should be operational early in 2019. Pending successful results and further approvals it is anticipated that Sappi may construct commercial Xylitol and Furfural plants adjacent to our mills in the USA and South Africa.

sappi logoCommenting on the decision Sappi CEO Steve Binnie said: "We are very happy with the progress being made by our biorefinery team, as well as with the value we are deriving from the acquisition and integration last year of the key biorefinery technologies and expert staff from Plaxica. Biomaterials and biochemicals are integral to Sappi’s strategy of extracting maximum value from wood fibre, our natural and renewable resource. We have taken a significant step towards generating meaningful revenue from this new business segment."

Louis Kruyshaar, EVP for Sappi Biotech, explained: "Sappi’s biorefinery plans are focused on building a sustainable, profitable business from the manufacture and sale of food ingredients, materials and chemical intermediates derived from the C5 sugars produced as a co-product of our dissolving wood pulp production, and from the lignin produced in our global pulp production."

The combination of Sappi’s operational excellence, the proposed co-location of the commercial plants at existing mill sites delivers strong integration synergies, and the cost advantages offered by Sappi’s scale and the Xylex® technology mean that Sappi will have a globally competitive cost base for sugars and xylitol and furfural production.

Turning to the products which the demonstration plant will provide a platform for, Kruyshaar said: "Xylitol is a high value sweetener with exciting growth prospects - it is a low-calorie sweetener which has positive dental properties and produces no insulin response, so is suitable for diabetics. Furfual is a versatile green industrial chemical derived from C5 sugars with a diverse range of derivatives".  

A quick overview of the development of Sappi’s sugars extraction capacity:

 In 2016 Sappi announced it would invest in demonstration capacity at its Ngodwana Mill in South Africa to extract hemicellulose sugars and lignin from its dissolving wood pulp (DWP) line for eventual beneficiation to higher value products

  • In 2017 this plant, built in partnership with Valmet, was commissioned. After operating for 12 months to demonstrate the extraction of C5 sugars from DWP production, the plant has exceeded all efficiency targets for cost, cycle time and yield.
  • Later in 2017 Sappi acquired the patented Xylex® technology for the hydrolysis and clean-up of these C5 sugars, as well as to produce a valuable lignin stream.
  • In April 2018, Sappi sanctioned a scale-up demonstration plant for the Xylex® technology to be located alongside the existing sugars plant at Ngodwana Mill. The plant will be commissioned in the first calendar quarter of 2019.
  • This plant will enable the demonstration of technologies for the production of Xylitol and Furfural.
  • Following successful commissioning of the Xylitol process, Sappi’s strategic intent is to enter the Xylitol value chain with a world-scale production plant.
  • As regards Furfural, sugars extraction from our DWP assets combined with our Xylex® and Furfural capabilities will allow Sappi to pursue various partnerships in the furan chemical value chain. The furan markets are showing strong market pull for new investments due to growth as well as replacing older and smaller unsustainable assets
Published in European News
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