Sappi Limited has approved investments of some EUR 25m for mill upgrades in Europe during the course of 2016. Sappi Lanaken Mill will improve the performance of its paper machine 7 (PM7) by installing a state-of-the-art film-press coater, and Sappi Kirkniemi Mill will undergo a variety of modifications to its paper machine 3 (PM3) to increase energy efficiency and further improve quality consistency. All work will be completed by the end of calendar year 2016. “These investments support our continued drive for efficiency and profitability,” commented Berry Wiersum, CEO Sappi Europe. “We are focused on the future and on continuous improvement, seizing opportunities where they make most sense.” In 2013, Sappi Europe announced its intention to make significant investments (EUR 56m) in its Kirkniemi Mill over the coming years. The decision to build a new power plant was key to supporting future operations , safeguarding the competitiveness of the mill, and backing the company’s drive for cost leadership. The new plant opened ahead of schedule in September 2015.
As part of this new investment in Kirkniemi Mill, PM3 will get a new shoe press for more effective drying as well as modifications to the headbox. Further improvements will include a dilution controlled head box to ensure good runnability, especially on the base paper machine. The investment will increase energy efficiency on PM3 and will promote PM3´s cost competitiveness. The new equipment will further enhance quality consistency through better basis weight and moisture profiles. At Lanaken Mill, the gate-roll coater on PM7 will be replaced with a state-of-the-art film-press coater. With additional adaptations to the drying system and coating preparation, the rebuild paves the way for the first coating to have more weight. The investment will enable PM7 to produce the entire portfolio of grades – without compromising on web profile, coating coverage and paper properties.