Sappi Confirms Expansion Plans for Dissolving Wood Pulp Capacity
(Johannesburg, Dec. 15, 2017) Sappi Limited has confirmed plans and ongoing projects to significantly increase dissolving wood pulp (DWP) capacity by 2020. In particular, Sappi has started preparatory work for the potential expansion of its Saiccor DWP Mill in South Africa to ensure that the company would be in a position to increase the mill’s capacity by up to 250,000 tons per year (tpy) to meet strong projected demand growth.
Currently, the Saiccor Mill has the capacity to produce approximately 800,000 tons of elemental chlorine free (ECF) dissolving wood pulp per year, mostly for the export market.
Building on the previously announced debottlenecking investments which will increase the Saiccor Mill capacity by 10,000 tpy by the end of 2018, work has also started at increasing the chipping capacity and modernizing the Saiccor Mill wood yard. The new equipment for the wood yard is scheduled to be delivered and installed at the end of 2018, with start-up planned for January 2019. The wood yard investments will result in cost, quality, environmental and efficiency benefits to the Saiccor Mill and is also a major step towards preparing the Saiccor to expand by a further 250,000 tpy.
Sappi is also busy with the preparatory work to enable it to initiate the pre-requisite environmental impact assessment process to study potential impacts, gather community input and model new technology benefits of the proposed 250,000 tpy expansion, which would increase the Saiccor Mill’s total capacity to over 1 million tpy.
As previously announced, Sappi is also in the process of expanding its dissolving wood pulp capacity at its Ngodwana Mill (South Africa) by 50,000 tpy through debottlenecking projects. This work is scheduled for completion by August 2018. Currently, the Ngodwana Mill has the capacity to produce 330,000 tons of paper pulp for its own consumption, 210,000 tons of dissolving wood pulp and 380,000 tons of paper (newsprint and kraft linerboard used for packaging).
At Sappi’s Cloquet Mill in Minnesota (USA), the company is completing a study regarding the expansion of pulping capacity within our existing permit limits, maintaining our ability to make either DWP or Kraft pulp. Sappi foresees such an expansion would have the capacity to increase DWP production by around 30,000 tpy and could be brought on line by mid-2019. Currently, the Cloquet Mill has the annual capacity to produce 330,000 metric tons of coated woodfree paper and 330,000 metric tons of dissolving wood pulp.
A global leader in paper, paper pulp and dissolving wood pulp solutions, Sappi Limited is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing operations on three continents, in seven countries (seven mills in Europe, three mills in America and four mills in South Africa). To learn more, please visit: www.sappi.com (Source: Sappi Limited)
Cover Image: Saiccor DWP Mill in South Africa