Sappi Limited, the South African based leading global supplier of dissolving wood pulp (DWP), speciality and packaging papers, printing (graphic) papers and biomaterials has confirmed plans and ongoing projects to significantly increase DWP capacity by 2020. In particular, Sappi has started preparatory work for the potential expansion of its Saiccor DWP Mill to ensure that the company would be in a position to increase the mill’s capacity by up to 250,000tpa to meet strong projected demand growth.
Building on the previously announced debottlenecking investments which will increase the Saiccor Mill capacity by 10,000tpa by the end of 2018, work has also started at increasing the chipping capacity and modernising 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 Mill to expand by a further 250,000tpa.
Sappi is also busy with the preparatory work to enable it to initiate the pre-requisite EIA (environmental impact assessment) process to study potential impacts, gather community input and model new technology benefits of the proposed 250,000tpa expansion, which would increase the Saiccor Mill’s total capacity to over 1 million tpa.
The project has the potential to bring additional investments and jobs into the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa, increase foreign revenues for the country and further entrench South Africa as a global leader in forest products.
Sappi is also, as previously announced, in the process of expanding its dissolving wood pulp capacity at its Ngodwana Mill by 50,000tpa through debottlenecking projects. This work is scheduled for completion by August 2018.
At our Cloquet Mill, we are completing a study regarding the expansion of pulping capacity within our existing permit limits, maintaining our ability to make either DWP or Kraft pulp. It is envisaged that such an expansion would have the capacity to increase DWP production by around 30,000tpa and could be brought on line by mid-2019.
Collectively these current and planned investments demonstrate Sappi’s commitment to respond to strong customer demand for additional dissolving wood pulp volumes.
Further updates on Sappi’s expansion plans will follow during 2018.