Sappi North America announced the approval of a $418 million capital project to convert Paper Machine No. 2 (a coated freesheet machine) at its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine, to increase its capacity and produce solid bleached sulfate board (SBS) products. The project will be funded from free cash flow.
“This move complements our long-term Thrive25 strategy, which focuses on growing our portfolio in packaging and specialty papers, pulp and biomaterials,” said Mike Haws, President and CEO of Sappi North America. “By investing in our business to pursue growing areas of demand, we can remain profitable and competitive in the global marketplace”
Demand for packaging and specialty papers in North America is particularly robust, especially since SBS is a more environmentally sustainable alternative to plastic packaging, and customers are actively seeking to increase their volumes with Sappi North America. SBS is used in premium packaging for cosmetics and perfume, health and beauty care, consumer electronics, confectionary, luxury drinks and more. Foodservice items such as plates, dishes and cups also use SBS as a sustainable alternative to plastic.
“Somerset’s existing world-class infrastructure and success in producing high quality SBS products, together with its talented workforce, make the mill an excellent and obvious choice for this investment,” said Haws. “Increasing our flexibility and expanding the paper mill’s capability and capacity will ensure that we continue to make superior products at Somerset for years to come.”
The planned project at the Somerset Mill in Maine is slated to come online early in 2025.
The Somerset Mill has three paper machines (PM 1, PM 2, and PM 3) and the capacity to produce 970,000 metric tons per year of coated woodfree paper and 525,000 metric tons of bleached chemical pulp for its own consumption and as market pulp.
Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. Its four diversified businesses — high-quality Graphic Papers, Dissolving Pulp, Packaging, and Specialty Papers — deliver premium products and services with consistent quality and reliability.
To learn more, visit: www.sappi.com.
SOURCE: Sappi North America, Inc.