Chief executives declare their strategic interest in supporting decarbonisation

C by 2050. During the recent annual

conference of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) in Brussels, chief executives outlined their plans to reduce the paper industry’s impact on climate change in a declaration handed to Clara De La Torre, deputy director- general of DG CLIMA and Timo Pesonen, director-general of DG

hief executives from the paper industry have pledged to help create a ‘climate-neutral’ Europe

GROW, along with other European Commission representatives. “With the help of the new

European Green Deal, we can reduce our impact on climate change while increasing [paper] production in Europe. Our industry has a strategic interest in being at the forefront of the decarbonisation efforts for 2050,” said Ignazio Capuano, incoming CEPI chairman and chief executive of Burgo group who is taking over from Karl-Henrik Sundström, chief executive of Stora Enso.

CEPI says that the industry has already guaranteed the sustainability of its raw materials, improved the performance of its processes and proven the climate friendliness of its products. The paper industry in Europe

is calling on policymakers to support its efforts by setting an appropriate legislative framework, with: • Improved market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy and clear framework conditions

for new bio-economy-related products • More support for the sustainable management of forests and recycling schemes with forest- based raw materials being made more easily available • A coherent, stable and predictable regulatory framework, with clear milestones for a cost- competitive energy transition, to promote and reward decarbonisation investments and to guarantee access to clean energy.

Pixelle agrees to buy two Verso speciality paper mills

One of North America’s largest speciality paper makers, Pixelle Specialty Solutions, is to buy two mills from Verso Corporation for US$400 million. The mills are at Stevens Point,

Wisconsin, and at Jay, Maine, and have a combined paper making capacity of about 660,000 tons a year. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

The Androscoggin mill at Jay

currently produces flexible packaging papers, release liner base, speciality labels, kraft papers and linerboard with a yearly capacity of 450,000 tons. Stevens Point makes coated

flexible packaging papers, release liner base, thermal papers, and other speciality labels with capacity of about 210,000 tons a year. Pixelle says that it will be the

largest speciality paper business in the US when the deal is completed, producing high- speed inkjet, machine glazed and machine finished papers, release liner, thermal base paper,

November/December 2019

The Androscoggin mill at Jay, Maine, one of two to be acquired from Verso by Pixelle

trade book paper, carbonless, greaseproof, and coated one-side speciality papers. The two mills being acquired will be added to the two already operated by Pixelle: the Chillicothe mill in Ohio and the Spring Grove mill in Pennsylvania. The four mills, three of which have pulp operations, will have a total of 12 paper making machines with capacity for more than one million tons a year. Other operations include a

converting facility in Fremont, Ohio and wood fibre sourcing operations in Maine, Maryland,

Ohio and West Virginia. Steven Klinger, an affiliate partner at private investment firm Lindsay Goldberg which created Pixelle in 2018, commented: “When we created Pixelle, we stated that we would leverage our differentiated, customised approach to manufacturing to help Pixelle build on its great reputation with customers and strengthen its positions in the speciality paper markets it serves. “Since then, we have made significant progress and we believe there are still many opportunities to continue to

drive growth and enhance our operations. Through the addition of these two mills, we are positioning Pixelle for the future and look forward to continuing to be the best supplier and partner for our customers.” At Verso, based in Miamisburg,

Ohio, co-chairman Gene Davis commented: “We have undergone a thorough and comprehensive strategic process and firmly believe that the sale of these two mills at the agreed terms and conditions is in the best interests of the company and our stockholders. We could not be more pleased by the efforts of the entire senior leadership team and of Les Lederer, our interim chief executive officer since April.” Adam St John has since been appointed chief executive of Verso and appointed as a member of its board. After the deal Verso will operate

paper mills at Duluth, Minnesota; Escanaba and Quinnesec in Michigan; and at Wisconsin Rapids in Wisconsin with combined capacity of 2.05 million tons.

Pulp Paper & Logistics

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