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Sonoco Welcomes Robert C. Tiede as President and CEO

Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced today the start of Robert C. Tiede’s tenure as the new President and CEO of Sonoco. Tiede replaces the retiring Jack Sanders, who served as President and CEO since 2013. Tiede will be the ninth CEO of the 119-year-old company.

“It’s humbling, and truly an honor to have the opportunity to lead such a storied company, with a legacy going back more than a century,” said Tiede. “This is an exciting time for Sonoco as we continue to evolve our portfolio and geographic footprint in ways that help us serve our purpose, Better Packaging. Better Life., while delivering value to our shareholders, our customers and our teammates.”

Prior to being named CEO, Rob served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Sonoco, with global leadership, sales and operating responsibility for all of the Company’s diversified consumer, industrial and protective packaging businesses.

“Rob has made significant contributions to Sonoco over the past fourteen years, especially as we have worked to expand our consumer packaging business,” said Board Chairman Harris DeLoach. “We look forward to Rob’s leadership as we continue to build upon our existing foundation, while charting new courses for growth.”

Since joining Sonoco in 2004, Tiede has led all of Sonoco’s global consumer-related businesses, including Rigid Paper Containers, Flexible Packaging, Plastics and Display and Packaging. Before becoming Executive Vice President and COO, Tiede served as Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Packaging and Services, responsible for the Company’s Corporate Customer program as well as its Rigid Plastics, Flexibles and Display and Packaging businesses. Tiede was named to that position in December 2012. During his tenure at Sonoco, the Company’s consumer-related businesses have increased sales by approximately 90 percent and operating profits by 120 percent, as the Company’s consumer growth strategy developed broader global packaging and services capabilities.

Tiede joined Sonoco as president of Sonoco CorrFlex with the 2004 acquisition of CorrFlex Graphics’ point-of-purchase merchandising display and supply chain management business. In 2006, Tiede assumed responsibility for Sonoco’s global packaging services business, and in 2007 he was named division vice president and general manager of the Company’s Flexible Packaging division. Prior to joining Sonoco, Tiede worked in private equity as president of Bostic Packaging/CorrFlex from 2000 to 2004 and president of Sterling International from 1998 to 2000. He also served as Executive Vice President of operations for Graphic Packaging International, Inc.’s flexible packaging division from 1994 to 1998.

Tiede is active in industry and community organizations and is the outgoing chairman of the Flexible Packaging Association and the chairman of the Hartsville United Way. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tiede became a U.S. citizen in 2013. He and his wife, Val, maintain a home in Hartsville, S.C. and have three grown children.

2018-04-04  READ MORE...
PulPaper - the top international event for the forest industry takes place in Helsinki

PulPaper is the leading international event in the forest industry’s calendar. It will be held in Helsinki on 29–31 May 2018. The event is a global meeting place where forest industry professionals from around the world will find out about innovations, learn new things and network. PulPaper includes an exhibition, a high-quality conference programme, an evening programme and the opportunity to visit a Finnish mill.

PulPaper uniquely brings together different fields in the forest industry, as two other events will also be held at the same time : PacTec, a packaging industry event, and the new Wood & Bioenergy event for the energy and chemical industries. The combined events provide a great opportunity to meet many operators from different industries. No comparable event is held anywhere else in the world.

The event was last held in 2014, when it attracted visitors from 70 countries. Now, PulPaper will bring the world’s best experts together to explore digitalisation, biorefinery development and breakthrough innovations. The theme of the event is “Visit tomorrow today.” This refers to new innovations and technologies that the forest industry can harness to evolve in the digitalising world, while respecting the environment.

Approximately 400 companies will participate in the exhibition and around 10,000 visitors are expected. PulPaper stand sales are proceeding briskly and the industry’s market leaders have confirmed their participation along with the major equipment and service providers in the business and the leading forestry companies. Digitalisation and innovations will be showcased at seminars and stands presenting the latest practical applications to customers. In addition, the new products and services of tomorrow will be showcased in a themed area for start-ups.

PulPaper looks to the future of the forest industry through innovations

PulPaper will feature a varied seminar programme on three days. The Business Forum and 3D Printing of Biomaterials seminars will be held on Tuesday, 29 May. Business Forum is a new seminar for company management, focusing on themes ranging from consumer habits to sustainable development and from innovations to changes in management.

The two-day PulPaper Conference will be held from 30 to 31 May. More than 40 experts, researchers and company representatives from the Nordic countries, Japan, North America, and other parts of the world will speak at the seminar. The conference will consist of keynote speeches for all participants and a selection of themed conference programmes.

The PulPaper Conference keynote speaker will be Maria Strömme, Professor of Nanotechnology at Uppsala University, Sweden, who will envision innovative products of the future. The second keynote speech will be given by Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group, Finland. He will describe how the new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski integrates the traditional pulp industry with the manufacture of new bioproducts.

The other themes of the conference include breakthrough innovations in the industry, biorefinery development, changes in consumer behaviour and the opportunities ushered in by digitalisation. Researchers will present current research results and envision future business opportunities. Practical examples of new operating methods from companies bring a concrete aspect to the conference.

At the end of PulPaper, visitors can acquaint themselves with pioneering companies in the business. Visits to Metsä Group’s new Äänekoski bioproduct mill and Kotkamills’ board mill will be organised on 31 May and 1 June.

Facts and figures

Forest industry products account for about 20 per cent of Finnish exports, and the industry is important to the country’s success. The forest industry is a major employer, particularly in rural regions – it employs about 41,000 people directly and around 140,000 indirectly. Finland has 49 paper and pulp mills, and more than 200 industrial sawmills, panel factories and other companies manufacturing wood products. The current products will serve as the basis of business in the years ahead, too, as next-generation paper, packaging and wood products are developed continuously. In addition, new bioeconomy products and business functions are being developed alongside the current products. The bioeconomy will create new companies, jobs and prosperity.

2018-04-04  READ MORE...
Kristina Enander new Business Area President Pulp

Kristina Enander, presently manager of SCA’s Ortviken paper mill, has been appointed new Business Area President Pulp.

SCA’s Business Area Pulp comprise the Östrand pulp mill in Timrå, Sweden. One of Sweden’s largest industrial investments ever is about to be concluded and put on stream. The extended pulp mill will have a capacity of one million tonnes of pulp per annum and will be the biggest production line for bleached softwood kraft pulp in the world.

Kristina Enander takes on her new position as of November 1, 2018. She succeeds Åke Westberg, who will retire from SCA.

2018-04-04  READ MORE...
Valmet and RÜTGERS Resins B.V. sign 12-year automation service agreement

The latest achievement in Valmet’s four-decade history of cooperation with RÜTGERS Resins B.V. in the Netherlands is a 12-year service agreement covering maintenance and support for Valmet DNA automation system. Replacing annual service contracts that started with delivery of the first Valmet automation system delivered in the 1980s, the new long-term service agreement includes on-call, preventive and corrective maintenance, server audits, software and hardware upgrades.

"With major shutdowns typically only every two to four years in the chemical industry, the agreement is a win-win relationship with well-planned scheduling not only improving reliability but also long term system performance," says Henk ten Kate, Engineering Manager, Automation, Valmet.

"Valmet proved itself as partner in business again and we are looking forward to work with Valmet for at least the contracted the next decade and two years," says Marco Alderlieste, Financial Manager at RÜTGERS Resins BV.

Ensuring maximum system availability and uptime

Valmet service agreements are tailor-made for individual customers and can cover everything, from periodic and emergency maintenance with guaranteed response times, to complete lifecycle support by means of planned upgrades for customers wanting the latest technology and the opportunity to benefit from new measurement and control methods.

Using remote connections, Valmet specialists are always on hand for advice and support around the clock which together with close-by service centers ensures maximum system availability and uptime. A key element of a Valmet service agreement is the system lifecycle roadmap that helps users to be aware of their current system status and assign priorities to possible upgrades or component replacements. The ability to budget well ahead of time and keep systems up to date ensures that the best advantage can be taken of new developments while cost efficiently maintaining system reliability and performance.

2018-04-03  READ MORE...
Kemira increases prices of colorant products globally

Kemira, a global chemicals company serving customers in water intensive industries, announces price increases for all colorant products globally. 

The price increase of 15-25% for all colorants will become effective for shipments made on or after April 15, 2018 or as contracts allow. While Kemira continues to take actions to mitigate the impact of increasing costs, it is necessary to adjust our pricing in order to compensate for the rapid and recurring increases in key raw materials and transportation costs.

2018-04-03  READ MORE...
Economic Value Report reveals £11.5 Billion Contribution of the UK’s Paper-based Industries

Confederation of Paper Industries seeks Industry Sector Deal with Government

Relevant to over 140,000 jobs, the Confederation of Paper Industries’ (CPI) firstever Economic Value Report has set out the importance of the UK’s Paper-based Industries to the UK economy.
The headlines of the Economic Value of the UK’s Paper-based Industries are :
• Nearly 1,500 companies
• 56,000 direct jobs and a further 86,000 indirect jobs
• £11.5 billion turnover
• £4 billion gross value added.
The scope of the report covers the manufacturing of paper, the conversion of paper into corrugated packaging, the conversion of paper into tissue for hygiene products and the recovery and recycling of paper from both business and households.

2018-04-03  READ MORE...
Aker ASA: Restructuring of Norske Skog

Reference is made to the stock exchange notice dated 23 November 2017 where Aker ASA announced that Aker Capital AS a wholly owned subsidiary of Aker, and Oceanwood Capital Management LP  had entered into an agreement to establish a company for the purpose of bidding for the shares in Norske Skog AS.

Aker Capital and Oceanwood have decided to terminate their agreement. The parties did not come to an agreement regarding the terms of a joint bid for Norske Skog. Oceanwood has informed Aker Capital that it has proceeded in the process without Aker Capital. Aker Capital will not place an independent bid for Norske Skog.

2018-04-03  READ MORE...
The new OMET ASV Line ready for IT’s Tissue 2018

A new line dedicated to interfolded tissue products and many other exclusive surprises will take center stage at the production plant in Lecco and the showroom in Lucca. This is how OMET gets ready for the next edition of IT’s Tissue, from 25 to 29 June, an opportunity to dive into a real Italian technology excellence.

2018-04-01  READ MORE...
ATIP, Norske Skog Golbey and Symop (OptimData) on the spotlight during RTE Customers’ day in Paris

These Customers’ Days were organized by Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) on March 29 in Cloud Business Center in Paris. During a panel discussion dedicated to Industry 4.0, ATIP, Alliance pour l’industrie du Futur, Symop (OptimData), Ademe and RTE shares their views on this hot topic. A pilot-demonstrator (electricity cut-off) specifically designed for Norske Skog Golbey has been described by Laurent Couillard (OptimData). Isabelle Margain (ATIP Managing Director) also explains that Industry 4.0 is a strategic issue for the French paper industry.

2018-03-30  READ MORE...
Voith and SEPAC: Successful partners in yet another tissue machine start-up in Brazil


São Paulo, Brazil : Voith Paper, world leader in innovation for the paper industry, completed the successful start-up of the TM 6 XcelLine machine at SEPAC, a company headquartered in the Brazilian state of Paraná that is among the country’s five largest manufacturers of tissue paper for sanitary purpose. Installed in the company’s Mallet plant in Paraná, the TM 6 machine went into service at the end of 2017 and produced paper within the necessary quality specifications from the very first day. The machine is capable of producing nearly 110 metric tons of paper per day and has a design speed of 2,000 meters per minute.

Voith’s scope of supply covered the entire tissue machine, which was fitted with a MasterJet Pro T headbox, a CrescentFormer, a NipcoFlex T shoe press, an EvoDry Y steel plate Yankee cylinder, a high-efficiency EcoHood T hood and a MasterReel winder. The project also included the ancillary systems, automation systems, as well as installation supervision, commissioning and complete start-up assistance.

The project’s main features are the NipcoFlex T shoe press and its 4.8 meter steel plate Yankee cylinder, which besides ensuring greater speed and quality, enables SEPAC’s machine to consume up to 20 percent less thermal energy.

The project is part of the growth strategy pursued by SEPAC, a company focused on manufacturing tissue paper from virgin cellulose fibers, and will increase its annual production capacity to approximately 180,000 tons, making it one of the country’s largest tissue manufacturers.

SEPAC’s growth strategy began in 2007, with the purchase of its TM 3 from Voith. Over the last ten years, Voith has supplied four tissue machines to SEPAC – a clear demonstration of the successful partnership built on trust and respect that the companies have developed over the period.

2018-03-30  READ MORE...
Valmet to supply a multifuel boiler to Kipas Holding's new paper mill in Turkey


Valmet will supply a multifuel power boiler and auxiliary process equipment to Kipas Holding’s greenfield paper mill in Söke, Aydin, Turkey. The boiler plant will provide steam for a paper machine currently under construction and additionally produce electricity. Its steam production capacity will be sufficient for a possible second paper machine. The start-up of the boiler plant is scheduled for March 2020.

The order is included in Valmet’s first quarter orders received in 2018. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

The agreement was signed with Kipas Holding’s subsidiary Maren Maras A.S. who is responsible for building and running the boiler plant. In 2013, Valmet supplied a containerboard machine to Kipas Holding’s board mill in southeastern Turkey.

"We chose Valmet to supply the boiler based on our earlier good cooperation and experience with Valmet’s state-of-the-art technology. The previous projects that we have carried out together have been successful," says Alaaddin Yalçinözü, General Manager of Kipas Kagit.

"Valmet’s flexible boiler technology is ideal for the combustion of all the fuels which the greenfield power plant will utilize. Our flue gas cleaning will efficiently reduce emissions," says Kai Janhunen, Vice President, Energy Business Unit, Valmet.

2018-03-29  READ MORE...
New refining line in Russia

In February 2018 the Czech PAPCEL Company finished preparatory works before putting a new refining unit at OOO PZBM into operation.

After the company technologists had started the unit up they carried out guarantee tests in order to set the equipment process parameters and characteristics. The new refining unit enables to increase performance and to improve quality of the physical and mechanical indicators.

2018-03-28  READ MORE...
Double A switches Lights Off for Earth Hour 2018

On Saturday 24 March 2018, Double A participated in Earth Hour 2018 by switch off lights and electronic devices at Double A Headquarter office for an hour from 8.30 - 9.30 PM. along with millions of people worldwide at the same way to show its commitment and support for our planet to fight climate change.

Apart from lights-off annual event, Double A always encourages its employees around the world to realize the importance of energy saving and energy efficiency including plastic usage reduction.

Double A is also committed to “go beyond the hours” through its unique Asian environmental initiatives, such as “Better World…Better Paper”. Thanks to Paper from KHAN-NA, Double A is self-sufficient in sustainable raw materials and electricity from renewable biomass, which is made of waste from its pulp production. Lastly, millions of trees planted by Double A on KHAN-NA absorb 6.7 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.

2018-03-28  READ MORE...
DS Smith celebrates 16 titles at the EFIA Print awards

DS Smith’s packaging division triumphed at the European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) Awards, claiming 16 awards, fifteen for the UK and one for Germany.

The packaging strategists were presented with 16 wins across six categories, including an impressive gold, silver and bronze in the Flexo Print on Paper category for its work with Nestle Kit Kat Chunky and T&B Containers 1kg Grape Tray.

The DS Smith team also led the way in the Corrugated Post Print-Uncoated Process category picking up gold and silver for its work with Diageo J Walker Chalice and Diageo J Walker Blue packs.

Another double was presented in the Flexo Print on Paper category with the Greene King IPA Pavilion Pack and Greene King Great British Ales achieving gold and bronze awards.

Simon Hamer, Print Director at DS Smith’s UK Packaging Division, said : ‘We’re very proud of DS Smith’s continued success at the EFIA awards. All these awards and nominations demonstrate the talent of our skilled teams in partnership with our customers.

This latest award success reflects DS Smith’s determination to deliver innovative solutions and invest in the latest print technology to provide our customers with the highest quality print, to ensure their products stand out at the moment of truth in store.

2018-03-28  READ MORE...
Lecta announces its new membership in leading North America Label Association


TLMI is the premier association for the label and package printing industry.

Lecta, the premier supplier of paper-based solutions worldwide, is pleased to announce that it has become a member of TLMI (Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute), the North American leading association for the label and packaging industry, based in Milford, Ohio.

As a direct supplier of self-adhesive materials and specialty papers for wet glue labels and packaging, Lecta North America, branch of Lecta in the United States and Canada, believes it will benefit greatly from the market knowledge shared with TLMI members, in addition to taking advantage of the many industry networking opportunities that membership provides.

2018-03-28  READ MORE...
Double E Company LLC Acquires Convertech, Inc.

Double E Company LLC, West Bridgewater, MA, has acquired Convertech, Inc. Headquartered in Wharton, NJ, Convertech joins Appleton Manufacturing, Epoch Industries, and Double E Europe as part of the Double E platform of companies manufacturing mission-critical converting products.

“The Convertech acquisition continues Double E’s drive to provide the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of web handling solutions,” said Tom Pranka, Double E CEO. “We are excited to welcome Convertech into the Double E family. This year Convertech is celebrating its 40th anniversary manufacturing outstanding products and is considered the leader in the narrow-web segment of our industry. We are proud that Convertech has chosen partnering with Double E as the avenue to accelerating their growth in the coming years.”

2018-03-28  READ MORE...
Smurfit Kappa in Piteå, Sweden upgrades to next-generation monitoring system from SKF

Increased level of control over machines from vibrations to pressure and temperatures with SKF’s next generation IMx-8 monitoring system from SKF.

In order to avoid unplanned stoppages, the Smurfit Kappa paper mill in Piteå is upgrading to the next-generation IMx-8 monitoring system from SKF. The system measures simultaneously and emits an alarm at the slightest change in performance, thus increasing the level of control over the condition of the machinery. In addition to vibrations, the system can also incorporate other process parameters, such as pressure and temperatures, to further improve the insight of the machine health.

Smurfit Kappa is upgrading the existing LMU monitoring units from SKF to IMx-8 and is connecting the measurement units to the latest version of the monitoring software, @ptitude Observer from SKF. Over 1,000 measurement points in the PM1 and PM2 paper machines are continuously monitored. 

“Reactive maintenance is four times as expensive as planned maintenance, so the trend within the industry is towards planned maintenance,” says Hans Steding, Business Coordinator for condition monitoring at SKF in Luleå.

SKF is a pioneer in the development of advanced condition monitoring, with research activities in Sweden and tried-and-tested technology and documented performance in many industrial plants around the world.

“By identifying the source of a fault in machinery, it is possible to create the means to prevent a stoppage. This increases the life of the machine and saves huge sums in maintenance costs for the company,” says Hans.

Smurfit Kappa in Piteå is Europe’s largest kraftliner mill and every year manufactures 700,000 tonnes of kraftliner, a paper used to manufacture high-class corrugated cardboard. Kraftliner is made from new fibres, raw wood material that means that the paper has good printability, is very strong in humid environments and is chemically and biologically clean. Smurfit Kappa in Piteå has around 510 employees.

“Here at Smurfit Kappa in Piteå we are looking forward to the new system, which will help us to automate much of what is currently manual analysis of the condition of the machinery. This is a good next step in our digitalisation work,” says Jonas Snäll, maintenance engineer at Smurfit Kappa in Piteå.

2018-03-28  READ MORE...
BOBST builds innovative infrastructure in Lyon

BOBST, one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries, is expanding its factory in Bron and will open a new Competence Center in 2018.

2018-03-27  READ MORE...
First ever Valmet-delivered flash dryer started up at Stora Enso's Hylte Mill in Sweden


The first ever flash dryer for purely fiber delivered under the Valmet brand has been started up with fiber at Stora Enso’s biocomposite plant at Hylte Mill in Sweden. The project was completed according to schedule and all guarantees fulfilled.

Stora Enso decided to invest in full-scale production after seeing strong customer demand for higher volumes of pulp pellets production, to be used as a renewable replacement for plastics. Valmet’s scope included a complete flash dryer with drying stage, scrubber system, supporting and platform, construction, insulation, spare parts, basic engineering, mechanical and electrical erection, erection advising, checkout and start-up supervision and training. The dryer will dry from 43% to 93% dryness.

"The design of the dryer system has been adapted to fit the new equipment into the existing plant and with other machinery in the production line. Adaptations are challenging but we are used to being flexible in rebuild projects even if the delivery times are short sometimes. We have utilized the knowhow we have from flash drying in the panelboard industry," says Marika Levander, Senior Project Manager at Valmet.

Lower investment costs with flash drying

Flash drying can be described as almost instantaneous evaporation. Small particles and single fibers with a large exposed surface area meet the hot air stream in the drying stages. Fibers carried by the hot air through the system stay in the drying zone for less than 30 seconds and are never heated higher than the wet bulb temperature. Exhaust gases from the cyclones are cleaned in a gas washing scrubber tower, which minimizes particle emissions into the atmosphere. The system represents a considerably lower investment cost than a conventional sheet dryer.

2018-03-27  READ MORE...
BillerudKorsnäs launches its first climate-positive packaging

As a result of innovative thinking based on decades of competence from papermaking, BillerudKorsnäs today proudly launches its first packaging with a climate-positive impact. D-Sack®, the dissolvable sack for cement and other construction materials, disintegrates in a conventional mixer and the bio-based carbon in the paper is captured in the construction itself.

The award-winning D-Sack, co-developed in a close cooperation between BillerudKorsnäs and LafargeHolcim, has several significant advantages over conventional cement sacks. The sack dissolves during the mixing process, which minimizes cement waste, eliminates packaging waste and saves time, whilst ensuring a cleaner, safer and healthier workplace.

In addition to the above benefits, D-Sack is superior to conventional cement sacks when it comes to climate performance. In a life cycle assessment conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, D-Sack proves to capture CO2 over a one hundred-year perspective, meaning that it is climate positive. The reason is that the CO2 that was captured from the atmosphere during tree growth and then incorporated into the paper, is stored in the concrete structure.

D-Sack is an excellent example of the potential in challenging conventional packaging with a sustainable future as the target. By exploring the sustainability performance of BillerudKorsnäs products further ahead in the value chain, i.e. during and after the use of the packaging, new exciting opportunities for value creation appear. That is why BillerudKorsnäs successfully has built up a sack laboratory where D-Sack was developed.

“I am extremely proud of this achievement and very pleased that D-Sack has now been formally launched. It is an innovation that has been produced in our sack laboratory in close cooperation with LafargeHolcim designed to meet specific user needs and needs in the value chain. The sack laboratory has done an excellent job and set the standard for innovation in the packaging industry,” says Mark van der Merwe, Business Development Director, Sack Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.

“We believe in the potential of developing existing solutions further, in our business as well as in the packaging industry. Concepts like D-Sack, i.e. results of innovativeness and cooperation, strengthen our contribution to a sustainable future,” says Henrik Essén, SVP Communication & Sustainability at BillerudKorsnäs.

2018-03-27  READ MORE...
Revised Proposal from International Paper Fails to Reflect Smurfit Kappa’s Intrinsic Value, Track Record and Superior Prospects as an Independent Business

The Board of Smurfit Kappa announces that it received a revised proposal from International Paper Company on Thursday evening, 22 March 2018. Under the terms of the Revised Proposal, Smurfit Kappa shareholders would receive €25.25 in cash (which would be reduced to €24.605 after payment of the final dividend of 64.5 cent recommended on 7 February 2018 and to be paid on 11 May 2018  and 0.3028 new shares of International Paper common stock for each Smurfit Kappa ordinary share held by them.

Based on International Paper’s closing share price on 23 March 2018 of $50.15 and a € :$ exchange rate of €1 :$1.2353, the Revised Proposal would value each Smurfit Kappa share at €37.54, reduced to €36.90 when the Final Dividend is excluded.

International Paper’s proposal announced and rejected by the Board on 6 March 2018 valued each Smurfit Kappa share at €36.46 (without reduction for the Final Dividend). The Revised Proposal represents an increase in value of only €1.08 per share, equivalent to less than 3%.

Following careful consideration, together with its financial advisers, the Board has unanimously rejected the Revised Proposal. The Board is resolute in its belief that the best interests of the Group’s stakeholders are served by pursuing its future as an independent company, operating as the European and Pan-American leader in paper-based packaging. The Revised Proposal also fundamentally undervalues the Group and remains significantly below the valuations set by recent industry transactions.

The Revised Proposal continues to include a significant proportion of the consideration in the form of International Paper shares which are US-listed, represent uncertain value, and would expose Smurfit Kappa shareholders to the risk of significantly greater leverage and the challenges of integrating two businesses with fundamentally different cultures.

Liam O’Mahony, Chairman of Smurfit Kappa, said : “On 6 March, the Board of Smurfit Kappa unanimously rejected International Paper’s unsolicited and highly opportunistic proposal. The Revised Proposal does not offer Smurfit Kappa shareholders much more than compensation for the fall in International Paper’s share price since that date and again entirely fails to value the Group’s true intrinsic business worth and future prospects. We delivered a record performance in 2017 and underlying trading momentum has continued into 2018.

Moreover, the Revised Proposal does not make strategic sense for Smurfit Kappa and its stakeholders. Smurfit Kappa has a distinct business model and culture as a customer-oriented, performance-led packaging leader and has already communicated a strong plan to accelerate development and performance with its 2017 year-end results.

The Board unanimously reaffirms its belief that it is in the best interests of the Group’s stakeholders for Smurfit Kappa to pursue its future as an independent company, headquartered in Ireland, operating as the European and Pan-American leader in paper-based packaging”

Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action with respect to the Revised Proposal.

This announcement is made without the consent of International Paper.

There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made, nor any certainty as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made, by International Paper.

2018-03-26  READ MORE...
Grenoble Alpes, where nanocellulose takes centre stage

"An American professor visiting the Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Science and Graphic Arts (LGP2) in 2016 told me how proud he was to be in Grenoble, the number one location in the world when it comes to nanocellulose research. I knew we were good, but I didn’t realise we were that good. So how do we rank ? What are our areas of expertise, our strengths, our weaknesses ? And most of all, how can we stay ahead of the rest and capitalise on our lead ?"
To help answer his questions, Julien Bras, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of LGP2, called upon the Grenoble Alpes National Technology Transfer Fund (FNV), which comprises Linksium and its four partners : Grenoble Alpes University, Grenoble INP, Savoie Mont-Blanc University and the CNRS. A sectoral study was commissioned and launched as a technology transfer booster. At Grenoble INP-Pagora on 11 December 2017, the area’s scientific community, who attended in large numbers, heard its main conclusions.


The study had been entrusted to TKM, which is reputed for its data mining expertise. Its objective was threefold : "We were keen to establish a global map of the organisations currently working in the nanocellulose sector, position the Grenoble Alpes Cluster through an objective and quantified approach, and identify a few promising industrial contacts," explains Romain Billet, who led the study at TKM. By analysing the global database of scientific publications, patents and collaborative projects produced since 1980 - a body of around 15,000 documents - TKM reached a number of extremely interesting conclusions.


The Grenoble Alpes Cluster boasts numerous strengths
"The main results show that the Grenoble Alpes Cluster leads the world in terms of the number of citations and organisations with which it collaborates, and ranks second when it comes to the number of documents and collaborations," adds Romain Billet. This is a track record that Grenoble Alpes can be proud of ! The region’s importance is further amplified when we discover that nanocellulose is entering something of a golden age : "With a 1,400% increase in the number of bibliographic references made since 2004, the rise in interest in the field has been 3 or 4 times higher than that usually observed," says TKM. The first lesson to learn from this observation is that, in such a competitive sector, certain ideas inevitably need to be protected and transferred to industry. This is backed by the fact that the demand clearly exists, as highlighted by industry’s unusual level of involvement in research.


Strong technology transfer prospects
While our research can claim to lead the world, can the same be said for technology transfers ? Today, Grenoble Alpes is involved in a significant number of industrial collaborations (N.B. : this type of technology transfer was not covered by the study). The site has also filed numerous patents - some of which are of great interest to industry. However, these are relatively few compared to the number of articles published, as Carole Silvy, Head of the Linksium Maturation Cluster, points out. Reacting to this undeniably impressive rate of progress, Gilles Talbotier, President of Linksium, concluded : "This is a growth sector. We need to take advantage !"
"When we speak to industrial firms, this study will enable us to demonstrate our know-how and skills," says Julien Bras. Another factor that will make this task easier is the study’s findings that Grenoble Alpes works primarily on marketable applications and that 50% of its publications relate to composites, the sector’s most promising avenue.


The technology transfer possibilities offered up to the biomass experts of Grenoble Alpes are therefore huge. Thanks to the crucial support provided by the FNV via this sectoral analysis, other stakeholders working within the local technology transfer chain - at research establishments and at Linksium - will be able to take the baton from researchers while benefiting from tailored support and funding. "It is precisely because of the presence of this complete chain, from research to development and, ultimately, the transfer of technology to companies, that this can all work. The sector is incredibly vibrant here !" declares Gaëlle Calvary, Professor and Vice President of Technology Transfer at Grenoble INP.

2018-03-26  READ MORE...
The Blue Sky Young Researchers Europe Prize

Jahan Golestani, a PhD student at LGP2, received the Blue Sky Young Researchers Europe Prize at the CEPI’s European Paper Week.


European Paper Week was held in Brussels on 28-30 November 2017 by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). More than 300 participants - companies, universities, government associations, consulting groups and media outlets - attended the event.


The CEPI had invited young researchers to apply for a chance to win the Blue Sky Young Researchers Europe Prize. Among the eight finalists selected, three received the prize in November last year, including Jahan Golestani, who is currently in the 2nd year of her PhD at the Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Science and Graphic Arts (LGP2) under the supervision of Christine Chirat, Associate Professor with Accreditation to Lead Research, and Professor Dominique Lachenal.


Jahan presented her research topic, A process to purify wood cellulose by coupling enzymatic and chemical reactions. The process involves extracting hemicelluloses from kraft paper through enzyme treatment and characterising the oligomers extracted from the pulp. The main objective is to produce pure cellulose using a green process. The second is to obtain oligosaccharides for subsequent use in high-value-added projects.


Furthermore, as a result of this prize the CEPI will automatically put her forward for the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) contest, which takes place in 2019.

2018-03-26  READ MORE...
Valmet to supply a warp control system to Stora Enso Packaging's corrugated board plant in Ostroleka, Poland

Valmet will supply a warp control system to Stora Enso Packaging’s corrugated board plant in Ostroleka, Poland. The system will reduce warp of the final product and improve the corrugated board plant’s overall performance.

The order was included in Valmet’s fourth quarter 2017 orders received. The delivery will take place in late spring this year. The value of the order will not be disclosed. Typically, the order value of these kinds of automation system deliveries is below EUR one million.

"We have good cooperation with Stora Enso Packaging. Due to the positive experiences and results gained from earlier deliveries, Stora Enso decided to choose Valmet as the supplier of the automatic warp control system for its corrugator," summarizes Juha Mykkänen, Sales Manager, Automation, Valmet.

Information about the delivery

The warp control system, based on moisture measurement, is used to correct warping of all corrugated board types and to improve corrugated board box plant performance. The system consists of Valmet IQ Converting Scanners with moisture measurements, Valmet IQ Moisturizer and Valmet IQ Warp Measurement, which are integrated together with automatic MPC closed-loop controls. The moisture level of the final product plays an essential role in eliminating corrugated post-warping.

2018-03-26  READ MORE...

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