Sappi Forests buys 14 500-ha plantation from Mondi
Paper and pulp manufacturer Sappi Forests said on Tuesday that it had extended its plantation holdings in South Africa with the purchase of the Sjonajona plantation in the Mpumalanga province from Mondi.
The plantation lies between Machadodorp and Barberton and is 14 500 ha in extent, of which 9 400 ha consists predominantly of pine. The company said that the acquisition would bring Sappi's total planted area in Mpumalanga to 143 400 ha out of a total 230 200 ha plantation ownership in the province.
Sappi Forests MD Hendrik de Jongh said that the company was pleased to secure the land as the Sjonajona plantation increased the company's softwood self-sufficiency for its 150 000 t/y Ngodwana mill near Nelspruit, and was also in close proximity to Sappi's other plantations in the area.
The sale of the plantation was concluded at the end of 2009, but was subject to Competition Commission approval, which had now been granted.
The sale was part of a larger package of some 40 000 ha, which Mondi had put up for sale in June 2009.
Sappi would integrate the new land into its crop rotation cycle and land management practices. The company would also maintain the existing Forest Stewardship Council certification for the land and the fibre source.