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Sappi's Ngodwana Mill Near Nelspruit, South Africa, to add 210,000 tons of Chemical Cellulose Production During Expansion and Modernisation Project

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South Africa, May 19, 2011 - Sappi Southern Africa has entered into an exciting new phase of growth and development with the decision to go ahead with the expansion and modernisation of the Sappi Ngodwana mill, including the introduction of 210,000 tpa of chemical cellulose production at the mill. Sappi’s total production of chemical cellulose will increase to over a million tons per year, entrenching our position as the global leader in chemical cellulose production, a fast growing, high margin business serving the textiles, consumer goods, foodstuffs and pharmaceutical industries.

Commenting on the decision, the CEO of Sappi Southern Africa, Alex Thiel, said: “This is a significant development for Sappi Southern Africa and confirms the confidence that the company has in this region. The project will see various enhancements and changes to the mill, all aimed at further improving the mill’s prospects as well as improving the mill’s environmental footprint. Of significance will be the replacement of the current bleach plant with a new process which will be chemically more efficient and will generate less effluent. The current bleached hardwood paper pulp capacity will be converted to produce chemical cellulose. The project demonstrates the commitment of Sappi to invest in South Africa to grow its business globally.”

SW Engelbrecht, the General Manager of Ngodwana mill, commented: “We are all very excited by the faith shown in the mill and its people to help grow Sappi’s business and of course the project, for which planning and consultation originally started in 2003, is a major boost for the local Lowveld economy.”

He concluded: “As regards the environmental footprint of the mill, the project will further reduce mill odour and improved efficiencies from new equipment will mean burning 61,000 tons less coal per year which equates to 120,000 tons fewer CO2 emissions. In addition, total mill effluent will significantly reduce and the revised project will require 200,000 tons less timber per year and 18,400 fewer trucks on the road compared to what was anticipated in the original project P1050.”

Sappi Southern Africa is an integrated forest products company meeting the needs of domestic as well as international customers through a wide range of products. It operates through three divisions:
- Chemical cellulose, a product made from a natural and renewable wood base source, is sold to converters and manufacturers for use in a wide range of consumer products such as clothing, plastics, food and pharmaceutical products, chemicals and beauty and household products. Sappi is the world’s largest manufacturer of Chemical Cellulose. Currently its Chemical Cellulose division supplies customers around the world from the Sappi Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, KwaZulu Natal but, in response to growing customer needs, it will also in future supply customers from the Ngodwana Mill near Nelspruit, which is being modified to also produce Chemical Cellulose
- The Paper and Paper Packaging division provides relevant and innovative products, services and support to customers through close collaboration and ongoing development. Products include paper pulp, newsprint, coated and uncoated fine papers, office and business papers, security and speciality papers, containerboard (used to manufacture cardboard boxes inter alia for the export of fruit) and packaging papers (used by the cement, pet food, agriculture and FMCG industries). Services include supporting the recycling of paper through Sappi ReFibre; developing new products in collaboration with end-use customers and the Sappi Technology Centre situated at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria; as well as technical support for printers and designers to ensure that Sappi’s products deliver the best possible value to all involved.
- Sappi Forests supplies 70% of the wood needs of Sappi Southern Africa from 380,000 hectares of both our own and managed commercial timber plantations, currently with more than 34 million tons of standing timber. All fibre grown on Sappi-owned land is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and ISO 9000 certified. A further 150,000 hectares of land is protected and managed by Sappi Forests to conserve the natural habitat and biodiversity found there, including wetlands and riparian zones. Sappi’s land is available (with certain provisos) to the public for recreational use such as mountain biking.
- Leading brands from Sappi Southern Africa include Typek and Typek 50% recycled office paper; Triple Green, Masuga, Reviva, a 100% recycled grade, and Enigma print papers; Sentinel security paper; as well as Wicked Wrap, Barricoat and the Strato range of packaging papers.

Sappi Southern Africa is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE: SAP; NYSE:SPP) a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 15,500 employees and manufacturing operations on four continents in 9 countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com     


Extpub | by Dr. Radut