Norske Skog restarts PM 5 at Saugbrugs mill

Norske Skog Saugbrugs now produces SC paper on two machines again. The company is evaluating potentials for the repair and rebuild of the damaged PM 6.

Norway's publication and packaging paper company Norske Skog has restarted production on the SC paper machine PM 5 at the Saugbrugs mill in Halden, Norway. The machine was back in operation and produced first paper reel again on 23 November 2023 after more than three years of standing idle.

According to Norske Skog, PM 5 has a production capacity of 100,000 tpy. Following the machine's start-up, further work was required to optimise the plant, the company said.

Norske Skog decided to restart the mothballed PM 5 after a rockslide hit the Saugbrugs mill last April, damaging the company's 260,000 tpy SC paper machine PM 6. The restart of PM 5 is expected to help Norske Skog to continue supplying SC magazine paper to its customers and keep its market position. Together with the PM 4, Saugbrugs mill's SC paper production capacity stands at 200,000 tpy of rotogravure and offset paper.

In the meantime, Norske Skog is said to be preparing the grounds for the restauration of the PM 6, collecting information on the machine's and market potentials and evaluating different products. Under the agreement reached with the insurance company - approximately NOK2.4bn in insurance payment covering both business interruption and property damage, the company has also been given the possibility to rebuild the PM 6 within the same fibre stream but not necessarily for SC paper, Norske Skog explained last week during the company's Capital Markets Day in Oslo.

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