Sappi Alfeld mill to focus on specialty papers


Sappi Alfeld mill will no longer produce coated fine paper. To meet growing demand for release liner and flexpack papers PM 2 at Sappi's Alfeld mill is to be converted. Coated paper production will be moved to other Sappi mills in Europe.

In response to strong growth and positive market forecasts for the packaging market, Sappi Fine Paper Europe has begun the process of converting its Sappi Alfeld mill in Germany to focus exclusively on producing one-sided coated paper for packaging, labels and technical applications. The project will take 12 months to complete, the company stated.

Until now, PM 2 produced 150,000 tpy of coated fine paper and is to be rebuilt to produce 135,000 tpy of speciality paper. Paper machines 1, 3, 4 and 5 at Sappi Alfeld already produce jointly 165,000 t of speciality paper and board per year. The PM 2 product range will focus on one-sided coated grades from 40-180 gsm for packaging, technical purposes, liner and label applications.

Sappi said, the company will actively manage its graphic paper capacity by transferring the current coated paper production of the Sappi Alfeld to other Sappi mills in Europe in close consultation with the respective customers.

Commenting on the conversion, Berry Wiersum, CEO of Sappi Fine Paper Europe said in a statement: “Our decision is in line with the Sappi group strategy to invest in higher growth and higher margin businesses. In addition, it will further improve Sappi’s cost position in coated woodfree paper in Europe and elsewhere.”

Sappi explained, the strong growth and improved margins in the market for release liners and flexpack papers were due to the growth in the demand for paper packaging and a lack of standardization; high degree of customization; and the long qualification times imposed by customers. Sappi said it has been successful in the development of innovative and sustainable solutions for this market in close cooperation with end-use customers and converters.

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