Sappi Slates EUR 120 Million for Upgrade and Energy Projects at Two Graphic Paper Mills in Europe

Sappi Gratkorn Mill in Austria will focus on upgrading pulp production facilities as well as papermaking capabilities.

Nov. 7, 2013 - Sappi Fine Paper Europe has confirmed investment plans over the next three years amounting to approximately EUR 120 million for its two leading coated graphic paper mills which will significantly reduce the cost base and improve the profitability of these two worldclass mills.

For the Sappi Gratkorn Mill in Austria, the investment will focus on upgrading pulp production facilities, as well as papermaking capabilities. Gratkorn currently produces almost one million tons of coated woodfree paper per year. The investment is aimed at securing sustained cost reductions, increased flexibility in production and further improved profitability rather than at increasing capacity.

The investment in Sappi's Kirkniemi Mill in Finland, one of Europe's largest and most modern coated magazine paper mills, entails the building of a new power plant on the mill site, significantly improving cost competitiveness and profitability.

Berry Wiersum, CEO Sappi Fine Paper Europe commented, "Despite a tough environment we are making progress with the necessary transition work identified to strengthen the company and improve our profitability into the future. We are optimistic about our Gratkorn and Kirkniemi investments and look forward to the benefits that they will return to the company in the coming years. The investments are aimed at upgrading, modernising and securing further substantial cost reductions."

Sappi Gratkorn mill in Gratkorn, Austria is part of Sappi Fine Paper Europe. Annually it produces 950,000 tons of high quality double and triple coated papers which are used for premium quality publications all over the world. Gratkorn mill also produces 250,000 tons of totally chlorine free (TCF) chemical pulp. The mill employs 1300 paper industry professionals from production to R&D. About 95 % of the mill's production is exported.

Sappi Kirkniemi mill in Lohja, Finland is part of Sappi Fine Paper Europe. Annually it produces 735,000 tons of high quality magazine papers which are used for premium quality publications all over the world. The mill employs 600 paper industry professionals from production to R&D. Over 90% of the mill's production is exported.

Both mills operate under management systems consisting of certified Environmental Management System (ISO 14001), Energy Management System (ISO 50001), Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001), Quality Management System (ISO 9001) and Chain Of Custody Verification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Sappi Fine Paper Europe (SFPE) is the leading European producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

SOURCE: Sappi Limited