Dec. 20, 2022 - Sappi North America announced today it received a $1 million grant from the Maine Technology Institute's Forestry Recovery Initiative to improve productivity and reduce energy in its Somerset Mill.
The grant funds will be used to improve Sappi's pulp yield in the Somerset Mill, specifically through a new chip treatment process that will improve productivity, lower energy consumption, and reduce the use of pulping chemicals in Sappi Mills.
"Our team is excited to be a recipient of this grant, and we are especially thankful to the state of Maine and Governor Mills for supporting Maine's forestry industry," said Mike Haws, President and CEO of Sappi North America. "With robust demand for paper and packaging products, we at Sappi are continuously looking for the most innovative processes to create sustainably made products. Not only will the grant facilitate improved productivity, but it will also support the long-term viability of the Skowhegan and Westbrook mills."
The Forestry Recovery Initiative deploys grants to help Maine loggers, foresters, lumber yards, and other members of Maine's forest products sector recover financial loss caused by the pandemic, develop new wood products, and upgrade infrastructure to strengthen supply chains and sell products to new markets. It is part of a three-phase initiative in Maine to allocate a $20 million award from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to mitigate damage caused by the pandemic.
Sappi supports more than 3,300 jobs in Maine and contributes to the innovation economy and entrepreneurial community by partnering with the University of Maine for pulping and forestry research as well as product prototyping. The University of Maine will be a key partner in Sappi's project.
Just over a month ago, Sappi North America announced the approval of a $418 million capital project to convert Paper Machine No. 2 (a coated freesheet machine) at the Somerset Mill to increase its capacity and produce solid bleached sulfate board (SBS) products. The planned project is slated to come online early in 2025.
The Somerset Mill has three paper machines (PM 1, PM 2, and PM 3) and the capacity to produce 970,000 metric tons per year of coated woodfree paper and 525,000 metric tons of bleached chemical pulp for its own consumption and as market pulp.
Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. Its four diversified businesses — high-quality Graphic Papers, Dissolving Pulp, Packaging, and Specialty Papers — deliver premium products and services with consistent quality and reliability.
SOURCE: Sappi North America, Inc.
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