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Sofidel Acquires ST Paper's Tissue Mill in Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth-tissue-mill The tissue mill in Duluth, Minnesota, has the capacity to produce 65,000 metric tons per year of bath, napkin and towel grades of tissue. Photo courtesy Duluth News Tribune.

Jan. 4, 2024 - Sofidel today announced the acquisition of ST Paper's tissue mill in Duluth, Minnesota.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The mill has the capacity to produce 65,000 metric tons per year of bath, napkin and towel grades of tissue.

In addition, the mill has a groundwood pulp plant and a recycled pulp plant.

"This is an important acquisition, allowing us to immediately meet the growing demand, which saw a significant upturn in 2023," said Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of Sofidel. "What we are acquiring is a technologically advanced plant that further improves our geographic coverage and creates the conditions to strengthen and sustain growth in what is our main market."

ST Paper acquired the mill in May of 2021 from Verso Corporation with the intention to convert the mill's production from specialty paper grades to tissue.

The Duluth mill's new tissue machine, which was installed in 2022 and started-up in January of 2023, is an ANDRITZ PrimeLine W 2000 with a design speed of 2,000 meters/min and working width of 5.65 meters.

The new machine also has the capability to produce tissue using virgin fiber, 100% recycled fiber, or varying blends.

Sofidel noted that the acquisition of the Duluth mill comes a few months after the company made an organic growth investment to expand its integrated tissue mill in Circleville, Ohio. The project, which has already been launched, involves the construction of a new building to house a new machine (with a production capacity of 70,000 metric tons per year), which is scheduled to come into operation in the third quarter of 2025.

The Sofidel Group is a leading manufacturer of tissue paper for hygienic and domestic use worldwide. The Group has subsidiaries in 12 countries — Italy, Spain, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Romania and the USA.

SOURCE: Sofidel and ANDRITZ (tissue machine details)

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