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Forest Products News

Sappi outlook uncertain as Q1 demand slumps

By: Chanel de Bruyn     2nd February 2009 The prospects for paper and pulp producer Sappi remained uncertain beyond the first half of the 2009 financial year, while demand for its products would remain weak in the second quarter. Sappi CEO Ralph Boëttger told Engineering News Online on Monday that it was very difficult to forecast what... 

Production starts at new particle-board plant after delay

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th January 2009 Production at wood-based panel (WBP) manufacturer William Tell’s second particle-board plant, in Chamdor, in Krugersdorp, which would give it greater self-sufficiency, would finally start, the company announced last week. The start-up of the plant was scheduled for January 31. 

William Tell starts production at new particle-board plant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     20th January 2009 Production at wood-based panel (WBP) manufacturer William Tell's second particle-board plant, in Chamdor, in Krugersdorp, which would give it greater self-sufficiency, would finally start, the company announced on Tuesday. The start-up of the plant was scheduled for January 31. The manufacturer... 

Sappi closes M-real acquisition

By: Liezel Hill     2nd January 2009 Paper manufacturer Sappi has completed the acquisition of M-real Corp's coated graphic paper unit, the company announced this week. All the conditions to the deal had been met and the transaction closed on December 31, Sappi said in a regulatory announcement.  

Sappi to submit cogen bids to Eskom despite capex review

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2008 Paper and pulp producer Sappi, which expected demand for its products to fall in the near term and for margins to remain under pressure, has reviewed its capital expenditure plans and expects the timelines on some projects to be extended. CEO Ralph Boëttger told Engineering News Online in an... 

Sappi warns of near-term weakness, but bullish on Saiccor

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2008 Paper and pulp producer Sappi, which reported a fourth-quarter loss on Thursday, expected demand for its products to be lower in the near term and for margins to remain under pressure, owing to a lag in the moderation of input prices. In addition, the group planned to scale back its capital... 

Sappi's €750m graphic-paper deal gets competition approval

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd November 2008 JSE-listed paper producer Sappi announced that the European Union’s competition authorities had approved the proposed acquisition of paperboard and paper producer M-real’s graphic papers business for €750-million. “We are delighted that the European Competition Commission has given its approval... 

Safcol draws up short list for waste-to-electricity study

By: Chanel de Bruyn     28th October 2008 The South African Forestry Company (Safcol) has short-listed candidates for a study to investigate the most effective method of applying its forestry waste to produce electricity. The company in July announced that it had started studies to investigate the possibility of producing more than 20... 

Mondi expects profits to fall as key markets slump

By: Chanel de Bruyn     20th October 2008 Paper and packaging group Mondi expected the group's underlying profit for the year to end December 31, 2008, to decrease by between 10% and 15%, owing to a downturn in trading at its Europe & International division. Group CEO David Hathorn, on Monday, during a conference call from the UK,... 

Mondi's Hathorn says group strategy 'even more valid' as financial crisis deepens

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th October 2008 With the pulp and paper industry set to become more competitive in light of the global financial market turmoil, Mondi CEO David Hathorn believes that the group's strategy will be even more valid going forward. Hathorn explained that the group's overall strategy principally related to investing... 

Mondi will give land to two communities in benchmark restitution deal

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th October 2008 Paper and packaging group Mondi has signed South Africa’s first forestry related land restitution settlement agreement involving a corporate landowner, in a deal worth about R20,5-million. The group said on Thursday that it had signed a land restitution settlement with the Regional Land Claims... 

Mondi may close UK mill

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd September 2008 Paper and packaging manufacturer Mondi on Monday announced that it had entered into consultation with the workforce at its Holcombe Mill, in the UK, regarding its likely closure. The closure reflected the high cost position of the mill, particularly the rising energy costs, against the backdrop... 

Some 45% of York’s land affected by claims

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th September 2008 Land reform claims were one of forestry company York Timbers’ biggest challenges, with about 45% of its land subject to land reform claims, corporate services director Gay Mokoena said during a presentation on Wednesday. He said that, overall to date, there were 739 land claims involving... 

York Timber issues upbeat trading update

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th September 2008 JSE-listed forestry products company York Timber on Friday announced that its basic earnings a share for the eighteen months ended June 30, 2008, would be between 249% and 269% higher than for the year ended December 31, 2006. The company had changed its financial year-end from December 31 to... 

York stalwart Tucker dies after short illness

By: Matthew Hill     8th August 2008 Timber tycoon Solly Tucker, the former CEO and chairperson of York Timber, died on August 6 after a short illness. “Solly's flamboyant, larger-than-life persona, sharp mind and hard working character influenced the course of events for over three decades in the timber industry until his... 

Sappi to cut European output

By: Matthew Hill     5th August 2008 Paper giant Sappi would close a paper machine at a mill in the Netherlands, and is in discussions with staff to permanently close its Blackburn mill in the UK, owing to a market oversupply and "unrelenting" cost pressures, it said on Tuesday. Shutting down the Blackburn mill would remove 120 000... 

Sappi mulls double-digit price increase in SA to offset soaring costs

By: Chanel de Bruyn     31st July 2008 With input costs increasing at double digits, pulp-and-paper producer Sappi could implement a double-digit price increase in its containerboard and fine paper markets in South Africa in order to preserve its margins, Sappi Southern Africa CEO Jan Labuschagne told Engineering News Online on... 

Union concludes a further forestry sector wage deal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th July 2008 Trade union Solidarity on Friday said that it signed an “above average” wage increase of 11% for its members in the fibre and particle sector, which forms part of the national bargaining council of the wood and paper sector. The agreement would also see the minimum wage for employees in the... 

Sappi mulls 90 MW of short-term power projects 

By: Terence Creamer     4th July 2008 Forest products group Sappi is in commercial discussions with State power producer Eskom about a 40-MW cogeneration facility currently being erected as part of its $460-million Saiccor expansion in KwaZulu-Natal.  

Weaker rand, strong demand offers sound start-up platform for chemicals-cellulose expansion 

By: Terence Creamer     4th July 2008 The $460-million expansion of the Sappi Saiccor chemical-cellulose facility, in KwaZulu-Natal, was over 90% complete, and once ramped-up to its full nameplate production of 800 000 t/y would entrench the group's position as the world's pre-eminent manufacturer of dissolving pulp.  

Forestry industry takes R800m knock to protect SA’s wetlands

By: Dennis Ndaba     12th June 2008 South Africa was losing about 1,4-million tons of timber a year, owing to the withdrawal of plantations from the country’s wetlands, said Mondi natural resources manager Peter Gardiner. “The loss of productive land is mainly associated with the buffer zone around wetlands and in real... 

Wood panels manufacturer William Tell to miss earnings forecast

By: Matthew Hill     2nd June 2008 Sudden and dramatic adverse conditions in the residential building sector have knocked the wind out of board-maker William Tell's sails, with the AltX-quoted firm expecting to miss its earnings forecast by as much as 45% for the year ended June 30. The company expected headline earnings to... 

Operating profit up, but costs worry Mondi 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     7th May 2008 International paper and packaging group Mondi, reported on Wednesday that underlying operating profit improved for the four months ended April and that its expansion and upgrade projects were on track. In an interim statement of the group's progress between December last year and April... 

Sappi posts improved second-quarter earnings

6th May 2008 Pulp and paper giant Sappi on Tuesday reported that basic earnings a share had increased to $0,68 a share for the second quarter ended March 2008, compared with $0,25 a share the previous year. Operating profit, excluding special items, increased by 33% to $97-million from $73-million a year... 

PG Bison opens state-of-the-art particle board plant in the Eastern Cape

By: Guy Copans     2nd May 2008 Timber company PG Bison last month officially opened its state-of-the-art 1 000m3 particle board plant at its site near Ugie in the Elundini district in the North Eastern Cape, South Africa. The first particle board was pressed on December 13 last year, and a multifunction button press was... 

PG Bison to open new R1,3bn Eastern Cape particle board factory

17th April 2008 Timber firm PG Bison, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE-listed Steinhoff, will on Friday officially open its R1,3-billion particle board factory, near Ugie, in the north east forests of the Eastern Cape. The factory, which followed Steinhoff's acquisition of a 67% stake in the North Eastern... 

Sappi joins global corporate citizenship initiative

11th April 2008 Pulp and paper group Sappi has joined the world's largest, global corporate citizenship initiative, the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, it said on Friday. The company said in an email that it joined the initiative at a signing ceremony in Johannesburg on Thursday, which signalled... 

High-fibre, low-cost assets and a commodity mindset could set Mondi apart as industry cost curve steepens

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2008 The somewhat self-effacing acceptance that “a box is simply a box” and that, ultimately, the products that paper and packaging group Mondi manufactures will, as with any other commodities, experience a decline in real prices over time, could, CEO David Hathorn believes, eventually... 

Sawlog group plans 9-MW cogen plant as South Africa’s electricity crisis bites 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     4th April 2008 Forestry products group York is currently investigating the potential for one or more cogeneration projects using a combination of its waste products and steam to generate power as a solution to the electricity crisis in the medium term, its CEO said last week. “In the medium term we are looking... 

Mondi’s Richards Bay plant producing at two-thirds of normal capacity after accident

By: Matthew Hill     2nd April 2008 Paper and pulp company Mondi said on Wednesday that two workers were still in a critical condition after an accident at its Richards Bay plant last week, and that the mill would be in full production by April 14. The JSE-listed firm said that a filtrate tank in the bleaching plant failed and... 

Two critically injured in Richards Bay paper-mill incident

28th March 2008 Johannesburg- and London-listed paper and packaging group Mondi reported at the weekend that a filtrate tank within the bleaching plant at its Richards Bay mill, in KwaZulu-Natal, had ruptured on Friday morning, critically injuring two employees. 

York plans 9-MW cogen plant as South Africa's electricity crisis bites 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     25th March 2008 Forestry products group York was currently investigating the potential for one or more cogeneration projects using a combination of its waste products and steam to generate power as a solution to the electricity crisis in the medium term, its CEO said on Tuesday. "In the medium term we are... 

Mondi moves to settle claims affecting up to 48% of its land

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2008 Pulp, paper and packaging group Mondi, which has dual primary listings on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges, is confident that its commercial and strategic interests are not in any way threatened by the fact that some 48% of its South African land is still subject to claims by... 

Mondi considers gas-turbine cogen investment for Durban mill

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2008 South Africa-domiciled global pulp and paper group Mondi has confirmed that it is in discussions with petrochemical company Sasol in a bid to secure gas for a possible power-generation investment at its Merebank mill, near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. It also emerged that the gas-turbine project... 

Paper action programme in six months

By: Desislava Tzoneva     7th March 2008 It is expected that an action programme for the paper, pulp and timber sector, stemming from the findings of the National Industrial Policy Framework, will be completed for approval by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the next six months, after which the implementation process will... 

Foreign manufacturer services local paper and pulp markets

By: Desislava Tzoneva     7th March 2008 Manufacturing and refurbishing company Harcliff Mining Services MD Darren Bagnall says that the company has recently been appointed as the agent and authorised service centre, a distributor of Moventas industrial gears products, for the paper and pulp as well as minerals processing industries for... 

Mill expansion set for May completion

By: Desislava Tzoneva     7th March 2008 Chemical cellulose producer Sappi Saiccor’s production is expected to increase by about 225 000 t a year with the completion of its current expansion venture, the Amakhulu Project. 

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