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Sappi North America selects Valmet for Skowhegan rebuild

Sappi North America selects Valmet for Skowhegan rebuild
Located in Skowhegan, Maine (ME), Sappi North America Inc. is a subsidiary of global pulp and paper major South Africa headed Sappi Ltd (photo courtesy Sappi).

Finland-headed forest industry and energy technology provider Valmet Oyj has announced that it has been selected to supply an "extensive rebuild" for Sappi North America Inc. Somerset paper manufacturing facility in Skowhegan, Maine (ME) in the United States (US). Previously, Valmet rebuilt paper machine 1 (PM1) and with its success, Sappi has chosen Valmet again to rebuild paper machine 2 (PM2).

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Previously, Valmet rebuilt paper machine 1 (PM1) at Skowhegan and with its success, Sappi has chosen Valmet again to rebuild paper machine 2 (PM2).

As a result of the PM2 conversion from coated woodfree graphic paper to solid bleached sulphate board, the machine capacity will be increased from 240 000 tonnes to 470 000 tonnes per annum.

Valmet has proven to be a trusted supplier to Sappi over the years and we’re pleased to work with them again on our PM2 project. This investment is fully aligned with our Thrive25 strategic focus to reduce our exposure to graphic paper and transition our portfolio to packaging and specialty papers, pulp, and biomaterials, said Michael Haws, President, and CEO of Sappi North America.

PM2 at Skowhegan will be rebuilt using some of the most advanced packaging manufacturing technology to produce a variety of both packaging and coated paper products.

Valmet’s delivery will include a number of modifications and new machine parts in the existing machine to meet the requirements of the new packaging grades.

In addition, the mill will benefit from Valmet Industrial Internet and Automation Solutions including a new Quality Measurement System, a Process Control System (DCS and Valmet DNA), web monitoring, and web inspection systems.

We look forward to continued collaboration with Sappi North America, and we thank them for their partnership on another conversion project. We know the demand for packaging and specialty papers in North America is high and we’re confident that through our combined efforts, we’ll meet future market needs, said Jukka Tiitinen, Area President, North America, Valmet.

The start-up of the rebuilt machine is scheduled for mid-year 2025. While the value of the order has not been disclosed, Valmet says such an order is typically worth between EUR 90 and 120 million.

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