• Sutton, International Paper RISI  Power List 2016: #1
  • Wijaya, APP, RISI Power List 2016:#3
  • Otsubo, Rengo, RISI Power List 2016:#13
  • Cheung Yan, Nine Dragons, RISI Power List 2016:#11
  • Montague, TAPPI, RISI Power List 2016

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The RISI Top 50 Power List 2016

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The RISI Top 50 Power List 2016

July 28, 2016 - 05:24
Welcome to the ninth edition of the RISI Power List. As per usual, some familiar names join (or rejoin) the list while others drop off and some new names make their debut.

Welcome to the ninth edition of the RISI Power List. As per usual, some familiar names join (or rejoin) the list while others drop off and some new names make their debut. Another very familiar (and polarizing) name makes a first appearance and depending on how things go in November, he may repeat.

As we have said before, this is not a scientific study but rather a compilation done by our editors along with RISI staff and other interested readers. There are obviously many more than 50 people who wield considerable influence in this industry but we had to cut the list off somewhere.

Modesty prevents us from adding another potential: Paper360°, but since the merger between Paper360° and PPI magazines, the book has enjoyed substantial growth and reaches a print audience alone of more than 25,000.

As always, we would like to hear from you. Who have we missed? Who needs the boot?

Contact Graeme Rodden, grodden@risi.com or Mark Rushton mrushton@risi.com

The RISI Power List 2016 appears exclusively in print in Tappi’s Paper360° magazine July/August.


1/ Mark Sutton, International Paper

Forging ahead, Sutton recently completed a huge deal, as IP is purchasing Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business for $2.2 billion, including five mills with a capacity of almost two million tonnes annually. According to Moody’s, the deal will further diversify IP’s global packaging and paper business by creating a leading global fluff pulp business with about 40% market share. But IP did not ignore its paper business, entering into an agreement with Swedish producer Holmen to buy its newsprint mill in Madrid where IP intends to convert it into a recycled containerboard facility.

2/ Marcello Castelli, Fibria

The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has approved a Real 2.3 billion ($648.5 million) loan to Fibria, the world’s largest bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp producer. The cash will be used for the construction of a second 1.75-million tonne/yr BEK line at the company’s Três Lagoas mill, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, where it already runs a 1.3-million tonne/yr BEK pulp line. Fibria’s Horizonte 2 expansion plan is estimated at Real 8.7 billion and is expected to be concluded by the last quarter of 2017. The company is also building a new nursery for the mill that will feature automated eucalyptus seedling production. Castelli has been awarded the O Euilibri award, the “Oscar” for finance executives in Espirito Santo. Fibria has teamed up with Ensyn and is developing an 80-million liter/yr biocrude project at Fibria’s Aracruz mill.  Construction is targeted to begin later in 2016.

3/ Teguh Wijaya, APP

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) continues on its march to be the world leader in the pulp and paper industry under Wijaya’s leadership. Among numerous developments going on at any one time at the company, one stands out above all – the massive $3 billion Oki Pulp & Paper Mill development taking place in South Sumatra, Indonesia. The development – said to be the world’s largest pulp mill – will see start up later this year with an initial output of 2 million tonnes of pulp annually, ramping up to 2.8 million tonnes depending on availability of raw material. In an exclusive article published in Paper 360 this issue, APP has stated that only the very best technology will be used and the mill will be a showcase in how to produce pulp and paper in an environmentally friendly way. The mill will employ 1,700 people and directly or indirectly create employment opportunities for 10,000 people in the area. Questions have been raised by a number of NGOs about how the company will feed such a giant, and at the same time stick by its commitment to “zero deforestation”. Clearly an interesting space to watch over the coming year. 

4/ Walter Schalka, Suzano

Named as RISI’s Latin American CEO of the Year for the second consecutive time, Schalka was the overwhelming choice of analysts as he continues to work to improve the company’s bottom line. Profit in Q1 2016 was R1.1 billion compared with a loss of more than R700 million in Q1 2015. But it is not only about the bottom line. Suzano has announced plans to install two tissue machines, at its Imperatriz and Mucuri mills in Brazil. It has introduced the world’s first hardwood fluff pulp, EucaFluff. And, it is actively engaged in pursuing research in GMO eucalyptus. To top it off, moving forward, Suzano is very optimistic about pulp markets.  

5/ Steve Voorhees, WestRock

The company continues to progress since the merger of Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco. Second quarter results show the company is realizing the strategic benefits of the merger. Over the last year it has acquired SP Fiber and Cenveo Packaging and recently announced the completion of a joint venture in Mexico with Grupo Gondi under which the companies will combine their paper and packaging operations in that country. WestRock has also spun off its specialty chemical business. 

6/ Li Hongxin, Sun Paper

Sun Paper continues to be one of the leading companies in the pulp and paper sector in Asia. It has recently announced the start up of a 500,000 tonne/yr containerboard machine at Zoucheng city, Shandong province, and it continues its endeavors in the tissue segment, ramping up capacity to 120,000 tonnes/yr. Sun Paper is now also entering into the hygiene product market in partnership with Nippon Paper Industries subsidiary Crecia. But perhaps the most exciting development at the Chinese firm is the recently proposed US fluff pulp mill that Sun Paper has signed to build in Arkansas, US. Chairman of Sun Paper Li Hongxin and Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson recently signed a memorandum of understanding. The $1.3 billion investment will create a greenfield site that will be able to produce 700,000 tonnes/yr of fluff pulp, which will be destined to go back to China.    


7/ Magnus Groth, SCA

SCA has a lot going on. According to president and CEO Groth the giant in the forest products and hygiene world has been concentrating on “strategic priorities: profitable growth and innovation and efficiency”. In terms of growth, SCA is certainly doing it; the company is doubling the capacity of its Östrand pulp mill in Sweden to around 900,000 tonnes/yr. On the hygiene side, in January of this year the company completed the acquisition of Wausau Paper Corp., a leading North American manufacturer of away-from-home tissue, and also integrated its hygiene business in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and South Korea with Vinda, where SCA is the majority shareholder. In terms of innovation, the company is also walking the walk with no less than 30 new innovations in the hygiene world launched last year.


8/ Tony Smurfit, Smurfit Kappa Group

Things appear to be going well and steady for the new CEO at SKG, although Smurfit has been with the company at a senior level for a while now. The company has just posted five percent growth for corrugated packaging year on year and an improved profit margin at 14 percent. Acquisitions totaling over Euro 380 million ($425 million) were completed last year, with the company having a capital investment program of Euro 450 million ($503 million) annually. Smurfit recently commented: “Following the completion of our acquisitions last year, the group’s focus is on integration of the businesses through 2016 with the capacity for further bolt on acquisitions”. SKG recently invested in rebuilds and Roermond and Sanguesa mills, which will further enhance profitability going forward.


9/ Fabio Schvartsman, Klabin

Brazil’s largest papermaker has made a successful foray into market pulp. The first pulp from its Puma project was shipped in April. And a new boxboard mill is a possibility adjacent to the new pulp mill in Ortigueira. A decision could be made by mid-year. “Our new pulp capacity makes it natural for the company to convert it into paper and board,” Schvartsman said. The company already produces boxboard at its other mills.


10/ Lars Idermark, Södra

Idermark, president and CEO of Swedish forest products and market pulp giant Södra, continues to drive the organization forward, and is seeing some solid results - the company’s operating profit rose a massive 43 percent last year. Idermark commented recently on progress in 2015: “The forest economy was stable, our production volumes were high, exchange rates were favorable and our operations became more efficient.” Södra has embarked upon a major SEK 5 billion ($602 million) expansion project at its Värö mill which will start up later this year, and is also investing SEK 1 billion ($120 million) at its Mörrum mill, both situated in Sweden. Idermark was also elected Chairman of Swedbank earlier this year. 

11/ Cheung Yan, Nine Dragons

Nine Dragons Paper continues to be a force to be reckoned with in Asia. Despite the perceived slowdown in the Chinese economy, the firm still managed a 5.1 percent increase in sales volumes in the first half of 2016 to around 6.7 million tonnes.  And there is still expansion going on at Nine Dragons, with PM 2 in Vietnam coming on stream by the end of the year, which will see the group’s total capacity rise to 14.8 million tonnes/yr. The company will also start up PM 39 at Shenyang by the end of 2017. Cheung Yan, Chairlady of Nine Dragons recently said regarding forward outlook for the company, “The global macro-economic environment will remain volatile, while the process of in-depth reform in all sectors will present opportunities and challenges. Big data, cloud computing, robots and other new technologies are propelling the traditional manufacturing towards the industry 4.0 era”. 


12/ José Carlos Grubisich, Eldorado Celulose

Eldorado does not think small. The company is currently building a new 2.2-million tonne/yr BEK pulp line at the Três Lagoas site, aiming to have the largest pulp complex in the world. As well, the bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp producer will invest Real 300 million ($85 million) to build a biomass-based thermal power station in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Midwest Brazil. Eldorado will feed the power plant with eucalyptus roots and stumps left by the harvesting process at the company’s forests.  This is the first of six potential power plant projects at Eldorado. “With our own forests we would have potential to supply biomass to six 50 MW/h power plants each, thus supplying over 300 MW/h of electricity to the national grid, getting additional revenues of over Real 600 million,” Grubisich explained.

13/ Kiyoshi Otsubo, Rengo

RISI’s Asian CEO of the Year for 2016, Kiyoshi Otsubo has done a fantastic job in the Japanese industry since he became President and CEO of Rengo Co. Ltd in 2000. The company is a large paperboard and packaging producer headquartered in Japan with a turnover of 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion). It has 35 manufacturing plants across Japan and another 55 located in China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the US. One analyst voting for Otsubo said: “A decade ago the Japanese paperboard industry was suffering from low profitability and was in dire straits due to issues such as fierce price competition, over supply and overcapacity. Establishing a platform that maintained a balance of appropriate levels of supply and demand, Otsubo worked tirelessly to restructure the whole industry. He has not only achieved remarkable business results as the president and CEO of Rengo, but has also played an essential role as a reformer in the paperboard industry in Japan”.


14/ Matias Domeyko, Arauco

There are big plans afoot at this Chilean company. Capex spending could top $600 million in the near future. Among the projects contemplated: a new particleboard mill in the US that would be a $325-million investment. Groundbreaking could occur in late 2016. The Chilean Supreme Court has approved a plan in which Arauco will convert the Valdivia mill to dissolving pulp from BEK. The company also plans to add a new 1.5-million tonne/yr BEK pulp line to its Arauco mill. In 2015, the company purchased 50% of Spanish panel producer Tafisa, giving Arauco entry into the European and South African panel markets.

15/ Kari Jordan, Metsä Group

Jordan won the prestigious RISI European CEO of the Year this year - but was so busy he was unable to come to our European conference in Berlin to receive it! Mind you, a quick glance at what is going on at the company will tell you that time management takes a priority at the Metsä Group. The company has a lot going on, including a new board machine start up at Husum in Sweden as well as one of the largest projects ever undertaken in Finland – the building of the bioproduct mill at Äänekoski, Finland. Under Jordan’s leadership the Metsä Group has seen startling progress over the last 4-5 years, in a recent interview Jordan stated that the success was down to “wise restructuring and a focus on its core business”. One analyst who voted for Jordan winning the CEO award said: “Under Jordan’s leadership the performances and prospects of the Metsä Group have been totally transformed over recent times.”    


16/ Doyle R. Simons, Weyerhaeuser

With Simons at the helm Weyco has made bold moves to further tighten the focus of the company and position it well to benefit from the continued recovery in the US domestic economy and housing market. These moves include: plans to move its headquarters from its expansive Federal Way complex to Seattle in hopes of lowering costs and having closer proximity to the potential employment pool; the strategic review of its cellulose fibers business (announced at the same time as the Plum Creek deal, see Mark Sutton, IP) and, the merger with Plum Creek that combines two industry leaders to create a $23 billion timber REIT with more than 13 million acres of the most productive and diverse timberland in the US….creating the largest private ownership of timberland in the US.


17/ Ted Seraphim, West Fraser

Ted and his team have proven to be extremely adept at maneuvering in anticipation of the developments in the wood products business in the aftermath of the Great Recession and the mountain pine beetle infestation in BC. These moves include: pivoting toward the offshore export markets for lumber, with a focus on China, while growth in the US remained anemic during the recession and the slow recovery since then; realizing the impact of the mountain pine beetle and moving to acquire wood products assets where fiber was more readily available in the US South ahead of its major competitors in the industry. Through these acquisitions and strategic capital expenditures West Fraser, the largest lumber producer in the North America, continues to deliver value to its shareholders and remains a step ahead of its competitors.


18/ John Williams, Domtar

Although quiet on the acquisition/expansion scene compared with recent years, Domtar is still a company to be envied. It is still a favorite among analysts for its product mix and business strategy. There is ample room for growth in its personal care segment, a fast-growing market in which Domtar has invested heavily.


19/ Karl-Henrick Sundström, Stora Enso

A structural decline in demand for paper has resulted in lower sales and prices for the Finnish company, however its Biomaterials division is beginning to pay dividends. Sundström and his teams have been very busy with divestments and closures in paper and packaging but also the opposite, more positive activities, for instance the ramping up of production at the Uruguayan pulp mill, Montes del Plata, Stora Enso’s joint venture with Aurauco. Sundström recently said: “Stora Enso has shown its ability to transform into a renewable materials growth company.”    

20/ Richard Garneau, Resolute

Garneau continues to lead Resolute out of the abyss, shuttering more newsprint capacity, the most recent the closure of one machine in Augusta, GA. The company continues to advance in market pulp and timber and the tissue project is also progressing. Bolstering its move in tissue, Resolute acquired Atlas Paper in 2015, which has three machines producing 65,000 tons/yr of tissue. Garneau continues to take a strong and public stand against what he believes is unfair treatment of the company either from NGOs or the US Department of Commerce and its countervailing duties against Canadian SC paper, which affected Resolute.


21/ Peter Oswald, Mondi

The Mondi group continues to perform strongly in the consumer packaging and uncoated fine paper areas with operating profits from the first quarter of this year up 14% to Euro 236 million ($263 million). Oswald, CEO of Mondi Europe & International, and former RISI CEO of the Year, is also getting heard in Europe on his views about the more efficient use of wood. Mondi recently commissioned a report with WWF, the environmental group, entitled: Mapping Study on Cascading Use of Wood Products, which looks at how regulation affects efficiency, good and bad. Oswald says in the report: “Taking wood straight from the forest and burning it just doesn’t make sense if it can be used for other products first”. Oswald is also the current Chairman of CEPI.


22/ Jussi Pesonen, UPM

The Finnish company continues to operate successfully under its Biofore slogan, in fact the biorefining unit of the business now really has come to the fore as paper demand decreases and weakening prices hit home in its European and North American businesses. UPM’s biorefining unit, which includes pulp, timber and biofuels, has shown steady year on year growth. Also showing growth are UPM Asia and UPM Raflatac. UPM Asia has just seen the inauguration of PM 3 at its Changshu mill, a state of the art Voith machine that will make uncoated woodfree and specialty papers. The Changshu mill will now produce 1.4 million tonnes/yr.  

23/ Anthony Pratt, Pratt Industries

Fresh off a very successful startup of its new recycled linerboard mill in Valparaiso, IN, Pratt is already seeking new worlds to conquer. Pratt has built three of the last four mills to be constructed in the US. According to RISI’s Mill Intelligence, the company has three of the five lowest cost recycled linerboard mills in North America with Valparaiso already at No. 3. In 2015, the company also opened its newest material recovery facility (MRF) at its “corporate eco-campus” in Conyers, GA. For his accomplishments, Pratt has been named RISIS’ s North American packaging CEO of the Year.  


24/ Steve Binnie, Sappi

Binnie recently commented at the announcement of Sappi’s second quarter results: “Our strategy to reposition ourselves as a cash generative diversified wood fiber group remains well on track”. If diversified wood fiber means dissolving pulp then it seems Binnie is bang on the mark, as higher sales volumes and prices of the product helped the company see profits double for the half year. The European and American paper businesses are also improving and stable as the graphic paper decline begins to reach the bottom, and the company’s concentration on producing more and better specialty papers pays off. 


25/ Mario Plourde, Cascades

The company continues to innovate. Its leadership in energy efficiency has been repeatedly recognized in Canada. In Q1 2016, operating income rose 25% and sales also increased. Its tissue division continues to be strong. After some growing pains, the new Greenpac mill was officially opened and is contributing to the bottom line. Speaking of this sector of the company, as of August, Norampac will be known as Cascades Containerboard Packaging. Cascades also announced it would replace the current pulping system at its Canbano, QC, semichemical corrugating medium mill with innovative biorefinery technology in a $26-million project.

26/ Donna Harman, AF&PA

The paper recovery rate in the US reached 66.8% in 2015, well on its way to the goal of 70% by 2020. The recovery rate has more than doubled since 1990. The AF&PA has also lobbied hard on the benefits of biomass and its efforts have borne fruit. The AF&PA issued a statement applauding US Senate for approving as part of the energy bill language that clarifies how federal agencies should treat biomass-based energy in regulations. “The just-passed Senate Energy bill sends a clear message to policymakers that the full benefits of using biomass for energy generation should be recognized in federal policies with a consistent approach across all federal agencies. Emissions from bioenergy should be considered carbon neutral as long as forest growth exceeds harvest and when certain manufacturing residuals are used in lieu of disposal. We applaud Sens. Collins, Klobuchar, King, Ayotte, Franken, Daines, Crapo and Risch for their steadfast leadership on this issue.”


27/ Elizabeth de Carvalhaes, IBA

The first representative of the southern hemisphere to lead the International Council of Forest and Paper associations (ICFPA), De Carvalhaes is continuing her efforts to promote the global forest products industry as part of the solution to mitigating climate change. She also continues to lead and promote IBA, the two-year-old association of industries that use the forest as the base of their operations. It currently includes 61 companies and nine state entities.

28/ Larry Montague, TAPPI

Having led a very successful centennial year for the association in 2015, under Montague’s leadership, TAPPI continues to grow. Membership levels are at their highest level since 2008 and are poised to break through the 8,000 mark by mid-year. There has been a successful merger with RISI’s PPI magazine, which has spurred interest and growth in Paper360°. As well, the two has just announced another joint project, the International Tissue Conference that will take place in autumn 2017, probably in the US south. As well, PaperCon 2016, held in Cincinnati in May, sold out its exhibit floor.


29/ Pete Madden, Drax Biomass

Drax continues to grow in the southeast US. Two pellet production plants began production in 2015. They will ship pellets to the company’s Baton Rouge, LA, storage and shipping facility. The company is now working through the certification process for the Sustainable Business Partnerships program. The audit should take place later this year. It already has SFI fiber sourcing and chain of custody certification as well as FSC and PEFC chain of custody certification as part of its wood procurement program.


30/ Sylvain Lhôte, CEPI

The Confederation of European Paper Industries continues to be a massively important voice and instrument for pulp and papermakers in Europe. CEPI’s former leader and director general Marco Mensink left earlier in the year to pursue other horizons in chemicals and a new director general, Sylvain Lhôte, will take up the role in September this year.  

31/ Per Lindberg, BillerudKorsnäs

The Swedish paper and packaging giant continues to be a rising force in the industry posting an operating profit of SEK 2.6 billion ($31 million) for last year, a rise of 36 percent from the previous year.  Net profit was even better with a jump of 51% to SEK 2 billion ($24 million). These buoyant figures are all despite something of a nightmare the company had in its fourth quarter when it encountered SEK 245 million of unplanned extra costs due to hold ups on rebuilds and cost overruns on maintenance projects.   


32/ Michael P. Doss, Graphic Packaging

With big shoes to fill following the retirement of David Scheible, Doss is well prepared for the role since joining Graphic Packaging in 1990. Doss held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer from October 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and Chief Operating Officer from January 1, 2014 until September 30, 2015. In announcing Doss’ promotion, Jeffrey Coors, lead director of the board of Graphic Packaging, said, "In recent years, Mike helped engineer and execute the company's strategic direction.  After a careful and diligent succession planning process, we are confident that Mike is absolutely the right leader to take Graphic Packaging to the next level of performance." Continuing to expand its global business, Graphic Packaging has recently acquired companies such as Metro Packaging and Imaging, Walter G. Anderson, Colorpak and G-Box Carded Graphics.


33/ Norman Marsolan, Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI)

A diverse array of industries and interests is already collaborating with RBI (formerly IPST) scientists and engineers to create new cost-competitive products to capture growing world markets in such areas as: chemicals, pulp and paper, polymers and plastics, packaging, biofuels, advanced materials, specialty papers, printed electronics, transportation, and health and hygiene. Marsolan is Executive Director of RBI which is the premier research institute for the transformation of biomaterials into new products, including traditional and new forest products, renewable energy, chemicals, advanced materials and pharmaceuticals. There are currently 50 funded graduate students, as well as a large number of undergraduates, working to define the next generation of renewable bioproducts and bioprocessing techniques.


34/ Raymond Lee, Lee & Man

Another company with a lot going on is Lee & Man, which is embarking on a goal to become one of the leading tissue producers in the Asian region with a target to produce over half a million tonnes/yr. Known as a big containerboard producer in Asia, the company added the hygiene sector to its portfolio in 2014. Such has been the initial success of the venture – it even now has its own well received brand in China - it is adding four 60,000 tonne/yr Valmet tissue machines which will start production later this year, and then another four units, two from Valmet and two from Voith next year. The total capacity of all tissue machines will be 630,00 tonnes/yr. If that is not enough, Lee & Man is in the process of starting up a 400,000 tonne/yr containerboard machine at its greenfield mill in Hau Giang province, Vietnam.


35/ Jack Sanders, Sonoco

A truly global company with 330 operations in 34 countries with $5 billion in revenue, Sonoco is one of the largest diversified packaging companies. Fortune Magazine honored it in its Most Admired Companies, Packaging Sector, which included a No.1 ranking in financial soundness. Sonoco recently celebrated the grand opening of its state-of-the-art iPS Studio. The iPS Studio is a leading-edge research, development and innovation center that connects consumer and market insights to the invention of new packaging solutions, all under one roof. Sanders recently said that the company remains optimistic that it should be able to achieve its volume growth objectives, particularly with the many new commercial development opportunities it is actively working on in the Consumer Packaging and Protective Solutions businesses.


36/ John Keppler, Enviva

In 2015 Enviva completed its IPO. It continued work on a $320-million JV with Hancock Natural Resource Group. It also completed the acquisition of Green Circle Bioenergy with its 650,000-tonne/yr pellet mill in Cottondale FL, and announced the construction of its second port facility in Wilmington NC. Enviva now operates six pellet mills and a port facility with another port facility and several more mills in various stages of development. Its overall capacity is now 2.25 million tonnes (and growing) which equates to about 5 million short tons of woodfiber consumption in the US South. It is by far the most dominant player in the US wood pellet business.


37/ Mike Grimm, American Eagle Paper Mills

Under Grimm’s leadership, the company has expanded its recycled copy paper business. American Eagle announced a multi-million dollar natural gas conversion project. This project will replace the legacy coal based power generation equipment with high efficiency natural gas fueled equipment. Grimm commented that the power boiler project is a key part of American Eagle’s overall company strategy. The project will ascertain that American Eagle Paper Mills is in full regulatory compliance under the Boiler MACT legislation and lay the groundwork for future projects to support growth. Continuing to show that the little guy still has a place in the industry, Grimm is a member of the board of the AF&PA.


38/ Jim Hannan, Georgia-Pacific

Approximately 70% of brand selections are made at the time of purchase. That’s why G-P purchased Excel Displays & Packaging, giving it even stronger capabilities to help customers drive consumers to their brand over the competition. The acquisition brings new capability in point-of-purchase displays, digital print capability that complements G-P’s current print offering, and an additional converting plant. With its vast range of products, from construction materials to chemicals to non-wovens to tissue, paper and board, there are few aspects of everyday life that G-P does not touch. Beyond the dollars of business, the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, founded almost 60 years ago, provides resources to the communities in which G-P operates. It has helped thousands of community projects since its inception.

39/ Dennis Jonsson, TetraPak

TetraPak is going all out to promote the sustainability of its products and with its innovations in fiber and plant based packaging. The Tetra Rex bio based carton hit the shelves earlier this year and is promoted as: “the world’s first liquid food carton package made entirely from renewable materials”. Even the plastics used in the package are made from sugar cane, and the paperboard is from FSC certified and traceable sources. By all accounts the product is taking off – Tetra Rex won the Best Carton or Pouch category at the latest World Beverage Innovation Ceremony held in Nuremburg, Germany.  


40/ Miles Roberts, DS Smith

Roberts heads up DS Smith which has invested around Euro 600 million in acquisitions over its last financial year achieving its aim to “expand it geographic footprint”. The most recent acquisition the company made was TRM Packaging in in the UK, a specialist producer of corrugated packaging and retail ready products. The company has been developing specialist solutions for the rapidly growing e-commerce channel. Roberts recently said of its latest results: “over the year we have grown organically and by acquisition and while at the same time improving our margin, and we remain excited about the opportunities for the business.” 


41/ Praveen Singhavi, APRIL

The APRIL group seems to have put all its troubles with the NGOs behind it as it goes boldly into the future. In fact it has recently managed to get recognized for its commitments to fire prevention work in Indonesia which has become a real bone of contention between governments and forest plantation companies in the region, and particularly over serious haze issues in Singapore.  APRIL recently received a renewal of its Singapore Green Label for its PaperOne copier paper product. The group will shortly be starting PM 3 at the Kerinci mill in Indonesia, a brand new graphic paper machine that will increase the mill’s output from 820,000 tonnes to 1.15 million tonnes/yr.  APRIL has also recently signed up two European traders, Paper Union and Roxel to market its paper products in Europe.

42/ Annica Breskey, Iggesund Paperboard

Starting out as production manager at Stora Enso’s Kvarnsveden mill, Breskey was appointed CEO of Iggesund Paperboard in 2013. The experience on state of the art papermachines would have come in handy recently as the company has just rebuilt its board machine at its Workington mill in the UK. The rebuild will increase the machine’s capacity from 200,000 to 220,000 tonnes/yr, and enabling it to continue to focus on the high end and luxury packaging markets. Iggesund has spent more that £200 million ($292 million) on the Workington mill in recent times.


43/ Jurgen Heindl, Progroup

Heading up the Germany’s Progroup, entrepreneur Heindl continues to organically grow his corrugated empire in Europe. Earlier this year the group announced the building of a new sheet feeding plant in Trzcinica, southern Poland which will start up later this year. The 250-million m2/yr facility will house a 2.8 m wide corrugator. The Progroup currently operates two paper mills and eight corrugated sheet plants across Europe, employing around 900 people.


44/ Ron Stern, Port Hawkesbury Paper Limited Partnership

This is not just about Stern but also other Canadian papermakers including Catalyst and Irving that have been caught up in a trade war with US producers who feel the Canadian industry is unfairly subsidized. However, Port Hawkesbury is at the eye of the storm and its SC paper was hit with a 20.33% interim duty. Another principal in this listing is the US Department of Commerce which, one of our contributors said, is “changing the landscape of the US printing and writing trade by never saying no to a trade action.” And just wait, the softwood lumber deal between Canada and the US is up for renegotiation.

45/ Aida Greenbury, APP

Greenbury continues her relentless pursuit to make sure that Asia Pulp & Paper stays on the right side of the environmental groups, and certification bodies at the same time making sure it continues on its progress to dominate the world of pulp and paper. Greenbury has recently begun consultation with FSC to end its disassociation with the company, which will entail a number of commitments that APP has to fulfill.  


46/ US Presidential Election

With Donald Trump, “The Donald”, poised to win the Republican Party presidential nomination, what more needs to be said. The man is a newsmaker all to himself, let alone as an aspirant to one of the most powerful political positions in the world. And his probably opponent, Hilary Clinton, is no shrinking violet herself. She is favored to become the first female president of the US. There will be no end of news coverage of this historical presidential election.


47/ Brazil

Political corruption with a likely presidential impeachment pending, Zika disease and the upcoming Rio Olympics combine to make Brazil one of the focal points in the world. All the while, its pulp mills lead world production with the leading forest products producers in the country continuing to invest not only in new mills but widespread research as well to constantly add value to their offerings.  


48/ The Brexit

The run up to Britain’s Brexit referendum – which gave citizens of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the opportunity to get out of the European Union - saw papermakers and printers rubbing their hands in glee as literally hundreds of millions of leaflets were printed and delivered to households across the land. It all goes to prove that direct mail and good printing on quality paper is still a preferred choice for getting the message across to the masses.


49/ Martti Fredrikson, Finnpulp

FinnPulp appeared from out of the blue on our list last year with its plans for a 1.2 million tonnes/yr softwood pulp mill in Sorsasalo, north of Kuopio, Finland. We are told there is more work to be done on the environmental permit, but should the project go ahead, it will be massively important mill for the region, for Finland and the industry.


50/ Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is being hailed as the instigator of the next “industrial revolution”, and it is said that it will be responsible for industry moving onto the next level of completely automated processes.But there are questions:  isn’t Industry 4.0 just another name for Big Data? Haven’t other industries, for instance the printing industry, been doing this for decades? The fact is 4.0 is here, and all producers and  suppliers should be girding their loins ready for its implementation wherever it fits best.