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Thriving in the desert - Shaniv Paper

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Thriving in the desert - Shaniv Paper

March 21, 2010 - 16:00

BRUSSELS, March 22, 2010 (RISI) -Shaniv Paper, Israel's second largest tissue producer is located in Ofakim, near the historic biblical city of Beersheba. This central Negev region of Israel receives only 200 mm of annual precipitation and is characterized by arid impervious soil. Making the most of raw material resources is paramount to its success - especially as it is delivering premium branded tissue and kitchen towelling.

When you are a tissuemaker located in the desert, it's only obvious that an abundance of water and forest plantations are not to be seen. Even so, Shaniv Paper has become the second largest manufacturer of tissue in the country, utilizing recycled wastepaper and a minimum of water and energy.

Focused increasingly on premium brands of tissue and kitchen towelling, it produces more than 30,000 tonnes/yr for the household market and base materials for converters in the institutional away-from-home (AfH) sector.

Says Pesach Bernat, CEO of Shaniv, "Employing recycled fiber to make high-end brands gives us a competitive advantage. Our innovative stock preparation for PM 2, combined with conservation advances in water and energy, puts us at an industry high level of tissuemaking."

Pesach Bernat, (left) CEO & Avi Hayun, mill manager, consider water and energy conservation a high priority

Based upon a strategic decision to increase its share of the premium level tissue market, Shaniv Paper upgraded the stock preparation system for its PM 2 crescent former, which uses up to 100% recycled fiber. In addition to having high flexibility in the pulp mix, it has also employed advanced water and energy conservation technologies.

Adds Shaniv mill manager, Avi Hayun, "To have a competitive advantage over other tissue producers, we seek the best from difficult mixed waste papers, and then extract the fiber with finesse. Kadant's advanced stock preparation systems, as well as water and energy saving technologies, have helped us perform better at the mill, in converting, and in our end products."

Continues Hayun, "Another way to see our success is to know that we increased end product cleanliness, softness and brightness, while increasing the yield from our raw material and reducing operating costs."

Innovative stock preparation helps Shaniv Paper achieve high-end brands of tissue with recycled fiber

Building a position

Locally produced premium tissue paper has become the norm in Israel over the past several decades. Even though Israel has long been a highly developed country in software, telecommunications, it was an importer of premium grades of paper and tissue for the consumer marketplace.

Changing this picture, Shaniv was established in 1990 to manufacture world-class consumer tissue products locally. Coming from a mindset of technological leadership, it sought out partners in the technological forefront in tissuemaking and converting.

Adds Shalom Lax, a Shaniv board member and director, "With Israel not being widely known as a tissue making center, we needed partners who had the process know-how, technology, and courage to take up our challenge. Kadant responded to our needs right from the start, and has delivered high value in fiber processing equipment and water and energy management."

The mill uses a 100% recycled furnish that is considered low-grade

A series of progressive moves

Comments Alain Lascar, director, applications and marketing with Kadant Lamort, "We worked with Shaniv to establish a stock preparation handling and design philosophy aimed at maximizing raw material quality from what is considered low grade waste while allowing blending possibilities with virgin pulp. Together we reduced operating costs and increased flexibility in end product development."

Shaniv's new stock preparation system concept from Kadant integrates compact, high-consistency pulping and a coarse screening system with a high-consistency cleaner and fine screening system.

According to Lascar, "Stickies and other contaminant removal exceed expectations at Shaniv, allowing them to maximize recycled fiber use, even from low grade sources."

The HC-pulper is fitted with an energy efficient Helisoft turbine that is able to operate at a consistency up to 20%. The increased deflaking energy and an optimized ink micronisation allow for reduced pulping time and improved output quality. Coarse screening is directly attached to the HD-cleaning device for removing contaminants early in the process. The compact screening concept also uses Kadant's ScreenOne system with three stages, including the tailing screen, and operates with 0.15 mm slots at a consistency up to 3%. This approach avoids dramatic size reduction of contaminants generated by multiple successive screens and minimizes the space required for the installation. Several options are then possible, either through flotation, cleaners and washers, or through special thickening washing devices. Possibilities to disperse and bleach the stock also exist.

Adds Hayun, "We reached for the premium level of tissuemaking and we achieved it - even with so called low quality wastepaper. Additionally, we found the way to widen the range of grade options, so that low, medium, high, and very high quality end products could be made consistently, allowing for great flexibility in the marketplace."

The mill started up in 1990 and produces 30,000 tonnes/yr

Water in a desert

Reducing fresh water consumption always represents cost savings for pulp mills, but when you are located in the Negev desert in Southern Israel, it's an imperative.

For this reason further efforts to progressively close water loops and reduce fresh water consumption are a high priority at Shaniv. Fresh water now costs Euro 1.3/m3, and is continuously on the rise. Even worse, discharging mill effluent into the fresh water system can be costly in fines.

Shaniv selected a fine filtration and high solids removal unit, the Kadant PETAX system, which operates continuously to filter particles as small as 1-20 microns.

PETAX is capable of processing up to 240 m3/hr of water with suspended solids in the range of 100-2000 mg/L. In operation, suspended solids in the filtrate are typically less than 20 mg/l without the use of chemical flocculants. Comments Hayun, "Recycling of white water on the tissue machine includes the high-pressure showers on the wires and felts. Already at over 30% savings in water consumption, we are striving to do even better."

“Touch” and “Lovely” are two of Shaniv Paper’s brands of toilet paper, paper towels, tissue, and napkins

It all adds up to green

Even though Shaniv has already made considerable progress on the environmental front, the mill continues to seek ways to do even better. It is currently looking at more ways to close the water supply process. For example, the mill effluent is purified before being discharged into the municipal waste water system, which after further purification, is used for agricultural irrigation.

The mill is also considering various approaches to gain value from the mill sludge and reducing chemical usage is a ongoing focus.

In addition to these efforts, Shaniv is in the process of installing a PV solar energy plant to take advantage of the 300 sunny days per year in Ofakim.

Bernat is proud of the green accomplishments at the Ofakim mill. Says Bernat, "We produce high quality consumer brands of tissue and toweling from waste, utilizing minimum water and energy. Because of our commitment to reduce fresh water usage, our closed-loop system saves precious water and eliminates effluent contamination of the city's waste water system."

Partners in shaping the Negev’s future
In 1990, the company was established in Ofakim. The company’s employees come from the surrounding environment and reflect Israel’s full social and human spectrum. Shaniv, first and foremost, strives to work with suppliers in the Negev in general and in Ofakim in particular, as part of the efforts to develop industry and employment in the region. The Shaniv Ofakim mill covers an area of 25,000 m2 and employs more than 160 workers operating in three shifts.