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Sappi restarts PM 11 at Gratkorn mill in Austria following upgrade

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Sappi restarts PM 11 at Gratkorn mill in Austria following upgrade

November 17, 2014 - 17:50

BRUSSELS, Nov 13, 2014 (RISI) - Sappi is resuming production on the 665,000 tonne/yr coated woodfree (CWF) paper unit PM 11 at its Gratkorn mill near Graz in Austria today following a rebuild.

The revamp will increase the machine's grammage range from 115-250 g/m² to 115-350 g/m². Valmet carried out the upgrade, which included modification of the PM's headbox, a gap former rebuild as well as rebuilds of the press and drying sections.

Production on PM 11 was stopped on October 20 and startup was first scheduled for November 5. However, some additional engineering work was required to prepare the site and this extended the project by a few days, a company spokesperson said. Commissioning of the machine was started this week and startup will take place today.

The project is part of a Euro 120 million ($150 million) investment aimed at reducing the cost base and improving the profitability of both Sappi's Gratkorn mill and its Kirkniemi plant in Finland. Next year, Sappi will revamp the Gratkorn mill's chemical pulp production facility. At the 735,000 tonne/yr Kirkniemi coated mechanical paper mill, the firm is adding a new power plant, due to start up in January 2016.

Stockstadt revamp completed: Sappi has also taken some maintenance downtime at its Stockstadt mill in Germany in order to work on the liquor boiler, the evaporation section of the liquor line and modify the drying section of the 210,000 tonne/yr uncoated woodfree (UWF) paper unit PM 1. This project has now been completed as planned, the spokesperson said.

The liquor line and the 160,000 tonne/yr bleached chemical pulp production plant were down from October 4 until the end of that month, and production on PM 1 was stopped for eight days.