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Sappi's Cloquet Mill To Produce Specialized Cellulose

Sappi Fine Paper North America, Boston, a subsidiary of wood pulp and paper producer Sappi Ltd., South Africa, has completed conversion of its kraft pulp mill in Cloquet, Minn., for production of specialized cellulose, also called dissolving wood pulp, used in textile fibers as well as household, beauty and pharmaceutical products. The $170 million project will enable production of 330,000 metric tons of specialized cellulose annually.

Cloquet Mill produces pulp using batch cooking technology, which can be used for making both kraft pulp and specialized cellulose. In addition to the conversion project, Sappi has invested $15 million to upgrade the plant's coated paper production system.

"The Cloquet Mill is ideally suited to help Sappi secure its global leadership position regarding Specialised Cellulose. It is the newest pulp mill in America, close to its fiber basket and with a highly skilled and motivated workforce," said Ralph Boettger, CEO, Sappi Ltd., adding that the mill's production will contribute to the company's flexibility to serve its customers worldwide.

Sappi's Specialised Cellulose division has a total annual capacity of more than 1.3 million metric tons from two manufacturing facilities in South Africa and the Cloquet mill.

November/December 2013