Sappi North America announced a $5.94 million capital investment in its Cloquet, paper mill to replace the headbox on Paper Machine 12 (PM12). The investment enabled Sappi to maintain its capacity by adding a state-of-the-art, dilution profiled headbox that produces excellent basis weight profiles, the company said in a Tuesday announcement.
A headbox is an integral part of the paper machine responsible for spreading the pulp fibers evenly to form the sheet.
“This investment shows Sappi’s unwavering commitment to its graphic papers and packaging customers,” said Mark Gardner, president and CEO, Sappi North America. “The new headbox will ensure that we’re fulfilling orders to the highest quality standards that Sappi’s customers have come to expect. This project will not only improve upon our longstanding history with the graphic papers market, but also support our growing paper-based packaging business.”
The latest capital allocation follows a $170 million investment in 2011 to enable the Cloquet Mill’s kraft pulp operations to also produce chemical cellulose used in textile and consumer goods markets. Through this product diversification, along with investments in renewable energy and waste reduction, the mill has stayed profitable and competitive in a challenging market, Sappi said. The Cloquet Mill was recently awarded for its investment by the Minnesota Office of Foreign Direct Investment. The award highlighted the company’s contributions to the economic vitality of local communities, and its commitment to keeping Minnesota a world-leading business destination.
The PM12 Headbox project was completed in October.