Over the Wire

in case you missed it in TAPPI’s weekly electronic newsletter


Cascades Inc. celebrated the official inauguration of its expanded corrugated packaging plant in Drummondville, PQ—
a US$26.4 million investment.

International Paper will invest about US$300 million to convert PM 15 at the Riverdale Mill in Selma, AL, from uncoated freesheet to high-quality whitetop linerboard and containerboard. The investment will add 450,000 tons of annual capacity.

Fibria, Brazil, started up its new mill at Três Lagoas in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, ahead of schedule.

Kimberly-Clark Corp.:

has commited to annually purchase approximately 1,000,000 MW hours (245 MW) of electricity from two new wind power projects in Texas and Oklahoma. 

has been named to Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies” for 2017.

Kruger has started up its new No. 8 tissue machine at the Crabtree mill in the Lanaudiere region of Quebec.

Menasha Corp. has acquired ARI Packaging. The business will operate as part of Menasha Packaging Co.

Södra will invest more than US$12.3 million in the production of biomethanol, a sustainable fuel from forest raw material. Project startup is scheduled for spring 2019.

Sun Paper, China, may begin construction on its new billion-dollar Sun Bio Material pulp mill near Gum Springs, AR, by the end of 2017.

Suzano Papel E Celulose S.A., Brazil, has started production and sale of jumbo tissue rolls at its mill in Mucuri, Bahia, Brazil.

Tetra Pak, Switzerland, will invest US$35.2 million to expand capabilities at its Packaging Material Converting Factory in Denton, TX.

WestRock plans to build a new corrugated box plant in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo; completion is expected in mid-2019.

Weyerhaeuser has reopened its lands in Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Missoula, Sanders, and Ravalli counties in western Montana to public access. All campfires are still banned due to fire danger.


AkzoNobel has returned to the top of the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index to lead the rankings again for the fifth time in six years.

Alliance Machine and Engraving LLC has completed its move to a new 25,000 ft2 manufacturing facility.

Andritz has successfully started up the TM 5 tissue machine delivered to Guizhou Chitianhua Paper Industry Co., at its location in Guizhou Province, China.

Archroma has launched a free online tool that allows paper and packaging customers to search for products within the company’s entire range of colorants.

Coldwater Group will aquire the paper machine drainage elements business of CoorsTek in Hillsboro, OR.

J.M. Huber Corporation has completed the sale of the Silica business unit of Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) to Evonik Industries AG, in a US$630 million transaction.

Polymag Tek and Static Clean International have recently entered into a strategic alliance agreement that will allow each company to be the North American distributor for the other’s product portfolios.


has launched its new IQ Converting Scanner for self-adhesive laminates and other paper and board converting machines.

will deliver a new gravity feed chipper to Sappi Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Ngodwana.

will supply a complete tissue production line, including Focus rewinder and an extensive automation package, to Crown Paper Mill (CPM) in Abu Dhabi.


has supplied the Bank Note Paper Mill India with two new complete production lines.

has introduced its new VForm hydrofoils, which makes it possible to precisely adjust the activity of a pulp suspension, increasing dewatering capacity.

Voith Digital Solutions has opened its high-tech Digital Campus in Raleigh, NC.


PPI 2017 Awards Ceremony: Nov. 29, Brussels, Belgium. www.events.risiinfo.com/ppi-awards.

RISI European Conference: March 5-7, Barcelona, Spain. www.events.risiinfo.com/european-conference.

TAPPI PaperCon 2018: April 15-18, Charlotte, NC. www.papercon.org.

TAPPI International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Conference: April 22-25, Charlotte, NC. www.events.tappiplace.org.

International Conference on Nanotechnology, June 11-14, Madison, WI. www.conference.tappinano.org.

Agenda 2020 is Now the Alliance for Pulp and Paper Technology Innovation

The Alliance for Pulp and Paper Technology Innovation (APPTI) is the new name for the Agenda 2020 Tech- nology Alliance. This 501(c)(3) research partnership chose the recent TAPPI PEERS conference to announce its new identity and logo on November 6.

Our new name and logo preserve the central message of our earlier identity while expressing the forward progress of our current work,” president and executive director David Turpin told participants at the PEERS conference. “What our constituents have valued most has been the collaboration, the focus in our industry on advancing core technology, and the pursuit of breakthrough innovation to increase efficiency and sustainability. Our new logo captures those points.”

The new logo consists of the acronym cast in forward-leaning italics with a fluid curve. The name preserves the strength and collaboration of the alliance concept, as well as the long-standing focus on technology and innovation. Including “pulp and paper” in the name establishes the industry as its continued focal point. The arc conveys energy and action. The carefully selected shade of blue represents clean air and water—both among objectives of efficiency and sustainability.

The blue also suggests a hint of ‘blue-sky thinking’ about what our industry’s potential could be,” Turpin continued. “A portion of our effort since inception has been on identifying new sources of revenue. While our feet are firmly planted on solid ground, we think about what could be and not just what is. That blue is there to suggest innovation, a core value of the organization.”

One thing that is not changing is the belief in partner collaboration for technology progress. “APPTI’s members and partners share the conviction that achieving major breakthroughs requires the knowledge, skills, experience, and perspectives of all of us,” Turpin said. “Participation and support by our government agencies helps maintain alignment with national goals. Our universities contribute their ideas, expertise, and insights into potential pathways to new products and processes. And our supporting companies provide vision, experts, and investment to drive our progress.”

APPTI plans its third 2017 all-members’ meeting—its first under its new name—on December 11-12 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Advanced registration is required. To participate as a guest, contact [email protected]. Learn more at www.appti.org.

Georgia Tech Professional Education, in partnership with the College of Engineering and the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI), announces the first graduating cohort for the Professional Master’s in Manufacturing Leadership (PMML) degree.

Graduates obtained their master’s degree in manufacturing leadership. The degree combines leadership, technical and business aspects. The two-year postgraduate program enables working professionals to build the expertise needed to master complex, wide-ranging manufacturing challenges while maintaining full-time jobs.

We salute graduates for their dedication in pursuing a demanding academic program while continuing their employment responsibilities, and—most importantly—for their achievement of this milestone in their career development,” said Norman Marsolan, RBI executive director and academic director of PMML.

Mark Kowlzan, PCA

RISI North American
CEO of the Year

Mark Kowlzan named
RISI NA CEO of the Year

Mark Kowlzan, chairman and chief executive officer of Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), has been named the RISI 2017 North American CEO of the Year. Kowlzan received the award at the RISI North American Conference in October.

RISI’s North American CEO of the Year is nominated by a group of investment analysts and portfolio managers covering the North American and global pulp and paper industry. Analysts credited Kowlzan for growing PCA in containerboard and corrugated packaging, while operating the firm at the highest EBITDA margin among North American publicly-traded containerboard producers.

In Q1 2017, PCA generated a 21.7 percent EBITDA margin—the highest among publicly-traded North American containerboard producers. One analyst said that PCA under Kowlzan has “continued to put up best-in-class margins and expand its converting presence. The company has maintained a strong balance sheet and, with stock at all-time highs, is poised for another growth step.”

Another credited Kowlzan for “solid integration improvement and attractive M&A” activity. In the last year, PCA spent US$486 million on acquiring two independent converters, TimBar Packaging and Columbus Container. The acquisitions followed the late-2014 conversion of a newsprint machine at its DeRidder, LA, mill to containerboard production. The company also acquired Boise Paper, which operates a containerboard and box unit in the US, for US$1.27 billion in late 2014. The company is upgrading the converted D 3 machine in DeRidder, adding about 150,000 tons of incremental linerboard capacity by mid-2018.

Kowlzan has served as PCA’s chairman since January 2016 and as CEO and director since July 2010. From 1998 through June 2010, Kowlzan led the company’s containerboard mill system, first as vice president and general manager, and then as senior vice president—containerboard. From 1996 through 1998, Kowlzan served in various senior mill-related operating positions with PCA and Tenneco Packaging, including as manager of the Counce linerboard mill. Prior to joining Tenneco Packaging, Kowlzan spent 15 years at International Paper, where he held a series of operational and managerial positions within its mill organization.

Earlier this year, Kowlzan was also named the TAPPI/PIMA Executive of the Year. That honor is presented to senior-level executives in the pulp, paper, or converting industries for excellence in management and outstanding contributions to the industry as a whole.