Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2013 - (Page 6)
eginning on page 7 of this issue is an in-depth feature report on the ST Tissue mill
in Franklin, Va., USA. A particularly interesting aspect of this operation is that the
machine now producing tissue at Franklin (PM 6) was formerly a very wide (by
tissue standards) uncoated free sheet (UFS) machine with a massive press section
and a long dryer chain-not typically a prime candidate for conversion to tissue.
International Paper shuttered PM 6, and PM 5 (also an UFS machine) as well as
four other fine paper machines at Franklin in 2010. But IP, which continues to shed fine paper
capacity as the digital revolution has shifted to overdrive, is not alone. Paper companies here,
across Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and elsewhere in the western world have been dropping
fine paper capacity like proverbial hot potatoes in the past few years.
ST Tissue acquired both PM 6 and PM 5 at Franklin, along with the mill's fiber recycling plant
(FRP). It converted PM 6 to tissue parent roll production for away from home markets, and started
up earlier this year. Things have been going great since the machine emerged from its startup curve
in May. The big, wide PM 6 can produce up to 310-in.-wide reels of semi-crepe tissue for customer
conversion to napkins and towels in both white and brown grades.
The size of this machine, one of the widest, if not the widest, and most cost-effective tissue
machine in the Western Hemisphere (possibly the world), gives ST Tissue some distinct advantages.
So does the FRP plant that was designed to produce very high quality fiber for fine paper, much
higher than typically used for tissue. Should ST Tissue ever need the quality for market push, it's
there. Also, should the market ever demand it going forward, PM 5 is there also, anxious and
ready to be converted.
With tissue markets in the western countries staying healthy and even robust in some grade
sectors, and the general outlook remaining very positive for tissue and hygiene products, there
could be more interest in adopting orphaned fine paper machines for conversion to tissue, à la ST
Tissue. Some of the more recently orphaned fine paper assets are even bigger and more modern
that those at Franklin.
IP, for example, is in the process of permanently shutting down its 950,000 tpy Courtland, Ala.,
fine paper mill, which has five fine paper machines, one very similar in size and capacity to PM 6
at Franklin, and the other twin wire formers having up to triple the capacity of PM 6, and one of
those being 380-in. wide. The mill also has a gigantic chemical pulp mill-bleach plant with nearly
2,500 tpd of capacity. Surely, one or more of these orphans could be adoptable candidates for tissue.
Also, this month and potentially in November or December, Boise Paper and Georgia-Pacific
plan shutdowns that would eliminate 210,000 tpy of UFS paper capacity on three machines,
according to a recent report by RISI. Boise will shut two machines with almost 120,000 tpy of
capacity at its International Falls, Minn., mill, and G-P would shut a 93,000 tpy paper machine at
Crossett, Ark. Before next summer nearly 1 million tpy of UFS capacity is proposed to shut down
in North America. How many of these machines might be candidates for conversion to tissue?
And, of course, Europe has been regularly announcing its share of fine paper shutdowns in
the past several years, the most recent being Sappi Fine Paper Europe's Nijmegen Mill in the
Netherlands, with some 240,000 metric tpy of capacity. A list if fine paper machines shut down in
the past five years and on the current closure hotlist worldwide would easily exceed the capacity
of this page. Suffice it to say that at least 100 orphaned machines are looking for adoptive parents
today, and the list will continue to grow for a few more years. All of them would love to be happy,
productive tissue machines, like PM 6 at Franklin.
LARRY N. MONTAGUE
PRESIDENT & CEO, TAPPI
VP OPERATIONS, TAPPI
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, PAPER360°
ONLINE EXCLUSIVES EDITOR
INTEGRATED MEDIA DIRECTOR
firstname.lastname@example.org (352) 333-3345
TREY FORD email@example.com
SHAUN GREYLING firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHN O'NEIL email@example.com
JASON RUPPERT firstname.lastname@example.org
ROBERT SHAFER email@example.com
MATTHEW YATES firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Director/Associate Publisher, Tissue360°
Tissue360º Fall/Winter 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2013
Setpoint: From UFS to Tissue
ST Tissue Producing 310-in Semi-Creped Parent Reels on Reconfigured UFS Machine in Virginia
TAPPI News: Tissue Forum
IT's Tissue Features Nine Days of Technology, Art, Music, Culture in Tissue District of Italy
New Fabric, Felt, Roll Cover Technologies Boost Tissue Machine Operating Efficiencies
Over the Wire . . . Tissue Summary
Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2013