Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2015 - (Page 25)
Announcement a Sign
of the Future in Tissue?
Company's investment in a new tissue machine at Calhoun,
Tennessee, mill could be a big step toward commoditization
of the North American premium tissue market
MATT ELHARDT, FISHER INTERNATIONAL
Recently, Resolute Forest Products, Montréal, Quebec,
Canada, announced the investment of $270 million for a new tissue
machine and converting facilities at its Calhoun, Tennessee, USA, mill.
While new capacity in tissue is not unexpected (the grade essentially
grows with population in developed economies), Resolute's announcement could be viewed as a significant step toward the potential (some
may say, eventual) commoditization of the North American premium
We'll examine two drivers of this trend:
* Advanced tissue making technologies are now available to new players
(including low-cost integrated mills)
* Private labels continue to grow their share of the market.
ADVANCED TISSUE MANUFACTURING NO
LONGER A BARRIER TO ENTRY?
Tissue machine technology can be grouped into two general categories
- advanced and conventional. Advanced technologies (TAD, UCTAD,
ATMOS, NTT, etc.) use a structured forming process that results in a
bulkier sheet at the reel versus conventional wet-pressing (CWP) methods. Generally, this results in higher product performance characteristics
at a lower fiber cost.
Conventional machines can make up this shortfall at the converting stage, for example, by adding plies and embossing to reach the
desired performance levels. However, they must do so at higher fiber and
converting cost, which normally exceeds the higher energy requirements
of using advanced technologies. This concept is illustrated in Figure 1.
Using additional fiber to meet customer requirements is a workable strategy so long as a mill has access to low-cost fiber. In North
America, fiber costs for T&T mills can vary widely, as show in the cost
benchmarking chart from FisherSolve™ (Figure 2). In the chart, a clear
difference in fiber costs can be seen in those mills that purchase market
pulp (the red bars), and those that predominantly use recycled fiber or
pulp manufactured on site (the green bars).
But remember, advanced machine technology can offset the fiber
advantage as desirable product characteristics are met with less fiber
weight for the same case of product. In Figure 3, the Stat Case cost curve
Tissue360º FALL / WINTER 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2015
Tissue Industry News
St. Croix Tissue Ready to Start New Mill in Maine
Lincoln P&T Turns Adversity into Opportunity
Second iT’s Tissue Attracts 1,000-Plus Visitors to Italy
Resolute’s Tissue Announcement a Sign of the Future in Tissue?
Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2015