South African specialist paper company Sappi has unveiled plans to expand its dissolving wood pulp (DWP) capacity by 2020.
The company's plans include potential expansion at its Saiccor DWP Mill to increase the mill’s capacity by about 250,000tpa.
The announcement builds on the company’s previously announced debottlenecking investments which will increase the Saiccor Mill capacity by 10,000tpa by the end of next year. It has also started working on increasing its chipping capacity and modernizing the mill’s wood yard.
New equipment at the wood yard is scheduled for delivery and will be installed by the end of next year. Start-up is planned for January 2019.
Investment in the wood yard is expected to bring cost, quality, environmental and efficiency benefits to the mill and is claimed to be a major step towards preparing the mill to expand to the projected 250,000tpa.
Sappi is preparing for the work to enable to start the pre-requisite EIA (environmental impact assessment) process to study potential impacts, gather inputs from community and model new technology benefits of the proposed expansion, which would increase the mill’s total capacity to over 1 million tpa.
The company claims that the project has the potential to bring additional investments and jobs to the KwaZulu Natal region in the country, increase foreign revenues for the country and further entrench South Africa as a global leader in forest products.
Sappi, as previously announced, is also expanding its dissolving wood pulp capacity at its Ngodwana Mill by 50,000tpa through debottlenecking projects. Work is expected to be completion by next August.