Sentient-Publishing

Auraprint Oy purchases and installs first MPS flexo press

December 17, 2019adminUncategorized0

1. Anton Zhukov

As one of Finland’s largest and leading print houses with company roots dating back to 1886, heavily investing in product development to serve their customer’s needs has always been Auraprint’s top priority. Their latest investment is an MPS EFA 530 multi-substrate flexo press, equipped with the ‘+ package’ for full servo-driven automation of all print pressure settings.

The sale was led by Anton Zhukov, MPS Area Sales Manager, and Jan Öblom, local MPS representative in Finland. “This project is another record-breaking milestone for MPS, as Auraprint’s newly installed 10-colour press marks the largest narrow-web flexo press in Finland to date,” said Zhukov. “It is a pleasure to work with Auraprint, with their impressive history in print and commitment to invest in the future.”

Increased capacity in self-adhesive and linerless labels
In addition to pressure-sensitive labels, Auraprint’s new MPS EFA 530 press will print wrap-around labels and linerless labels. Mika Lehtimaki, Technical Manager of Auraprint Oy said: “We were looking for ways to increase our capacity to serve our customers. The new MPS press helps us to increase our productivity and capacity.”

Auraprint was the first label printing company in Finland to start printing linerless labels. The rise of popularity of this type of label is driven by the need for more text space on the packaging, and it also is a more sustainable choice with less waste.  Lehtimaki continues: “we are concentrating mainly on self-adhesive labels for the new MPS press, but this multi-substrate flexo press gives us the necessary flexibility to also produce linerless labels.”

Connectivity for process optimization
Superior print quality at high speeds and innovative developments that extend beyond press technology are key factors that led Auraprint to choose MPS. Now standard in all MPS presses is the MPS ‘Talk to Me’ connectivity platform, enabling users to control machine performance at any given time.

Talk to Me includes an MIS connection for automation of the printing process and remote service, and its data-driven infrastructure provides MPS the ability to proactively analyse and report on machine performance to improve the customer’s overall printing process.

Large-format printing What to watch out for

December 9, 2019adminUncategorized0

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Everyone in every sector of the printing industry is looking for the great big crystal ball to tell them which direction holds the key to success. In the current economic environment any little indication of potential is viewed with excitement and sees a mad rush to fill the niche. Trends are a common-place because everyone is chasing the same limited capacity.

There is one trend which will always be important but which is often overlooked. The client wants what the client wants. For too long print service providers have taken briefs from their clients and then spent hours explaining why something can’t be done or shouldn’t be done. Print service providers must now realise that many of their clients are doing their own research and looking for solutions long before they bring the concept for final production. Therefore, the trend should be to listen. Your client may actually know more than you about certain things.

This leads to the next item to be aware of – the importance of staying up-to-date with new developments. If your clients are doing their research, then you should be doing even more. A good source of information is the print equipment manufacturers and suppliers. They spend a lot of time and money in research and development. While they may not be willing to part with the information before they launch new systems, carefully watching who they are doing business with may provide some clues. For example, if a large-format printer manufacturer is working closely with a different ink manufacturer, it is very possible that something new could be on the horizon.

Looking at the market, there are some trends which have become clear. The first of these is that direct-to-textile printing is continuing to grow at a faster pace than almost any other sector of the large-format market. There are a number of reasons for this development, but essentially it is due to the fact that this particular development offers a plethora of applications while at the same time offering print service providers the opportunity to be more productive and to achieve savings which they can either use to increase profitability or hand on to price-sensitive customers.

Print service providers are finding new revenue streams as additional applications bring the opportunity for printers to expand their service offerings. Everything from fashion to décor, from soft-signage to wall coverings can be addressed by direct-to-textile. The décor market is expected to be a major growth market as the demand for personalised home and office décor increases.

Remaining in the direct-to-textile arena, soft signage is another area which is expected to grow as more end-customers see the advantages over the traditional, heavy, rigid graphics. This offers specific advantages in terms of portability and ease-of-handling and set-up. Soft signage also offers specific advantages in markets where campaigns have a limited lifecycle and need to be changed quickly and simply. The graphics can be changed in-store by retail employees.

Sustainability and décor will bring another development, the use of natural substances such as wood, where combinations of printed images and cutting or routing techniques will be used to create decorative items such as wall panels, doors, office signage, home address signage and a variety of others. An extension of this will be to print wood-grain onto artificial items to make them look like wood for the creation of all manner of items including furniture and wall and floor coverings. This will also impact the next trend – sustainability.

Sustainability is likely to become increasingly important. As the impact of print technologies on the environment comes more and more under the spotlight, the topic of sustainability will become more prevalent. This will impact all sectors of the market.

The large-format market has become more and more commoditised as the number of players has increased. The market features players of all sizes from the single-device mom-and-pop enterprise through to large companies with multiple devices across a range of sectors. The result is that end-customers are spoiled for choice and as a such prices are under pressure. This will lead to the next trend – the mergers and acquisitions process. Large commercial printers are looking for ways to expand and diversify their product offering and large-format printing offers a natural addition to their revenue stream. However, the learning curve in this sector can be quite steep and the easiest way for these companies to bring the solutions in-house is through acquisition. We have already seen some of this taking place, but the trend will continue.

There has been a lot of discussion around the opportunities presented for large-format printing in the short-run packaging and labels market. Much of the discussion has been around the development of new systems capable of producing long-runs using inkjet technology. However, existing technology also offers opportunities in this sector. The vast majority of packaging manufacturers are involved in long-run production, the opportunity exists for them to incorporate large-format technology – whether through direct purchase, merger or acquisition – into their production capacity in order to meet the demands of customers with shorter run requirements. Existing large-format print service providers can include this in their service offering as an additional revenue stream, without having to make extensive investments in new technology.

There are numerous other trends which you can find and really, it will depend on who you ask. New colours, spot colours, inventive use of substrates or using new materials as substrates could all be seen as new trends depending on their level of acceptance. The most important thing is to be on the look out for potential new avenues which you can exploit, but always bear in mind that impressing a client is the best way to get them to come back, so be prepared to listen and learn.

Capitalise on Business Potential in one of Mena Region’s Largest Packaging Markets

December 3, 2019adminUncategorized0

pacprocess 2019, which will be held for the first time in Egypt from the 09th – 11th December at the Egypt International Exhibitions Centre, is set to promote business opportunities in one the major economic hubs in North Africa. Under the high patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, this comprehensive and highly targeted international exhibition for the packaging and processing industries, forms the ideal venue to expand business into the MENA region. This region is of particular interest to the international packaging industry as it has been forecast to see a growth of 22% in the next five years.

The trade fair will bring together local and international stakeholders from across the entire value chain to form potential business partnerships against a backdrop of the latest state-of-the-art technologies in the following sectors: food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food, and industrial goods.  pacprocess MEA will furthermore feature a specialised conference which will provide an interactive platform for international experts from the packaging and processing industries to address innovations, technologies and trends within this growing market.

Be part of Egypt’s development as it becomes one of the 30 strongest economies worldwide by 2030 and register now.

THE 2020 GAPP Awards Entries Now Open

November 14, 2019adminUncategorized0

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Take advantage of the discount and buy your early bird credits now until the 31st of May 2020. These credits will remain active until the 31st of June 2020.

Should you miss out on the early bird option, have no fear because standard credits will come into effect on the 1st of June 2020.

The competition is open to companies in the SADC region.

Enter the 2020 GAPP Awards now!

Visit www.thegappawards.co.za  to register your account and buy your early bird credits now!

All entries will close on the 31st of July 2020.

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Driving the green economic wheel

November 11, 2019adminUncategorized0

The Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) has been the driving force behind 19 000 tonnes of polyolefin plastic recycled in South Africa and 48 000 tonnes of polyolefin plastic collected, keeping it out of the natural environment and landfill sites. This enormous quantity has been achieved through the 49 innovative recycling and collection projects that Polyco has funded. This has led to the creation of 4000 jobs that keep driving this green economic wheel and not only injects money into the South African economy; but also supports a clean and healthy environment for all.

Polyco is a not-for-profit membership-based organisation that was established in 2011 by leading responsible polyolefin packaging converter organisations in South Africa, who spearheaded the drive for the sustainable plastic packaging industry. Polyco’s ultimate goal is to end plastic waste in the environment by promoting the collection and recycling of post-consumer polyolefin plastic packaging. They achieve this through investing in collection and recycling infrastructure, innovation and end-user development projects, as well as educational initiatives that encourage all South Africans to actively recycle plastic packaging.

‘We deal specifically with the polymer identification codes 2, 4, 5 and 7 and we represent the largest plastic polymer group in South Africa, with approximately 192 000 tonnes of polyolefin packaging being mechanically recycled annually,’ said Mandy Naudé, Chief Executive Officer at Polyco. ‘We are funded by our members who are passionate about the environment and are committed to achieving a clean South Africa,’ added Naude.

Members pay a voluntary recycling levy per tonne of polyolefin polymer purchased for packaging applications that Polyco then uses to achieve their extended producer responsibilities (EPR). These levies have been invested in collection and recycling projects as one-off grants or interest-free loans that have to be paid back within three years. The money that is repaid is reinvested into new recycling initiatives, creating an effective and efficient self-sustaining business model. Polyco is currently working on a municipal-focused strategy that funds projects within a specific municipal area, which enables growth in the collection and recycling of polyolefin materials to meet the local manufacturing demand and at the same time cleans up the environment.

An innovative project developed and managed by Polyco is the Packa-Ching recycling initiative that has rolled out mobile collection units in various low income or informal communities across South Africa. Residents exchange their recyclable waste in return for Kilorands, a monetary value paid onto an e-wallet payment platform. Since August 2017, Packa-Ching has diverted more than 500 000 kg’s of waste from landfill and into the recycling value chain, while the communities have earned over R515 000 in exchange for their recyclables. Packa-Ching is focused on enterprise development, environmental sustainability and social upliftment; each unit is run by an entrepreneur, creates employment, cleans up the environment as well as provides a new income source for participating community residents.

Polyco’s member organisations include Alpla South Africa, Bowler Plastics, Constantia Afripack, East Rand Plastics, Extruform, Huhtamaki South Africa, Master Plastics, Mpact, Nampak, Polyoak Packaging, RPC Astrapak and Serioplast. ‘We would like to extend our appreciation to all our members who have committed to enhancing the economic value of polyolefin plastics along with the entire collection and recycling value chain,’ explained Naude. ‘They are the responsible companies who are leading the drive for the sustainable plastic packaging industry, but they only represent 20% of the polyolefin packaging converters in South Africa. We’d like to encourage more converters to join Polyco and for brand owners to insist that their packaging suppliers are contributing members to the relevant product responsibility organisations. Becoming a member of Polyco demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to environmental sustainability and ending plastic waste in the environment,’ added Naude.

Screen announces South African sales partnership with Thunderbolt Solutions

November 4, 2019adminUncategorized0
thunderbolt

Screen and Thunderbolt sign the agreement, clockwise from the front right: Gerry Baker, CEO Thunderbolt Solutions, Akihiro Fujii, President Screen Europe, Gavin van Rensburg, Thunderbolt Regional Manager: Western Cape and Steve Low, Screen Europe VP Service Operations EMEA.

Screen has announced that it has put a partnership agreement in place with South African reseller, Thunderbolt Solutions. The agreement encompasses distribution of Screen’s flagship Truepress Jet520HD high-definition inkjet web press, which Screen recently announced has shipped over 100 units. ‘Thunderbolt Solutions was founded in 1999 and provides a vast array of services across the printing market,’ declared Gerry Baker, CEO, Thunderbolt Solutions. ‘As such, our industry and regional knowledge allows us to offer Screen customers highly skilled technical services along with first-rate commercial and after-sales support. Our passionate team is dedicated to digital printing solutions in South Africa and consulting with PSPs on their digital transformation.’

The Screen Truepress Jet520HD series are high-definition inkjet web presses with a true print resolution of 1,200 dpi and precise droplet size control at up to 150 metres per minute. The addition of Screen SC inks continues to provide the same wide colour gamut and stability as the standard Truepress inks whilst also featuring Screen’s unique absorption technology unlocking an extended range of substrates. Baker added, ‘Screen is a well-known and highly regarded company within the industry, particularly with regards to the quality and reliability of its products. We have previous experience through distribution of Screen CTP solutions for over a year. This is an exciting period in the development of inkjet printing, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Screen to boost sales in South Africa.’

Steve Low, Vice President Service and Support, Screen Europe, stated, ‘There’s a lot of interest in South Africa in the advantages in Screen’s inkjet technology. Thunderbolt Solutions is a distributor that perfectly matches our ambitions in the region, and its industry-knowledge is second-to-none. We’re looking forward to a long and successful partnership!’

 

Mondi launches web platform for outstanding print and design inspired by paper

October 29, 2019adminUncategorized0

Mondi, a global leader in paper and packaging, has launched a new website to market its Uncoated Fine Paper (UFP) brands. At myMondi.net, professionals from the printing and design industries will find everything they need to know about Mondi’s high-quality paper brands, as well as paper recommendations, local distributor details and multimedia content that educates and inspires.

Two years after launching its business-to-business e-commerce platform for direct customers, Mondi has now expanded its digital strategy with a new platform addressing everyone who would like to choose the right paper to create truly impactful print materials. ‘Many printers, publishers, art directors and graphic designers love working with our paper, but as a manufacturer we don’t speak to them as much as we would like to. Digital platforms give us the chance to share our knowledge, start a conversation, and learn more about the needs of people who create beautiful things with our paper,’ said Johannes Klumpp, Marketing and Sales Director at Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper.

The new website was designed with audience needs in mind, based on comprehensive interviews and user experience research. It offers detailed information on all Mondi branded papers, as well as the opportunity to get in touch and start a conversation with Mondi paper experts. A ‘where to buy’ function lists distributors for each country and paper brand, and the ‘paper finder’ provides smart recommendations for specific projects. The website shows a growing reference project database with articles showcasing inspiring print projects, know-how articles, best practice stories, videos and podcasts on paper and print.

The user has the option to test the quality of Mondi’s papers by ordering free sample folders for the flagship brands Pergraphica and Color Copy. Additionally, an event calendar with the possibility to register for design and industry events is available. The website replaces microsites for the Mondi UFP flagship brands Pergraphica and Color Copy, collecting all brand content and product information in one place. Stories, design books and magazines printed on Pergraphica, know-how articles about topics such as CO2 offsetting for paper production, and recent episodes of the Mondi Print and Paper podcast will also be available on myMondi.net. With its recent expansion of the portfolio, Mondi’s recycled fine paper brand NAUTILUS will also appear on the site, as will NEUJET premium papers for high-speed inkjet presses and office paper brands such as IQ, MAESTRO or Niveus.

Sponsors of the 2020 GAPP Awards Announced

October 22, 2019adminUncategorized0

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Preparations for one of the biggest events in the print, packaging and signage industry are well underway and a new associate sponsor has just been announced. Kalideck has joined Avery Dennison as the associate sponsors for the 2020 GAPP Awards.

The most anticipated award show in the printing, packaging and signage industry has, in its third edition, secured more sponsors. Most notably, Kalideck has become an associate level sponsor upping their sponsorship level from bronze sponsorship in 2018.

Konica Minolta was a platinum sponsor in the 2018 GAPP Awards and have made a return in the same sponsorship category for the 2020 edition of the awards. This time, they will be joined by The SA Print Directory in the same category.

Rotocon makes its first entry on the sponsors’ list and has come on board as a gold sponsor while Sun Chemical makes a return in the gold sponsorship category.

Sappi Southern Africa Limited and manroland South Africa are also newcomers on the list and the companies have elected to participate in the awards as a silver sponsor. They are joined by Intamarket Graphics, Hi-Tech Inks, Merpak Envelopes, Papercor Holdings, Xerox, Fujifilm South Africa, and Midcomp which has moved from bronze sponsorship in 2018.

“The competition has now taken on a life of its own. We are thrilled at the level of acceptance that The GAPP Awards has achieved, both from the companies entering, as well the companies who want to be part of it as sponsors. There is an opportunity for everyone to be involved one way or another,” said Sentient Publishing’s Managing Director, Vikesh Roopchand. Sentient Publishing are the proud organisers of The GAPP Awards.

Allrich Trading and tesa South Africa join The GAPP Awards sponsors for the first time as well and the companies have come on board as bronze sponsors. Ipex Machinery makes a return to the list since the 2016 GAPP Awards and this time they return as bronze sponsors. Kemtek Imaging Systems, Rotunda and Eco Pressroom are also bronze sponsors for the 2020 awards as they were for the 2018 edition of the awards.

In total, 23 companies have come on board to sponsor The GAPP Awards. The sponsors play an integral role in ensuring the success of the awards as they are all suppliers and therefore encourage their clients to enter their printed works into the competition.

“We are grateful to those companies which have committed their support and participation in The GAPP Awards 2020. The competition is open and companies are welcome to start submitting entries immediately. Do not leave it to the last minute, enter as soon as possible,” Vikesh says.

Sponsorship affords the sponsors benefits such as exclusive marketing collateral and an opportunity to participate in the event but most importantly allows them to make positive contributions to the industry.

The GAPP Awards have experienced tremendous growth since the first awards in 2016 which had 30 categories, the upcoming edition of the awards will now have an all-encompassing 60 categories.

Entries for the different categories are open and will close in July 2020, for more information on entering the biggest award show in the print, packaging and signage industry in Africa visit www.thegappawards.co.za.

The date for the awards is set for the 9th of October 2020 so you have plenty of time to get that tux or dress ready!

Full sponsorship list for the 2020 GAPP Awards:

Associate Sponsors: Avery Dennison and Kalideck.

Platinum Sponsors: Konica Minolta South Africa and The SA Print Directory.

Gold Sponsors: Sun Chemical South Africa and Rotocon.

Silver Sponsors: Intamarket Graphics, Hi-Tech Inks, Merpak Envelopes, Papercor Holdings, Midcomp Group of Companies, manroland South Africa, Xerox, Fujifilm South Africa and Sappi Southern Africa Limited.

Bronze Sponsors: Kemtek Imaging Systems, Rotunda (Pty) Ltd, Allrich Trading, Eco Pressroom Products, Ipex Machinery and tesa South Africa.

The most anticipated award show in the printing, packaging and signage industry has, in its third edition, secured more sponsors. Most notably, Kalideck has become an associate level sponsor upping their sponsorship level from bronze sponsorship in 2018.

Konica Minolta was a platinum sponsor in the 2018 GAPP Awards and have made a return in the same sponsorship category for the 2020 edition of the awards. This time, they will be joined by The SA Print Directory in the same category.

Rotocon makes its first entry on the sponsors’ list and has come on board as a gold sponsor while Sun Chemical makes a return in the gold sponsorship category.

Sappi Southern Africa Limited and manroland South Africa are also newcomers on the list and the companies have elected to participate in the awards as a silver sponsor. They are joined by Intamarket Graphics, Hi-Tech Inks, Merpak Envelopes, Papercor Holdings, Xerox, Fujifilm South Africa, and Midcomp which has moved from bronze sponsorship in 2018.

“The competition has now taken on a life of its own. We are thrilled at the level of acceptance that The GAPP Awards has achieved, both from the companies entering, as well the companies who want to be part of it as sponsors. There is an opportunity for everyone to be involved one way or another,” said Sentient Publishing’s Managing Director, Vikesh Roopchand. Sentient Publishing are the proud organisers of The GAPP Awards.

Allrich Trading and Tesa South Africa join The GAPP Awards sponsors for the first time as well and the companies have come on board as bronze sponsors. Ipex Machinery makes a return to the list since the 2016 GAPP Awards and this time they return as bronze sponsors. Kemtek Imaging Systems, Rotunda and Eco Pressroom are also bronze sponsors for the 2020 awards as they were for the 2018 edition of the awards.

In total, 23 companies have come on board to sponsor The GAPP Awards. The sponsors play an integral role in ensuring the success of the awards as they are all suppliers and therefore encourage their clients to enter their printed works into the competition.

“We are grateful to those companies which have committed their support and participation in The GAPP Awards 2020. The competition is open and companies are welcome to start submitting entries immediately. Do not leave it to the last minute, enter as soon as possible,” Vikesh says.

Sponsorship affords the sponsors benefits such as exclusive marketing collateral and an opportunity to participate in the event but most importantly allows them to make positive contributions to the industry.

The GAPP Awards have experienced tremendous growth since the first awards in 2016 which had 30 categories, the upcoming edition of the awards will now have an all-encompassing 60 categories.

Entries for the different categories are open and will close in July 2020, for more information on entering the biggest award show in the print, packaging and signage industry in Africa visit www.thegappawards.co.za.

The date for the awards is set for the 9th of October 2020 so you have plenty of time to get that tux or dress ready!

Full sponsorship list for the 2020 GAPP Awards:

Associate Sponsors: Avery Dennison and Kalideck.

Platinum Sponsors: Konica Minolta South Africa and The SA Print Directory.

Gold Sponsors: Sun Chemical South Africa and Rotocon.

Silver Sponsors: Intamarket Graphics, Hi-Tech Inks, Merpak Envelopes, Papercor Holdings, Midcomp Group of Companies, manroland South Africa, Xerox, Fujifilm South Africa and Sappi Southern Africa Limited.

Bronze Sponsors: Kemtek Imaging Systems, Rotunda (Pty) Ltd, Allrich Trading, Eco Pressroom Products, Ipex Machinery and tesa South Africa.

DTM Group announces its co-operation with printer manufacturer OKI

September 30, 2019adminUncategorized0

DTM Group has added OKI’s Pro1050 digital LED five-colour label printer to its product portfolio to be distributed through its subsidiary DTM Print (formerly Primera Europe). Working closely with OKI Europe, the EMEA head office of the Japanese printer manufacturer, DTM Group will make the device available through its distribution channels in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the CEE region. With its expertise and experience in the range of digital label printers, the company has contributed significantly to the success of Primera Technology’s well-known LX- and CX-Series Color Label Printers in the EMEA region.

In particular, it has positioned the CX1200e Color Label Press and the FX1200e Digital Finishing System as the most successful medium-run label printing system in the European market over the past decade. OKI’s Pro1050 Label Printer is based on LED technology, can print in five colours (CMYK + W) and handles medium to large runs of colour labels on demand. With the unique fifth colour option ‘white’, the Pro1050 sets new standards in creativity in its class. In addition to the roll-to-roll printing option, the integrated cutter allows the output of handy label stacks.

Similar to laser printers the OKI Pro1050 uses a dry toner electrophotographic process to develop the image on a light sensitive drum which is transferred by electrostatic charge via an image transfer belt and fused by heat to the media. This technology produces labels that are waterproof and UV resistant. In comparison to traditional laser printers, where the image is created by a rotating laser beam, the OKI Pro1050 uses static LED lines which means lower maintenance and longer lifetime cycles. LED print heads deliver a precise pixel setting for crisp and brilliant labels. Print engines with LED technology require less space as there are no rotating parts or optics necessary, making the printer smaller, environmentally friendly and energy efficient, using significantly less raw materials in the manufacturing process.

For printing white only or white with colour on transparent or coloured labels customers can choose either from standard materials or the wide selection of DTM certified Genuine Label Stock for dry toner: starting with matte and glossy papers extending to transparent, matte and glossy polyester films as well as special coatings such as textured or silver, gold, black and other coloured materials. With the OKI Pro1050 impressive waterproof and UV resistant labels with an excellent photo-realistic print quality can be produced.

Stora Enso to convert the Oulu paper mill into a packaging board mill

September 23, 2019adminUncategorized0

Stora Enso has decided to invest approximately EUR 350 million to convert the Oulu paper mill in Finland into packaging production. The investment includes converting paper machine 7 into high-quality virgin-fibre-based kraftliner production, and the closure of paper machine 6 and sheeting plant. Production on the converted machine is estimated to start by the end of 2020.

‘The conversion of Oulu Mill will enable Stora Enso to further improve its position in the growing packaging business and take a major step forward in its transformation. We have proven competence in running large conversion projects successfully, as we have already converted one paper machine at Varkaus Mill to produce kraftliner,’ said Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström.

The typical end uses for kraftliner are in packaging segments that require high strength, quality and purity, such as food, fruit and vegetables as well as heavy duty packaging. Production will target global export markets. ‘Economic growth, sustainability and food safety are key market drivers in the packaging business. This conversion will allow us to provide customers with an innovative kraftliner product with high-performance qualities in terms of strength, printability and food safety,’ said Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen, EVP, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division.

To transform Stora Enso further from declining and low EBITDA business to growing higher profitability business, the Group will invest approximately EUR 350 million in the conversion during 2019–2022. This will increase the Group’s earlier estimated capital expenditure for 2019 from EUR 540–590 million to EUR 610–660 million. The market dynamics of coated woodfree paper have deteriorated further, and therefore Stora Enso must accelerate its transformation by increasing capital expenditure from the earlier estimate. Following the conversion, Oulu Mill’s EBITDA margin is expected to improve by 15–20 percentage points, once the kraftliner machine is running at full capacity approximately four years after start-up. At full capacity, the investment is expected to meet the Packaging Solutions division’s profitability target, operational return on operating capital (ROOC) of 20 per cent.

The investment will include a new world-class line for virgin-fibre based kraftliner (both brown and white-top) with an annual capacity of 450 000 tonnes, the modification of the pulp mill and drying machine for unbleached brown pulp, as well as investments to enhance the mill’s environmental performance. The project will start with ground work in the summer of 2019, and about 200 contractors will work at the Oulu Mill site during the project.

The converted Oulu Mill will directly employ approximately 180 people. Wood consumption at the mill will increase by 0.5 million m3 to 2.4 million m3 annually. Wood will be purchased mainly from private forest owners in Northern Finland. As an outcome of the co-determination process started on 25 March 2019, 365 people will be permanently laid off. The initial estimate on the maximum number of employee reductions was 400 people. The redundancies will mainly take place by the end of year 2020, when Oulu Mill will cease to produce coated woodfree papers. Stora Enso will provide support to the people who will not continue working at the Oulu Mill after the conversion. At maximum 20 per cent of the redundancies can be managed through pension arrangements.

‘We will be working closely together with other Stora Enso locations, the city of Oulu and other stakeholders to support in re-employment for those employees who will not have a position in the new organisation. Our support will include outplacement services as well as individual and group trainings for re-employment. We will also offer financial support for employees starting up their own companies,’ said Kati ter Horst, EVP, Stora Enso’s Paper division.

Stora Enso will book a cost of EUR 31 million as an item affecting comparability (IAC) relating to layoffs, restructuring expenses, asset write-downs and impairment reversals, of which EUR 7 million will be recognised in the second quarter of 2019 and EUR 24 million in the following five quarters. The restructuring related costs will have a cash impact of approximately EUR 19 million when paper production at the mill ends. Paper production is expected to continue until the end of September 2020.