Specialty paper producer Crown Van Gelder files for bankruptcy.
Dutch specialty paper producer Crown Van Gelder (CVG) has filed for bankruptcy with the District Court of Noord-Holland. Despite a positive operating result last year, the company cited a sharp increase in energy and raw material costs as well as a sudden drop in orders, which in turn resulted in an “unusually long production downtime.” Continuing uncertainty about future market developments was another contributing factor. CVG operates two paper machines at the company’s paper mill in Velsen, producing about 160,000 tpy of specialty papers for graphic and packaging applications. The company’s management board and the two insolvency administrators are in talks with several interested parties with respect to the possible continuation of activities at CVG. Interested parties have time until 3 February to submit a concrete purchase offer for CVG.
Stora Enso sells Hylte Newsprint Mill, discontinues Anjala divestment
Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its paper mill in Hylte, Sweden, and all its related assets to Sweden Timber, a Sweden-based sawmill and planning mill company, for approximately EUR 18 million. The Hylte Mill in southwest Sweden is one of the largest newsprint mills in the world, with the capacity to produce 245,000 tonnes of high-quality newsprint per year. The completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2023. Stora Enso also has made efforts to sell its Anjala paper mill in southern Finland, which produces printing paper from mechanical pulp — both coated and uncoated book paper, magazine paper, and improved newsprint grades. However, the company said it has decided to discontinue the divestment process, and the retained Anjala mill will continue paper production.
Potential Escanaba conversion approved by Michigan government
Billerud announced that the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation approving an appropriation of up to USD $200 million in funding to support the company's plans to convert its paper mill in Escanaba, Michigan, to the production of paperboard. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation, approving the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) appropriation of the funds. Currently, the Escanaba Mill has the capacity to produce approximately 730,000 tons per year of graphic paper, which is used in commercial printing, media, and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs, books, direct mail, corporate collateral, and specialty papers used in label and converting applications. A pre-feasibility study about Billerud's planned conversion of the Escanaba mill to paperboard production is ongoing and planned to be completed during the first half of 2023, after which the company's Board of Directors can make an investment decision.