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Forest Products News

Small growers achieve certification

29th March 2024 Five small timber growers in KwaZulu-Natal in December became the first participants to achieve forest certification through the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Sappi Group Scheme for small growers. The growers were part of Sappi’s Khulisa programme. 

Sustainability trend creates opportunities for paper producers

29th March 2024 The pulp and paper manufacturing industry holds a meaningful position in the landscape of South Africa's industrial sector, says industry association Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA). As the backbone of numerous sectors, “its vitality is paramount to South Africa’s economic... 

An image of a paper ream at a paper mill
THE CIRCLE OF FIBRE On average, the country recovers 1.1-million tonnes of paper and paper packaging each year, with 75% to 80% of the fibre going back into local production. More than half of the country’s locally manufactured paper is made from recycled paper fibre

Sappi's earnings, debt decrease in first quarter

By: Schalk Burger     7th February 2024 JSE-listed renewable woodfibre-based products company Sappi's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) decreased to $156-million for the first quarter of its 2024 financial year, compared with Ebitda of $290-million reported for the first quarter of the prior... 

Sappi CEO Steve Binnie
Sappi CEO Steve Binnie

Bell Equipment management returns to the family as it appoints new CEO 

By: Irma Venter     12th December 2023 Bell Equipment has appointed Ashley Jon Bell (41), grandson of company founder Irvine Bell, as new group CEO, effective January 1. This follows the July resignation of outgoing group CEO, Leon Goosen, who departs the company on December 31 after 16 years of service, of which five and a half were... 

Image of Ashley Jon Bell, new Bell CEO
Ashley Jon Bell 

PG Bison’s new R1.8bn MDF investment in Mkhondo to open in July

By: Schalk Burger     24th November 2023 Wood-based panel products manufacturer PG Bison will complete a R1.87-billion investment in a new medium-density fibreboard (MDF) Contiroll line in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga, in July. This will increase PG Bison’s installed capacity to 1 180 m3/day across its two MDF plants. 

PG Bison's Mkhondo facility
PG Bison's Mkhondo facility

Sappi's Cloquet mill scores high in facility environmental management audit

By: Schalk Burger     31st October 2023 JSE-listed dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions company Sappi has completed a Higg Facility Environmental Management (FEM) verification audit at its Cloquet mill, in northern Minnesota, in the US. The mill achieved a final score of 91.5%, which reinforces and demonstrates the sound... 

The Cloquet mill
The Cloquet mill

York Timbers swings to a loss

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th September 2023 Following a “disappointing” 2022 financial year, lumber and agriculture company York Timbers has again reported year-on-year decreases in several key metrics for the 2023 financial year ended June 30. The company’s loss for the year amounted to R393-million, compared with a profit of... 

York Timber lumber

Stora Enso, others invest $18m in bio-graphite firm CarbonScape

By: Reuters     19th September 2023 Finnish-Swedish forestry firm Stora Enso, battery producer Amperex Technology and other parties have invested $18-million in start-up CarbonScape to commercialise bio-graphite for use in batteries, they said on Tuesday. New Zealand-based CarbonScape has patented a process to use forestry industry... 

Forestry nonprofit launches videos

25th August 2023 Non-profit forestry organisation, She Is Forestry SA, which promotes and uplifts women across the forest and forest product sector, launched a series of videos at their yearly Women in Forestry webinar on August 3 to encouraging girls to pursue careers in the industry. Its aim is to produce a... 

The above image depicts one of the women from the She is Forestry initiative
GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES The videos showcase all the potential careers found within forestry and related industries

Pamsa stresses comprehensive sustainability of forestry, papermaking

By: Cameron Mackay     5th July 2023 Industry association the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) has emphasised the environmental, economic and social sustainability benefits of the local papermaking and recycling industry. Speaking at a roundtable event, in Johannesburg, on July 5, Pamsa executive director Jane... 

Trees used to make paper in South Africa are specifically farmed, as tree growing and paper making processes are audited, certified, and sustainability managed
Trees used to make paper in South Africa are specifically farmed, as tree growing and paper making processes are audited, certified, and sustainability managed

New system launched for large hose guidance

30th June 2023 In March, high-performance plastic products manufacturer igus launched its new E4Q e-chain with extender crossbars for the safe guidance of large hoses. The E4Q e-chain with extender crossbars is a clever adapter system which ensures quick and easy adjustment of the E4Q energy chain to the... 

Major player moving to secure power purchase agreements

By: Tracy Hancock     31st March 2023 As South Africa’s energy crisis continues, global renewable resource company Sappi is actively engaging with independent renewable-energy producers to secure renewable energy as and when it becomes available, through power purchase agreements. Buying renewable energy is one of three investment... 

A worker in blue overalls throws material from a heap of wood chips into the air. Saiccor mill in the background
SUSTAINABLE SAICCOR An expansion project at Sappi's Saiccor mill has significantly reduced its reliance on coal-based power

Global demand for paper, pulp and board softens

By: Tracy Hancock     31st March 2023 Global demand for paper, pulp and board is expected to soften in the first half of this year, compared with the highs of last year, where severe supply chain constraints created paper shortages worldwide, says global renewable resource company Sappi. “This significantly boosted sales orders, as... 

A person in white Sappi coat holding two handfuls of white dissolving pulp
THE GREEN FACTOR The underlying demand for dissolving pulp, packaging, office paper and tissue, in South Africa, and speciality papers abroad, remains strong, driven by global sustainability trends

Engineered wood a carbon-efficient material

By: Nadine Ramdass     24th March 2023 The international construction industry is moving away from carbon-producing materials, such as steel and concrete, in favour of more sustainable materials. Engineered wood offers a multitude of benefits, including being a more sustainable and cost-effective material while offering shortened... 

An image of a forest with big trees
WOOD INNOVATION Engineered wood are more sustainable, cost-effective material, offer shortened construction time and are customisable, stronger and uniform panels

Chemical engineer awarded for her work on lignosulphonate

By: Schalk Burger     9th February 2023 Forestry products Sappi Technology Centre engineer-in-training Leane Naude clinched third place in the global 2022/23 Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards programme for her project that outlines how she developed a more cost-effective purification method for lignosulphonate, which is an... 

Paper manufacturers create YouTube video series showing papermaking process

By: Schalk Burger     3rd February 2023 Industry organisation the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has partnered with GM Television to create a series of short videos of how paper products are made and recycled for the popular How It’s Made YouTube channel. “Many people are not aware of what goes into making... 

York appoints PwC's Barnard as CFO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st November 2022 Lumber and plywood producer York Timbers has appointed Schalk Barnard CFO. His appointment will be effective within the next six months, but the exact date is yet to be confirmed. Barnard is a qualified Chartered Accountant (South Africa, Australia and New Zealand), a registered auditor and a... 

Sappi posts record full-year Ebitda, resumes dividend payment

By: Chanel de Bruyn     10th November 2022 Renewable resources company Sappi achieved record earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $1.34-billion for the financial year ended September 30 – exceeding the previous record of $1.05-billion for the group's financial year ended September 30, 2000. Ebitda was... 

Sappi's Saiccor mill

Sappi buys back €200m of 2026 bonds

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2022 JSE-listed dissolving pulp and paper-based solutions company Sappi says, owing to strong uptake from bondholders, it has accepted for purchase all the 2026 bonds tendered for its offer to buy its outstanding 3.125% senior notes, due in 2026. Sappi bought €209.6-million of the aggregate principal... 

Mondi can deliver sustainably despite global challenges, inflation

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2022 JSE-listed packaging and paper company Mondi says its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the third quarter was €450-million, 55% higher than the Ebitda of €290-million reported for the third quarter of 2021. It notes that, during the quarter ended... 

A photo of paper rolls

Frankfurter Brett uses Sappi Symbio in new kitchen products

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2022 Kitchen workstation manufacturer Frankfurter Brett, in partnership with high-technology component manufacturer Kegelmann Technik, has developed a sustainable kitchen console made from Sappi Symbio. Sappi Symbio combines high-quality cellulose from woodfibre and thermoplastics, explains Sappi... 

Firm to build 96 m mixed-use tower using hybrid timber technology in Zanzibar

By: Schalk Burger     4th October 2022 German-led engineering firm CPS is planning to build the highest green building in the world, a 28-storey apartment tower designed using hybrid timber technology, in Fumba Town. The design of the mixed-use apartment and commercial building is a new ecosystem for the future of living, says... 

An artist's impression of the planning Burj Zanzibar mixed-use tower
An artist's impression of the planning Burj Zanzibar mixed-use tower

Sappi accepts offer for three European graphic paper mills

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2022 JSE-listed dissolving pulp and paper-based solutions company Sappi has concluded an agreement with investment firm Aurelius to take ownership of the Maastricht mill, in the Netherlands; the Stockstadt mill, in Germany; and the Kirkniemi mill, in Finland, for an enterprise value of about... 

Sappi CEO Steve Binnie
Sappi CEO Steve Binnie

Heavy rainfall, strikes result in ‘disappointing’ full-year performance for York Timbers

By: Darren Parker     21st September 2022 Lumber and agriculture company York Timbers reported a year-on-year decrease in several key metrics in its year-end financial results for the year ended June 30. “The financial results for the year have been quite disappointing, especially considering the momentum that was built in the previous... 

KZN South Coast still has untapped agricultural investment opportunities – SCTIE

By: Schalk Burger     8th September 2022 The South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal is an established produce farming and export region, but the subtropical climate, nutrient-rich soil, steady rainfall pattern and high duration of sunshine present additional opportunities for agricultural investment, says South Coast Tourism and Investment... 

Group to highlight dryer offerings at event

12th August 2022 International technology group Andritz will be exhibiting its range of existing and new technologies, services and automation solutions for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries at the Ausstellungstagung für chemisches Apparatewesen (ACHEMA) 2022 show from August 22 to 26, in Frankfurt,... 

The newly launched Andritz screen scroll centrifuge HX – designed to enable flexible dewatering, even under difficult feeding conditions
THERMAL THINGS The thermal range of driers on offer from Andritz will be showcased at this years ACHEMA 2022

Sappi announces first sustainability-linked financing facility

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2022 JSE-listed woodfibre products and solutions multinational Sappi says its €515-million international revolving credit facility is its first financing facility with sustainability-linked key performance indicators (KPIs) and benefits from the group’s newly developed Sustainable Financing Framework.... 

Strategy outlines constructive value of wood

By: Cameron Mackay     5th August 2022 The University of Pretoria (UP) has played a significant part in the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s (DTIC’s) Promotion of Timber Construction Steering Committee, which aims to address the promotion of the forest sector’s role in the green economy, states UP senior lecturer Schalk... 

Sappi reports record third-quarter Ebitda of $371m

By: Darren Parker     4th August 2022 Pulp and paper producer Sappi has reported record earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $371-million – excluding special items – for its third fiscal quarter ended June 30. The company on August 4 said this was an “excellent achievement against a backdrop of... 

Sappi Saiccor mill
Sappi Saiccor mill

Bioeconomy could support S Africa’s energy needs

By: Tracy Hancock     22nd July 2022 Amid unstable power supply, the development of a wood bioeconomy could help support South Africa's energy needs while ensuring that the country meets its carbon emission reduction targets, says University of Pretoria Graduate School of Technology Management senior lecturer Schalk Grobbelaar. The... 

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is running a working group for the promotion of timber construction to encourage investment in the mass timber manufacturing capacity
KINDLING DEVELOPMENT The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is running a working group for the promotion of timber construction to encourage investment in the mass timber manufacturing capacity

Best practices, governance can create sustainable local wildlife economies

By: Schalk Burger     1st July 2022 Sustainable wildlife economies that directly benefit local communities and provide resources to support development, can be created, but require best practices and standardisation to ensure the quality, safety and marketability of products and services, as well as transparency across the value... 

As drone deployment continues to expand, miners unearth whole-of-mine uses

By: Donna Slater     6th May 2022 The use of drones and ground-based robotics is evolving to such an extent locally that various companies are using them in all aspects of their operations, which is resulting in “bun fights” about which department gets to use the devices and payloads, says Dwyka Mining Services MD Jamie van... 

Magazine cover image

Deforestation, forest degradation responsible for 10% of yearly human-made carbon dioxide – report

By: Donna Slater     4th May 2022 A scientific assessment of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) policy finds that while REDD+ has provided a “convenient umbrella” for many forest and land use-related activities aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation,... 

Lifting project comes to a close

By: Halima Frost     29th April 2022 Heavy lifting and rigging specialist Lovemore Bros has successfully concluded a longstanding contract with a global pulp and paper company based in South Africa. The contract, initially signed in February 2019, commenced in May 2019 and concluded in February 2022. 

A night time photo of a large truck mounter crawler crane, lifting boiler plant elements for the refurbishment of a boiler plant at a paper mill in  South Africa
HOT N HEAVY The heavier elements of the boiler refurbishment were undertaken by Lovemore Bros

TWK lifts interim profit to R247m

By: Schalk Burger     12th April 2022 Diversified agriculture and forestry company TWK Investments achieved 30.6% increase in revenue to R4.88-billion for the six months ended February 28, compared with revenue of R3.74-billion achieved in the six months ended February 28, 2021. Profit after tax increased by 175.5% to... 

Sappi launches campaign to attract skilled engineers

By: Donna Slater     11th April 2022 Woodfibre products manufacturer Sappi has launched a campaign to encourage skilled engineers and production specialists to join its growing team and its endeavours of pursuing a circular economy. Besides a number of current vacancies in various fields, Sappi is also building up a database of... 

An image of Sappi engineers at a plant
Engineers at a Sappi plant

Agriculture continues to outperform nearly all other sectors of South Africa’s economy

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2022 Over the past two years the agriculture sector has been one of the few very stars in the firmament of the South African economy. In 2020 and 2021, agriculture was one of only four sectors of the economy to register growth, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has pointed out. Last... 

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