Saturday, May 17, 2014
Papermaker to the nation
For its first 40 years, the Boyer mill was the sole producer of Australian newsprint but this ended once its sister mill opened at Albury.
Following the successful conversion of one of Boyer’s two machines to the production of lightweight coated (LWC) paper, Boyer is now the only Australian producer of magazine and catalogue-grade paper.
The converted machine will produce around 140,000 tonnes of LWC per annum. The project took 18 months to complete at a cost of $85 million. Customers were this week given a tour of the new facility ahead of the official opening planned for early June.
Norske Skog regional president, Andrew Leighton welcomed the new product and thanked everyone associated with the machine conversion and the new product’s development. “Vantage is the only locally produced LWC on the market and has already run successfully on a number of major printing presses," Mr Leighton said.
“I would like to thank the Federal and Tasmanian governments for supporting this project together with the significant capital investment by our owners. This project is a key component of our regional strategy to transform the business from being wholly a newsprint producer to having a more diverse future in paper, fibre and energy.
“I congratulate the team at Boyer for their painstaking work in converting an existing machine through the addition of state of the art new equipment. The project has also been strongly supported by paper machinery supplier Metso, our new on-site coating filler supplier Omya, design engineering partners Beca Amec plus many local Tasmanian contractors and suppliers. In addition we have drawn upon Norske Skog’s global knowledge and expertise.
“This has been a real team effort across our entire business and literally hundreds of people have been involved in one way or another to make it a success. They can all be proud of their efforts,” Mr Leighton said.
The machine conversion involved the addition of new coating, drying and calendaring equipment, the installation of a new state-of-the-art winder as well as extensive building works, upgrades to existing equipment and process changes to ensure the final product meets the high quality specifications and printing performance demanded by the Australian market.
Norske Skog vice president Andrew McKean said the project had generated significant interest and support from local printers, publishers and retailers across Australia all of whom were keen to see the return of a local supplier. “Having locally produced LWC means our customers will benefit from shorter lead times which in turn means lower inventory, less delays and greater flexibility. They can also deal direct with people who operate in the same time zone and they can access support as required from our skilled technical support team," he said.
“Vantage is a great product in its own right and when combined with all the local benefits we believe it’s going to be a real winner”, Mr McKean said.