Sappi Fine Paper North America, a subsidiary of a South African-based Sappi Limited, will invest $2.5 million to improve and expand capacity at its Westbrook, Maine paper mill.
The Westbrook Mill makes specialized release papers. The Classics line is used to provide the textures and patterns for synthetic fabrics used in automobiles, fashionable footwear and apparel as well as decorative laminate surfaces found in flooring, kitchens, and baths.
The firm’s investment will include an upgrade in the web handling, coating and drying capabilities. Bringing expanded manufacturing capacity, and delivering higher yield, this upgrade allows Sappi's Release business to sustain market leadership with its Classics product line into the next decade.
"This is tremendous news for Westbrook Mill," said Donna Cassese, Managing Director, Westbrook Mill. "Over the past few years, we have made significant gains in safety, yield, equipment reliability, and productivity; all of which have strengthened our market position globally. These accomplishments helped set the stage for the decision to invest in our Classics line."
This project will also contribute to Sappi's commitment to sustainability as the improvements will allow for use of a wider range of raw materials and improve energy efficiency, the firm said The rebuild is anticipated to be completed by May of 2013. Information on whether the improvements will make the firm eligible for tax incentives, or include hiring of additional workers, was not immediately available.