Sappi North America Drives Sustainability and Growth With Natural Gas

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Sappi North America Drives Sustainability and Growth With Natural Gas

Somerset Mill in Skowhegan Will Save More Than 30 Percent on Annual Energy Costs

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What's next in line for our #innovation initiatives? Driving #sustainability with natural gas at our Somerset mill http://3bl.me/w676wh
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

SKOWHEGAN, ME, November 18, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Sappi North America's Somerset Mill in Skowhegan is now running on natural gas and the paper mill is already seeing economic and environmental benefits. Recently, Summit Natural Gas of Maine completed the final installation of equipment to allow the Somerset Mill to run using natural gas at full capacity. Representatives from the Somerset Mill project a savings of more than 30 percent by switching to natural gas, in addition to the environmental benefits that include cleaner air and fewer emissions. 

Sappi North America's Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine is now running on natural gas and the paper mill is already seeing economic and environmental benefits. Recently, Summit Natural Gas of Maine completed the final installation of equipment to allow the Somerset Mill to run using natural gas at full capacity. Representatives from the Somerset Mill project a savings of more than 30 percent by switching to natural gas, in addition to the environmental benefits that include cleaner air and fewer emissions. 

"The opportunity to utilize natural gas is essential to maintain the competitive cost position of our Somerset Mill and is another example of our investment in Maine," said Mark Gardner, president and chief executive officer, Sappi North America. "Thanks to Summit, we have established access to clean, economical natural gas; this is reducing our energy costs and is better for the environment, and will ensure the long-term profitability of our operations."

In the last decade, the paper industry in Maine has experienced higher energy costs and foreign competition resulting in mill closures around the state. 

Sappi North America's Mill in Skowhegan is the seventh-largest coated paper mill in the world producing more than 2,400 tons of paper per day. The mill also employs more than 700 Maine workers.

Since 2013, Summit has provided natural gas service to residents and businesses in the state as a new lower-cost energy source and valuable option for Maine's largest industrial companies, from paper mills to hospitals.

"With natural gas, the mill will have an additional energy resource available in their portfolio providing an additional opportunity to save on their energy costs. We're proud to provide an energy source that will help keep the Somerset Mill in a cost competitive position," said Mike Minkos, president of Summit Natural Gas of Maine.

The Somerset Mill currently uses #6 fuel oil and already has plans for how to use the savings from switching to natural gas.

"Initially, we plan to pay for the $24 million project investment that will reduce our cost of manufacturing to remain competitive to other mills who have benefited from natural gas access. The reduced manufacturing cost will improve earnings for further reinvestment and improvements to our processes," said Gardner.

Natural gas will replace #6 fuel oil used in the lime kiln, savings equivalent to 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil per year. Converting to natural gas will also reduce oil use in the power boiler and decrease the ash load on the environmental equipment.

In addition to serving Sappi North America, Summit Natural Gas of Maine has installed more than 130 miles of pipeline in the Kennebec Valley area as well as Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth in southern Maine. In 2014, Summit Natural Gas of Maine has plans to install more than 100 miles of natural gas pipelines to service areas in Maine, more than any other gas company. 

To learn more about Summit Natural Gas of Maine's service areas and their construction projects, call (855) 353-4433 or visit www.summitnaturalgasmaine.com

Left to right (in picture): Mike Minkos, president of Summit Natural Gas shakes hands with Mark Gardner, president and CEO of Sappi North America.

About Summit Natural Gas of Maine
Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. is a subsidiary of Summit Utilities, Inc. Summit Utilities, Inc. acts as a holding company that owns and operates Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc.; Colorado Natural Gas, Inc.; Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, Inc.; and Wolf Creek Energy LLC. The company's natural gas subsidiaries construct, install and operate natural gas distribution systems in order to provide natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers. For more information, visit www.summitnaturalgasmaine.com.

About Sappi North America 
Sappi North America, known for innovation and quality, is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine and release papers, as well as dissolving wood pulp (DWP) and market kraft pulp headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its coated fine papers, with highly recognized brand names such as McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are used in premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. Its food packaging brand, LusterPrint is a greaseproof product with an excellent print surface. The company is also the world's leading supplier of release papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries, including the globally recognized Ultracast brand. Sappi's release papers provide the surface aesthetics for synthetic fabrics used in footwear, clothing, upholstery and accessories, as well as the textures for decorative laminates found in kitchens, baths, flooring and other decorative surfaces. Sappi globally is the world's largest manufacturer of dissolving wood pulp, a versatile raw material for a wide range of products including textile fibers and household products. Sappi North America, through the recent conversion of the Cloquet pulp mill, manufactures dissolving pulp under Sappi's Specialised Cellulose division primarily for the textile markets.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com/na.

Keywords: Environment | Environment | Packaging | Sappi | Somerset Mill | Summit Natural Gas | natural gas | paper | pulp | sappi north america | sustainability

CONTENT: Press Release

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