BOSTON –  Sappi North America said it is moving forward with a $25 million capital project to update its Somerset Mill woodyard, located in Maine. A producer of coated and release papers as well as pulp, Sappi said it will modernize the wood debarking, chipping and chip distribution systems at the mill to reduce white wood losses and costs. and improve the reliability and efficiency with the increased production of wood chips.

Upgrades will be made to the log infeed, debarker, chipper, chip transfer system, woodroom controls and bark handling. "Continually investing in our operations, processes and people ensures our success and maintains the Somerset Mill as a globally competitive site," said Mark Gardner, president and CEO. "These upgrades will improve our product, raise our bottom line and continue to build upon our sustainable practices."

Sappi said it is the largest U.S.-based paper mill to receive the modernized debarking, chipping and chip distribution systems. The systems are expected to be in place by the end of November 2017, following a temporary woodyard shutdown for installation.

The largest of the company's three mills, the Somerset Mill has an annual production of 795,000 metric tons of paper and 525,000 metric tons of pulp, and employs 770 people, according to Sappi's website. The company's products are used in the production of decorative overlays, as well as paper for magazines, brochures and packaging.

Founded as the S. D. Warren Co. in 1854, the company became part of the Sappi group in 1995. Sappi North America is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.