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Web printers give Aussie paper thumbs up

Thursday, 16 October 2014
By Patrick Howard
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Since Norsky Skog launched its Vantage brand from the revamped Boyer Mill over 50,000 tonnes have found their way into the production stream ahead of a looming old-fashioned price war as overseas mills respond.

With Franklin Web taking a lion’s share of the highly environmentally certified paper  – Vantage and Vantage Super LWC – the mill is declaring the launch a success. A quick ring around major printers confirms that after some consistency issues at the start, which appear to have been resolved, the paper is set to become a mainstream substrate for Australia.

The total local market for LWC is around 350,000 tonnes, for uncoated 120,000 tonnes. The Boyer Mill is ramping up to manufacture 120,000 – 140,000 tonnes. The Norske Skog paper machine is small by comparison to international standards.

The advantages of a shorter ordering time for printers is obvious. Instead of the 10-12 weeks waiting period for overseas paper from Europe (8-10 from Asia), the Boyer Mill can supply within four to five weeks. This enables local printers to carry less stock with a consequent reduction in money tied up.

Although no one would be quoted, prices for Vantage, coated and uncoated, are supposedly very keen in comparison to the traditional suppliers in this market, notably Stora Enso and UPM. How long that will remain is anyone’s guess as the overseas mills are not likely to walk away from a market they’ve dominated for decades.

Then there are the logistical challenges facing the Boyer Mill near Hobart. The paper has to be trucked across Tasmania to Launceston to be shipped to the mainland. Transport costs are likely to exceed those of European mills shipping half way around the world.

Boyer Mill near Hobart Tasmania

Vantage is produced from a converted newsprint machine at the Boyer Mill in Tasmania. Another machine at the site continues to manufacturer newsprint and other substrates. While the $85 million project has given the local industry not only more supply security but with the overseas mills ready to defend their market share, local printers are set to get the benefits of an old fashioned price war between suppliers. Norske Skog is the only local manufacturer of publication papers for newspapers, magazines and catalogues.

The Boyer mill uses only 100% plantation softwood fibre sourced from plantation forests and other controlled sources with no native timber. The end product is elemental chlorine free.

The Boyer mill has a long tradition of paper making in Tasmania from 1941 to the present day.






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