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Alliance to webcast results today

| June 5, 2014

Alliance One International said yesterday that it would hold a conference call starting at 17.00 hours Eastern Time on June 5 to report its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31.

The call will be available on the Alliance website,, where registration is required 15 minutes before the start of the call.

A replay of the call will be available by telephone from 20.00 hours on June 5 through 20.00 hours on June 10 on (888) 203-1112 from within the US or (719) 457-0820 from outside the US, using the access code 2918167.

Iggesund’s Swedish mill approaching ‘fossil-free’ and low-emissions vision

| June 4, 2014

Iggesund Paperboard believes that its Swedish mill is fast approaching the company’s demanding environmental goals.

For a while in mid-April, the Iggesund Mill was able to operate solely on bioenergy while also supplying almost all its own electricity needs, the company said in a press note sent out yesterday.

Another important aspect of the vision for the Iggesund Mill was that emissions to air and water should be so low that Iggesund was among the global leaders among comparable manufacturers.

And yet another goal was that a minimum of by-products would go to landfill.

“We’re getting close to the vision of a fossil-free mill that we’ve lived with and that has driven our investments for a long time,” mill director Olov Winblad von Walter was quoted as saying. “Our new recovery boiler, which came on line in spring 2012, is getting better and better as we fine tune it, and our increasing pulp production is also boosting our energy production.”

Iggesund Mill was one of the world’s integrated paperboard mills with the highest level of investment, the press note said. The mill’s biggest investment to date, €250 million, had seen the installation of a new recovery boiler, which had enabled the mill gradually to increase its annual pulp production from 350,000 tonnes to 420,000 tonnes.

“Our sulphate process for pulp production means that we separate out the cellulose fibres that comprise half the mass of a log,” Winblad von Walter said. “The other half consists of the wood’s binding agent, which is mostly an energy-rich substance called lignin. We burn this in the recovery boiler and it produces enough steam and electricity to cover more than 90 per cent of our energy needs.”

A nearly fossil-free energy supply was not the only benefit Iggesund’s new recovery boiler delivered. ‘After the boiler had been fine tuned, it turned out that particle emissions from the mill, which were already low, had been halved,’ the press note said. ‘Sulphur emissions, which contribute to the acidification of surrounding land, have also fallen by more than 80 per cent from what were already low levels.’

And it is not only in Sweden where energy sources have been improved. Just over a year ago, the energy source at Iggesund’s board mill in Workington, England, was changed from natural gas to biomass. ‘Achieving this required the investment of about €122 million in a new biofuel boiler,’ the press note said. ‘Today the mill operates solely on biofuel and in addition to covering its own energy needs it also supplies fossil-free electricity to the UK electricity grid.

“One of the goals driving our investments is long-term sustainability, and the investments in both Iggesund and Workington are the result of that approach,” said Staffan Jonsson, head of Group Technology at the Holmen Group, to which Iggesund belongs.

The installation of the Iggesund Mill’s recovery boiler was one of the basic requirements in the quest to operate the mill without using any fossil fuel.

The installation of the Iggesund Mill’s recovery boiler was one of the basic requirements in the quest to operate the mill without using any fossil fuel.

Ethanol-from-tobacco plant to reopen

| June 4, 2014

Tyton BioEnergy Systems, based at Danville, Virginia, US, said on Monday that it was reopening the former Clean Burn Fuels bio-refinery in Raeford, North Carolina, as part of its strategy to convert tobacco crops into ethanol, according to a story by Richard Craver for the Winston-Salem Journal.

The company said that it would spend $36 million on capital investments and would create 79 jobs.

Tyton’s partner, Tyton NC Biofuels, purchased the facility, which is North Carolina’s only commercial-scale ethanol refinery but which has been idle for more than three years.

Tyton BioEnergy Systems has developed a special energy tobacco plant that is a dedicated fuel crop.

Tyton initially will use corn as the feedstock before transitioning to tobacco sugars.

Future of hand-rolled kreteks questioned

| June 4, 2014

Sales of hand-rolled clove cigarettes in Indonesia are losing their edge as consumers shift to machine-made products – a situation that could see further job losses in the industry, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

The market share of hand-rolled kreteks has fallen from 32.80 per cent in 2009 to 26.07 per cent at present, while the share of machine-made kreteks has risen from 59.24 per cent to 66.20 per cent.

This year, producers expect sales of hand-rolled products to increase by one per cent, below the four per cent estimated for sales of all types, according to the Association of Indonesian Cigarette Producers (GAPPRI), which represents clove-cigarette manufacturers.

Last year, sales of hand-rolled kreteks amounted to 90.09 billion, according to excise tax data submitted by the industry.

“This situation may ring an alarm bell for producers, leading them to wonder whether production of hand-rolled cigarettes can be sustained,” GAPPRI secretary-general Hasan Aoni Aziz was quoted as saying.

The question mark surrounding the survival of hand-rolled kreteks recently entered the spotlight when Indonesia’s largest cigarette maker, Sampoerna, decided to close its factories at Lumajang and Jember, East Java.

And Hasan added that more companies could close their operations unless there was a policy of maintaining different excise duties for hand-rolled and machine-made products.

Low-nicotine U.S. cigarette brand to be made in Poland, distributed within EU

| June 3, 2014

A company based in Clarence, New York, USA, has signed a deal under which its tobacco products will be made by a Polish cigarette manufacturer for distribution within the EU, according to a story by Tracey Drury for Business First of Buffalo.

Goodrich Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of 22nd Century Group, which makes low-nicotine cigarettes for the commercial market and for government sources for smoking cessation, has signed a letter of intent with Orion, a cigarette manufacturer based in Poland.

Under the agreement, Goodrich is due to export its tobacco to Orion, where the finished cigarettes will be made under Goodrich’s brand names, beginning with Gold Magic, a cigarette that, it is said, “contains 97 percent less nicotine than traditional light cigarettes.”

The deal follows a previously announced agreement between Goodrich and Wilshire Marketing for the distribution of Gold Magic brand in the Benelux region.

High level of tobacco smoking in Bulgaria

| June 3, 2014

About 30 percent of Bulgarians, comprising more than 2.1 million people, are daily tobacco smokers, according to a Focus English News story quoting the World Health Organization report Global Tobacco Epidemic, which was released on Saturday.

There is a smoking gender bias, with 40 percent of men and 19 percent of women being daily smokers.

And there is an age bias. Almost half of people aged 25–65 are smokers, while smokers make up 28 percent of the 15–24 age group but only 12 percent of the 65-plus age group.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of men and 70 percent of women are said to be “firm nonsmokers,” and 10 percent of men and 9 percent of women are described as “nonregular smokers.”

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