Sappi Ltd., Boston, announced a $165 million capital project to expand its North American manufacturing capabilities and flexibility to include a variety of consumer packaging products. This investment on Paper Machine No. 1 at Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine, establishes a strong platform for growth in paper-based packaging while maintaining Sappi’s leadership position in the graphic paper market, increasing annual production capacity to almost 1 million tons per year.

“This move complements our long-term 2020Vision strategy, which seeks opportunities to substantially increase our group EBITDA,” says Steve Binnie, chief executive officer. “By investing in our business to pursue growing areas of demand, we can remain profitable and competitive in the global marketplace.”

“Somerset’s existing world-class infrastructure, together with its talented workforce and access to high-quality fiber, makes the mill an excellent and obvious choice for this investment,” says Mark Gardner, president and CEO. “Increasing our flexibility and expanding the paper mill’s capability and capacity will ensure that we continue to make superior products at Somerset for years to come.”

The planned project is slated to come online in early 2018.