Aug 06, 2023

Merchants prep ranges for Lumi alternatives

Jo Francis Thursday, November 5, 2020

Paper merchants have adapted their ranges as the end looms for Stora Enso's high-end Lumi grade.

Last year Stora Enso confirmed plans to convert more than a million tonnes of coated woodfree paper production at its Oulu into the manufacture of packaging board.

The Lumi range of high-quality, woodfree coated art papers was targeted at "highly demanding image and text printing". It had been available in sheets or reels for web offset, sheetfed and digital printing. Stocks of Lumi produced prior to the €350m (£316m) conversion mean the range is still available until the end of the year.

Liisa Nyyssönen, senior vice president of communications at Stora Enso's paper division, told Printweek that the firm's customer service centre in Mendlesham, Suffolk had closed at the beginning of last month, with all orders for the firm's remaining woodfree uncoated products now handled by CSC West in Ghent, Belgium.

"Lumipaper Ltd is still sheeting, and the remaining Lumi orders will be handled until year-end," she said.

"The remaining Lumi orders will be handled from Mendlesham until the end of the year."

The Lumipaper sheeting plant in the Netherlands will continue as part of Stora Enso's Packaging Materials division.

It's not clear what will happen to the Mendlesham sheeting facility.

Around 140,000 tonnes of Lumi had been sold into the UK annually, via merchants Premier Paper and Ovendens, and through direct sales.

Premier Paper group marketing director David Jones said the merchant still had stocks of Lumi available and had been "planning for and managing the change".

"We have also engaged with some of Stora's direct customers to support them with the short-term supply of Lumi to enable them to meet their commitments on quality and consistency," he explained.

"Premier's Lumi customers now have a choice from four remaining coated ranges from Premier: Essential, Garda, Magno and 3D. We have been working with our key Lumi customers over the last twelve months or so, to ensure that one of our four remaining coated qualities meets their requirements."

Jones said that Premier also had a number of options to replace the Lumi Digital coated grade, including Condat Digital, Symbol Freelife and Pro Digital.

Ovendens said that alternatives included Burgo's Respecta in gloss or satin.

The Respecta range is available in different raw material compositions from FSC mix up to 100% recycled content. The 100% recycled grade is sold exclusively by Denmaur Paper Media under the Revive brand.

Stora Enso said the conversion at Oulu was going to plan with production expected to start in the new year, ramping up to capacity in Q2 2021.

The group will also shut down the PM3 newsprint machine at its Hylte mill in Sweden by the end of the year.

Paper merchants have adapted their ranges as the end looms for Stora Enso's high-end Lumi grade.