Sappi declares force majeure at its Vulindlela project in KwaZulu-Natal
The group said yesterday that this was in alignment with the South African government's declaration of a nation-wide lockdown to combat the Covid-19 epidemic after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown on Monday.
“Sappi Southern Africa wishes to announce that it has informed all suppliers, vendors and contractors of its decision to declare force majeure and cease all work at the Vulindlela expansion and upgrade project at its Saiccor Mill,” the group said.
Sappi announced the R7.7 billion investment last year in its Saiccor Mill, a two-part project called Project Vulindlela.
The first part of the project constituted a R5.5bn investment in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to expand the capacity of the Saiccor mill to produce 890 000 tons a year of dissolving wood pulp. The mill currently produces 780 000 tons a year.
The second part of the project consisted of a R2.2bn investment over five years in various continuous improvement initiatives at the mill. The group expected the project to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.