Italian tissue paper manufacturer Sofidel recently opened a 280-acre plant, its first integrated paper plant built from
the ground up in the United States. Sofidel’s new Circleville, Ohio, plant is one of its most technologically and environmentally advanced tissue paper plants in the world, with innovative machinery that increases both the quality of its products and the energy efficiency of its operations.
Sofidel built a tissue paper manufacturing plant on 280 acres in Circleville, Ohio. The site is one mile long, and the building contains more than 1.4 million square feet. The integrated plant incorporates a paper mill, a converting plant for producing the finished product and a state-of-the-art warehousing facility. Once at full capacity, the facility will employ 700 people.
Sofidel’s new manufacturing plant site is one mile long, and the building contains more than 1.4 million square feet. The integrated plant incorporates a paper mill, a converting plant for producing the finished product and a state-of-theart warehousing facility. Once at full capacity, the facility will employ 700 people.
The grand opening ceremony marks a major milestone for the company and its growth in the United States, the
world’s biggest market for tissue paper consumption per capita. Since expanding to the United States in 2012, Sofidel now has operations in seven states: Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The Circleville plant is Sofidel’s first green field investment in the country.
“The United States is a crucial market for us and is where we intend to grow,’’ said Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of the Sofidel Group, which owns subsidiaries in 13 countries, including Sofidel America. “This plant will help us fuel our growth significantly and further our commitment to sustainable, environmentally responsible development. We are extremely proud of this plant and look forward to it being an important part of the Circleville community for decades to come.”
“This is an historic moment for Sofidel,’’ said Emi Stefani, chairman of the Sofidel Group. “This facility is our largest, most modern and sustainable to date and employs the best technology available in the tissue paper industry.’’
Sofidel has invested about $400 million in the site and, once running at full capacity, the facility will employ
approximately 700 people.
Lazzareschi and Stefani were joined by Brian Lenihan, acting executive director of SelectUSA, and Kenny McDonald, president and chief economic officer for Columbus 2020, in celebrating the opening of the plant. Sofidel clients and suppliers, federal, state and local officials, and other stakeholders also attended the event. The project was made possible through the support from SelectUSA, JobsOhio, Columbus 2020, the Pickaway Progress Partnership and
other public and private partnerships.
The Circleville facility is equipped with two Advantage New Tissue Technology (NTT) 200 paper mill machines, manufactured by Valmet, a global leader in the development and supply of technologies for the pulp, paper and energy processing industries. Advantage NTT 200 technology allows the production of both standard tissue and textured paper and will enable Sofidel to further increase the quality of its products, reduce water usage, and
recycle heat to power driers and fuel the plant. Each machine can produce 2,000 meters of 5.5-meter-wide paper
sheets per minute.
The plant has 10 lines for producing the finished products, including three Constellation lines manufactured by Fabio Perini, with advanced reeling technology that preserves the product’s softness while ensuring uniform sheet separation from start to finish of every roll.
The plant features a new system for recovering heat generated by turbines. The heat will be conveyed through extractor hoods and used to dry the rolls of paper, then produce steam. The system will supply almost all the energy needed to dry the paper and, under certain operating conditions, will power the entire machine.
In addition, the plant has adapted techniques from the food and beverage industry to improve logistics. An automated system transfers paper reels from the paper mill to the converting lines using laser guided vehicles (LGVs). An automated Smart Store warehouse is capable of handling more than 50,000 pallets of finished product, creating a space savings of up to 40 percent.
Sofidel chose the site south of Columbus, Ohio, based on its accessibility to underground water sources, reliable and affordable utilities (natural gas and electricity), access to a skilled workforce and intermodal transportation systems.
ABOUT: The Sofidel Group is one of the leading manufacturers of paper for hygienic and domestic use worldwide. Established in 1966, the Group has subsidiaries in 13 countries – Italy, Spain, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Turkey and the USA. Visit www.sofidel.com for more information.