Expera Specialty Solutions
Wisconsin Public Service
Expera Specialty Solutions was founded in June 2013, but the company has been backed by more than 130 years of rich history. Expera was formed when KPS Capital Partners combined Thilmany Papers with specialty paper mills from the Wausau area. The joining created North America’s largest specialty paper company. Based out of Kaukauna, the company has over 1,800 employees in the four mills in Rhinelander, Mosinee, Kaukauna, and De Pere. There is also one at Verson Paper’s Androscoggin mill in Maine. Together the mills make up $800 million in sales, and they have the ability to produce 600,000 tons of specialty papers per year.
Expera products are used in the food packaging, tape, pressure-sensitive release liner, and industrial segments. The company has a substantial impact on Wisconsin’s economy. They are the driving economic force for the small and rural communities that the mills are located in throughout Wisconsin. In 2014, Expera was named a Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment by Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce. The company received an AF&PA (American Forest & Paper Association) Sustainability Leader Award at a national level back in 2012.
In 2009, Focus on Energy advised Expera Specialty Solutions to join the Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now Leaders Program (now Better Plants Program). Expera was one of the first nine companies from Wisconsin that joined the Program. They pledged to reduce their energy intensity by 25 percent in ten years. They were able to make significant strides towards achieving that goal. They reduced manufacturing costs by conserving energy. They were able to take the energy savings to put towards retaining and creating high-paying jobs in the rural community, and also to reduce fossil-fuel based emissions significantly.
Expera, the only pulp and paper company in Wisconsin, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Focus on Energy in March 2014 to participate in the “Wisconsin Strategic Energy Management Leaders Pilot Program.” They made their commitment to reduce energy usage even further. It is an internal energy steering group which helps optimize energy use at all of the mills.
With the help of Focus on Energy, Expera Specialty Solutions was able to acquire technical expertise, as well as financial assistance. Throughout the years, Focus on Energy was able to provide momentous amounts of incentives. Focus on Energy was able to identify energy saving opportunities, including low-hanging fruit, and be able to help implement the projects in a timely manner.