The expansion of production capacity of supercalendered release base papers at Ahlstrom’s La Gère plant in France is now complete. The investment comprised speed-up of the PM6 paper machine, construction of a new 2,800m2 building to hold the completely redesigned finishing and loading department, and the installation of a new high speed winder.
The project started in the second quarter of 2006, when the foundations of the new building were laid, and has been completed in two steps in the first and second quarters of this year.
The expansion has increased the plant’s annual production capacity of supercalendered release
base papers by over 35 per cent, which will be progressively achieved in the coming quarters. At the same time, says Ahlstrom, it will enable a significant improvement of product quality. The project followed a similar operation at the Turin plant in early 2006.
The company is also to form a joint venture with pulp and paper manufacturer Votorantim Celulose e Papel for the production of speciality papers in Brazil. This will enable Ahlstrom, who will own 60 per cent of the joint venture shares, to develop a new platform to supply the whole of Latin America, one of the fastest growing markets for pressure sensitive products.
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