German company Papierfabrik August Koehler is set to invest approximately €500m in growth by 2020, more than half of which will be dedicated to flexible packaging.

The company will invest more than €300m at Kehl production facility, where nearly 100 new jobs are expected to be created in the next two years.

Under the investment programme, Koehler will install a specialty paper machine with Yankee cylinder.

The off-machine coater will feature multiple coating application technologies that will help serve various market segments in the flexible packaging sector.

The machine will have a total capacity of more than 100,000t annually.

"The trend is moving toward sustainable packaging made from renewable raw materials."

Going forward, Koehler plans to focus on flexible paper-based packaging solutions for brand manufacturers, converters and printers.

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Koehler chief technology officer Dr Stefan Karrer said: “In this segment, it’s customer requirements that shape the market.

“The trend is moving toward sustainable packaging made from renewable raw materials.

“Koehler has accepted this challenge and, with its technology, will assume a clear pioneering role that will be hard to beat internationally.”

The company has made extensive preparations to develop new flexible packaging, while most of the machine construction and initial planning with brand manufacturers and converters have been completed.

Koehler FlexPack is expected to reach the market in less than two years and will allow Koehler to produce a variety of functional surfaces based on customers’ requirements.

The technology is also suitable for thermal paper.