British packaging company DS Smith has announced an investment of £48m ($51m) in a new fibre preparation line at its paper mill in Kemsley, England, UK. 

The multiyear investment is part of the company’s organic investment programme and aims to deliver improved efficiency and reduced costs.  

The new line will supply recycled fibre to PM3, a versatile paper machine capable of producing various grades of paper, including plasterboard liner and other corrugated case materials.

Under this initiative, an advanced drum pulping and screening system will be installed to efficiently separate contaminants from fibre such as plastic and coatings.  
These upgrades align with Smith’s Now & Next sustainability strategy, offering environmental benefits such as reduced water usage and energy consumption. 

The development is set to reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by more than 6,000t annually, contributing to Smith’s goal of decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions by 46% by 2030.  

In addition, the move will reduce waste by 39,000t per year and lower the mill’s freshwater use by more than 50,000m² annually. 

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The new Stock Preparation plant is scheduled for commissioning in early 2026. 

Smith Paper & Recycling head Niels Flierman said: “Kemsley paper mill is an important part of our business and of the UK’s recycling capacity, recycling up to one million tonnes of paper and card every year.  

“The installation of the new fibre preparation line will ensure that we can continue to make high-performing papers more efficiently while delivering on our medium and long-term sustainability goals.”  

The investment announcement follows Smith’s partnership with E.ON, which led to the establishment of a combined heat and power plant at Kemsley in 2022, saving 36,000t of CO₂ per year.  

Smith’s Kemsley mill is claimed to be the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK and the second largest in Europe. 

Recently, Smith invested €13m ($14m) to boost the production capacity of its facilities in Austria.