Canadian firm Kruger Packaging has announced its plans for a C$250m ($188.6m) investment to convert one of the newsprint machines at its Trois-Rivières mill in Canada to produce lightweight linerboard.

The modification plan is supported by a C$190m ($143.3m) contribution by the Québec government. This funding includes a C$84m ($63.3m) loan financing for the conversion costs, along with a C$106m ($79.9m) participation through Investissement Québec.

Investissement Québec is a new entity that integrates all of Kruger’s containerboard and packaging activities.

In return of the assistance, the Québec government will have a 25% ownership in this new company, Kruger said.

"In return of the assistance, the Québec government will have a 25% ownership in this new company."

The project is expected to secure operations and open up 270 job opportunities at the facility. It will involve the modernisation of the PM10 machine, in order to equip it with advanced containerboard manufacturing technology.

The machine, which has been commissioned in 2017, is expected to deliver up to 360,000t of 100% recycled lightweight linerboard annually after modifications.

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While a portion of the produce will be purchased by the Canadian giant’s box plants in LaSalle (Quebec) and Brampton (Ontario), the rest will be placed in the market for commercial sales.

This upgrade is in line with the firm’s growth strategy, which takes into account the increasing demand for lightweight linerboard worldwide.

The PM10 will continue with its newsprint production until two months before the end of the conversion project.

The Trois-Rivières mill also has another newsprint production line, PM7, whose production will not be affected.

Besides having facilities in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, the Canadian firm also operates across the US through centres in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island.

Image: Kruger will convert a newsprint machine to manufacture 100% recycled, lightweight linerboard. Photo: courtesy of Kruger Packaging.