Pro-Gest is dismantling an idled paper mill in Mantua (Mantova) in northern Italy to convert it into a state-of-the-art containerboard mill.

Estimated to cost €150m ($158.8m), the converted facility will produce 550,000t of high-quality, lightweight recycled board from 100% waste.

Pro-Gest is expected to commence operations at the new paper mill in 2017.

Mantua mill background

Pro-Gest acquired the idled Mantua paper mill owned by the Burgo Group in June 2015 through its Cartiere Villa Lagarina paper mill. The Mantua mill was established in 1905 and produced newsprint until 2013 before being closed.

Pro-Gest also acquired the Badia Recycling plant, which specialises in waste collection and recycling. The acquisition will not only provide significant vertical integration for the company, but also supply the waste required for recycled board production.

The old Mantua paper mill will be completely dismantled and the site will be fully renovated to build the biggest containerboard mill in Italy.

New Mantua mill paper machine details

Valmet is supplying its OptiConcept M containerboard production line for the plant to produce recycled board. The line will include complete board making system from the headbox to reel, and a high-capacity two-drum winder. The width of the reel is 7.6m.

The line will be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, including layering headbox and horizontal gap forming using shoe and blade solutions. These technologies produce a high-quality product with wide basis weight range, as well as delivering significant energy savings when compared with existing Multi-Fourdrinier technology.

The compact design also includes a novel fabric insertion unit, which eliminates the need for cantilevering and reduces installation time.

Automation and control system

A mill-wide automation system called Valmet DNA will also be part of the line, which will include a quality measurement unit, process controls, and condition monitoring units.

A machine clothing package for start-up will also be delivered by Valmet.

“The company collects approximately 1.5 million tonnes of waste paper annually and converts this into containerboard, corrugated cardboard and a range of packaging products.”

Waste paper processing

The paper machine will be equipped with ANDRITZ recycled paper plant, a waste paper processing plant and approach system.

The recycled paper plant will include an old corrugated container line for the top ply, and a mixed waste line for the back ply. The approach system for the paper machine will include Shortflow Deaeration, broke handling, fibre recovery, and reject handling systems.

Contractors involved

ANDRITZ is responsible for the engineering, supply, installation, start-up, and commissioning of the recycled paper plant.

Kemira will supply water treatment and wet end chemistries for the new paper machine.

Marketing commentary on Pro-Gest

Established in 1973, Pro-Gest is a leading packaging and corrugated board producer in Italy. Owned by the Zago family, the company is involved in all the fields of production from raw material collection to packaging production.

It collects approximately 1.5 million tonnes of waste paper annually and converts this into containerboard, corrugated cardboard and a range of packaging products.

Pro-Gest operates 22 production facilities divided among four business units. The facilities are spread across seven regions in Italy. The company business also includes a tissue manufacturing division, which produces a range of high-quality products.

The company employs more than 1,100 people and had an annual turnover of €435m ($460m) in 2016.