Sappi has announced the €61m rebuild of one of the papermaking machines at its Alfeld Mill south of Hanover, which will create the world's largest producer of one-side coated and machine glazed bleached kraft speciality packaging paper.
Sappi Europe specialities sales and marketing director Rosemarie Asquino said there has been about a 6% decline in demand for graphic arts papers in recent years.
"At the same time, growth in demand for speciality packaging papers is expected to be as high as 3.2%. Sappi has a creative portfolio of speciality grades for which demand is increasing, and this project was designed to enable us to continue to meet that need," she said.
The products include coated and uncoated papers for flexible packaging, SBS board for luxury boxes, topliner for corrugated packaging, label papers for wet glue applications such as can and jar labels and banderols and wrappers.
The rebuild is also expected to minimise the company's environmental footprint and increase compliance with standards.
Asquino added: "This project certainly had its share of logistical challenges, not the least of which was the transport and installation of a 135-ton MG cylinder, 6.5 meters in diameter."
Alfeld Mill has five papermaking machines and an integrated pulp plant and is OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, EMAS, ISO 9001 certified.
Image: The rebuild project also includes the transport and installation of a 135-ton MG cylinder.