Irish corrugated packaging giant Smurfit Kappa has announced plans to invest £98m over three years in its paper-making facility in Townsend Hook, Kent, UK.

Smurfit Kappa will install and commission a custom-designed 5m, lightweight recycled container board machine, set to be completed and operational by the end of 2014.

The new machine will secure the supply of paper for all of Smurfit Kappa’s packaging operations in the UK and Ireland.

Smurfit Kappa Paper UK CEO Chris Allen said the design of the new machine features technology that will produce a lightweight paper, enhancing the company’s position in the UK and Ireland.

The container board machine will produce corrugated papers, for use in the company’s integrated plants, and will meet market requirements for sustainable, recycled paper-making, the company said.

Smurfit Kappa has sourced the equipment from Cartiera di Cadidavid in Italy and replaced two existing container board machines, increasing Kent’s recycled paper capacity per annum by over 8% from 240,000t to 260,000t.

Together with Smurfit Kappa’s SSK mill in Birmingham, the company will offer the portfolio of corrugated paper available in the UK to ensure their customers have continuity of supply.

This will be secured by the company’s recycling organisation, operating a closed loop system from recovered fibre, to paper, to box and back, the company stated.

The new paper mill is accredited with FSC certification and Carbon Trust Standard and offers sustainable approach to packaging in the UK.

The company’s two UK mills will now specialise in producing all the recycled brown corrugated case material for its UK and Irish corrugated business.