REMSHALDEN, Germany and AALST, Belgium, Feb. 26, 2014 (Press Release) - With the official start of production, "Blue Paper " - a joint venture of the Klingele group (D) and the VPK Packaging Group (B) - has successfully realised this difficult and ambitious project. During a construction period of about one year the former UPM newspaper factory in Strasbourg was converted into a state-of-the-art production site for the manufacture of lightweight paper for corrugated board packaging.
An excellent project managementwas the guarantor for success of this ambitious undertaking. Working on the basis of comprehensive technological know-how in paper manufacturing and ample experience with other conversion projects, it was possible to combine knowledge and expertise of Klingele and VPK in the partnership.
The production and delivery of the first rolls of paper began only after extensive test runs and the fulfilment of high quality standards. Working from its strategically-placed location at the heart of Europe, Blue Paper provides a new source of raw materials for the corrugated board industry. The company has positioned itself as a flexible and competent provider; its ownership structure also enables optimal market access within its independent management structure. The portfolio of lightweight medium and testliner produced on the basis of recycled paper has extended the range of products produced by both partners in this joint venture. It meets exactly the requirements made by customers and markets for high-quality yet environmentally-friendly products.
Facility saved, jobs saved and the highest quality standards maintained :
The key data confirm the unique status of the project: Never before was a newsprint paper machine of this size converted. The conversion costs amounts to over €100 million. From a technological standpoint, Blue Paper is now equipped with an absolutely "state of the art" machine. Nearly all critical parts have been updated or replaced. Production quality fulfils the highest of standards.
Whilst pleased with these top results, the partners in the joint venture were even happier that they were able to save the UPM factory from threatened closure. This saved past investments and resources as well as guarding 140 direct jobs.
VPK and Klingele have a unique position as their combined consumption of paper for corrugating amounts to more than 1 million tons, creating a natural captive market for this additional capacity.
The production site represents the level of commitment by both partners in the joint venture to environmentally-friendly production with low water consumption and optimised emissions.
The paper machine has a trimmed working width of 8.54 m. This enables Blue Paper to serve the most common widths of modern corrugators perfectly. Production is initially planned at an annual capacity of more than 300.000 tons of wellenstoff and testliner, ranging from 70 to 135 g/m2. Production capacity is set to increase in a further stage.