Heinzel completes SC machine expansion at Laakirchen mill in Austria, capacity of PM 11 raised to 350,000 tonnes/yr

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Heinzel completes SC machine expansion at Laakirchen mill in Austria, capacity of PM 11 raised to 350,000 tonnes/yr

July 27, 2017 - 04:03

LAAKIRCHEN, Austria, July 27, 2017 (Press Release) -Laakirchen Papier possesses over thirty years of experience in the production of high-gloss magazine paper for heatset weboffset and rotogravure printing and from this August, the Upper Austrian paper manufacturer will be producing SC paper on its Paper Machine 11 (PM11). This has been enlarged at a cost of around EUR 6 million and its annual capacity increased to 350,000 t through the addition of a 12-roll super calender. As a result, the machine now numbers among the most efficient in Europe.

As Mark Lunabba, the CEO of Laakirchen Papier AG explains: “We regard a simultaneous improvement in both production efficiency and quality as a prerequisite for long-term success in the SC market. Through our investment in the PM11 and range focusing, we believe Laakirchen Papier has taken important steps towards the future.”

100 per cent sustainability: Laakirchen Papier adopts a clear position

The market demand for papers manufactured in a resource-protective and environment-friendly manner is growing. Consequently, from the autumn of 2017, Laakirchen Papier will be placing a heightened emphasis upon the use of recycled fibres, especially as waste paper can be reused as many as six times over.

Thomas Krawinkler, the Head of Sales and Marketing, describes developments in the SC market as follows: “In order to fulfil their own CSR strategies, an ever-larger number of trading companies require magazine paper from sustainable production. Therefore, in the coming years, Laakirchen Papier will increasingly rely upon resource-protective and environment-friendly paper manufacture and thus occupy a clearly defined market position. We regard sustainability as a key issue for the future, irrespective of whether in relation to market demands, or our function as a responsible industrial company. We wish to be a partner for our SC paper clientele that apart from quality, a customer orientation and flexibility, also stands out owing to its sharp focus on sustainability.” Accordingly, SC papers from Laakirchen Papier are not only available with the FSC® and PEFC™-certification, but also the “Blue Angel” environmental seal, as they are largely manufactured from waste paper.

At present, the Upper Austrian paper mill recycles some 330,000 t of waste paper annually and this figure is set to rise due to the increase in production. Laakirchen Papier has developed a tailormade technology for this recycling process, which facilitates the optimum utilisation of recycled material in the production of top quality magazine paper without any compromises regarding quality. Waste paper recycling also reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions through the conservation of valuable primary resources.

A focus on the product range and quality

In future, Laakirchen Papier is to concentrate on the production of four paper qualities on the PM11, which are also available with the “Blue Angel” and as Thomas Krawinkler stresses: “With these papers we will cover the future demands of the market in optimum fashion. This emphasis will also enable us to concentrate more closely on the quality of each individual paper.”

For Laakirchen Papier as a supplier of quality, its constant improvement is a matter of course. Therefore, within the scope of a product optimisation project, during recent months the in-company quality and development team has been working on the further enhancement of the quality of the SC paper range. Johann Brunthaler, the head of Quality and Development at Laakirchen Papier AG: “In the course of the enlargement of the PM11, internal development projects have been in progress since the beginning of 2011. Among other objectives, these are aimed at improving the gloss and PPS roughness printability parameters in order that the demands of our customers for top quality will also be met in future.”

About Laakirchen Papier AG

Laakirchen Papier AG, which is located in Laakirchen (Upper Austria) specialises in the production and further development of super calendered, uncoated papers (SC papers) for the European market. The mill was built in 1867 as the “Trauntaler Holzstofffabrik” and since 2013 has been a subsidiary of the internationally operative Heinzel Group, which numbers among the largest producers of market pulp, corrugated containerboard and magazine paper in Central and Eastern Europe.

During 2017, EUR 100 million are to be invested in the Laakirchen location. The PM10 is to be converted to the production of corrugated containerboard (annual capacity: 450,000 t) and at the same time, the yearly capacity of the PM11, which in future will also manufacture SC paper, is to be raised to 350,000 t.

In 2016, Laakirchen Papier AG achieved sales revenues of EUR 243 million and on average employed a workforce of 506.

Heinzel Group

The Heinzel Group, which is united under the Heinzel Holding umbrella, ranks with its industrial locations Zellstoff Pöls AG, Laakirchen Papier AG (both Austria), Raubling Papier GmbH (Germany) and AS Estonian Cell (Estonia) among the largest producers of market pulp, and magazine paper in Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, since the beginning of 2016, corrugated containerboard has also been part of its range. The group’s Trading Business Area includes Wilfried Heinzel AG, a globally active pulp, paper and board trading company, and Europapier International AG, the leading paper merchant in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, Bunzl & Biach GmbH is the largest and most important waste paper company in Austria and the no.1 wholesaler in Central and Eastern Europe. The Heinzel Group’s successful growth is based on the fulfilment of the highest customer demands with regard to quality and efficiency.

In 2016, the Heinzel Group achieved sales revenues of EUR 1,763.3 million and on average employed a workforce of 2.441.