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Smurfit Kappa Paper accelerates £100m Kent mill investment

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Smurfit Kappa Paper accelerates £100m Kent mill investment

May 08
13:25 2013

Smurfit Kappa has announced plans to accelerate its £100m investment in its paper mill in Townsend Hook, Kent.

The paper and corrugated multinational said in a statement this morning that a new paper machine at the mill that will produce 250,000 tonnes of lightweight corrugated case material each year, will now be operational by the fourth quarter of 2014 rather than the first quarter of 2015.

As part of the project, two existing paper machines that have a combined capacity of 250,000 tonnes are being decommissioned. Smurfit Kappa announced this morning that they are now expected to close on 1 July, rather than in 2014 as was originally planned.

Today’s statement said that the closure date was being brought forward “in order to extend the training period for our workforce, advance the start-up of the new paper machine and increase the pace of the expected ramp-up”.

A consultation process with a number of staff working at the mill has begun regarding the accelerated closure of the two machines.

As well as the £100m investment at Townsend Hook, Smurfit Kappa is currently undertaking a €40m upgrade at its 420,000-tonne/year Hoya mill in northern Germany that will complete during May.

The group said the investments will “enhance the lightweight capabilities of the Group, better reflecting current market dynamics”.

“Together, the investments will further increase productivity and significantly lower costs in our UK business,” the statement added.

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