Ahlstrom will invest € 30 in an expansion of its supercalendered release base paper capacity in La Gère, France. Scheduled for early 2007, the investment will include modification of several components of the La Gère PM 6 paper machine and of related off-line finishing equipment. The resulting speed-up of the machine will increase current annual production capacity by approximately 25,000 tons, and will significantly improve product quality. The investment recognizes the high requirements of producers of silicone-coated release liners for two-sided adhesive tapes and other specialty applications, which represent the plant’s main customer base, in addition to major producers of self-adhesive laminates for the labeling business.
The investment follows a similar capacity increase, announced earlier, that is planned for the Turin, Italy, plant in January 2006. Both are in line with Ahlstrom’s strategy to continuously increase the production capacity and the product quality of its release base papers.
Average worldwide demand for release base papers in self-adhesive laminates and silicone coated release lines is growing on average 5-7% annually. Growth is mainly driven by the increasing use of pressure-sensitive adhesive labeling for product identification, decoration and tracking.