Ahlstrom has announced several capital investments designed to grow its business globally in a number of key segments.
In Louveira, Brazil, Ahlstrom will invest €17 million in a new wiping fabrics production line. Products made on the new spunlace line will serve the Latin American household and industrial wipes markets, which are expected to grow 10-20% annually. The new line, expected to be operational in early 2008, will join a filtration plant currently in operation in Louveira.
Meanwhile, a new needlepunch nonwovens line in Brignoud, France will diversify the company’s industrial nonwovens offerings, primarily targeting Ahlstrom's existing customers within the building, graphics, automotive, wipes and niche hygiene sectors. The €6 million investment consists of machinery to be installed in an existing plant in Brignoud which will be operational in late 2007.
In other news, Ahlstrom is adding dust filtration capacity to its Wuxi facility located close to Shanghai, China. The investment, valued at approximately $5 million will be completed in the third quarter of 2007. The new line will manufacture a variety of needlepunch nonwoven media targeted mainly at high temperature applications for the dust filtration market and more than double the capacity of the Wuxi facility which Ahlstrom acquired less than a year ago with the purchase of Lantor Inc.