Ahlstrom will close its Bellingham, MA, plant during the first half of 2008 and consolidate some of the assets to its Darlington, SC facility. This move is mainly driven by the need to be more cost competitive, and it will also allow Ahlstrom to locate its dust filtration business closer to many of its customers. Ahlstrom previously announced the addition of a new needlepunch line for the Darlington site with start-up scheduled by the end of June 2008.
The relocation will affect approximately 80 jobs in Bellingham and the transition will take up to one year to complete. Ahlstrom estimates that the cost related to the closure and the consolidation of assets will be approximately €2 million. Ahlstrom purchased the Bellingham site in late 2005 as part of its acquistion of Lantor.
"The consolidation allows us to improve our competitiveness by moving our most efficient lines to our Darlington facility. Furthermore, the move will create some 50-60 positions at our Darlington, South Carolina facility, " commented Scott Murdock, VP GM Filtration North America. "The move will begin early in 2008 and should be completed by July. During the transition period, service to Ahlstrom's customers will not be disrupted."