The new wallcover material will be made at Ahlstrom's Turin plant in Italy and it will be available on the market during the second quarter of 2009. As previously announced, Ahlstrom has invested €10 million in state-of-the art technology in its Turin plant to convert one of its paper machines for the production of these new materials.
"This product complements Ahlstrom's existing wallcover product range, which comprises paper and high-tier nonwoven substrates, thus making Ahlstrom's range by far the most comprehensive on the market. The investment is in line with our strategy to further develop the product offering and to grow our global market share in the wallcover business. Ahlstrom will thus consolidate its leading position on the global wallcover market," said Claudio Ermondi, senior vice president of Ahlstrom's Nonvowens business.
The global market for wallcoverings is growing strongly, driven by increasing demand in Russia and China. Current colorful and bold design trends also boost the demand for medium and high-tier wallcoverings in Western Europe, according to the company.
"Within the wallcover business, there is a clear movement to higher-end wallcoverings, lead by an increased designer interest in home decoration. Additionally, these wallcoverings also feature paste-the-wall and fast removability, which makes the process of decoration simpler and faster." says Jean-Marie Becker, Vice President & General Manager, Ahlstrom's Industrial Nonwovens product line.
In addition to Turin, Ahlstrom produces paper and nonwoven wallcover substrates in five other plants in Europe and the USA. Nonwoven wallcover products are part of Ahlstom's Nonwovens business area. Nonwovens comprises appriximately 28% of Ahlstrom's Group net sales.