The Company will invest $50 million at its Gernsbach, Germany, facility to expand its inclined wire capacity by nearly 20%, or approximately 10,500 short tons, by converting a conventional flat wire paper machine to a state-of-the-art inclined wire paper machine used to manufacture filter papers for tea bags and single-serve coffee applications as well as certain composite laminate products and technical specialties.
Dante C. Parrini, chairman and chief executive officer, says, “Shipments for our Composite Fibers business have increased by approximately 20% over the past two years, led by the strong worldwide demand for beverage filter papers. While our continuous improvement initiatives have generated significant incremental capacity, the rapid growth of this business is simply outpacing our organic capacity gains. This expansion will not only allow us to continue to meet the growing demand of our market-leading customers with sophisticated and innovative products, but it will solidify our leading position in this rapidly growing, global category.”
The project will take place primarily in 2012; the new machine is expected to begin production in the first quarter of 2013. The company expects to achieve a 15% to 20% return on this investment within three years.