"Jacob Holm has committed to support the needs for medical nonwovens for face masks, surgicals gowns and disinfectant wipes in Europe," says Martin Mikkelsen, CEO. "Sontara has been a trusted supplier of medical nonwovens for more than 40 years. We are very excited that we can now offer high quality fabrics for personal protective equipment directly from our facility in Asturias. Sontara Asturias has seen a signficiant uptick in demand for these items related to COVID-19 and to date has responded with more than one million masks worth of nonwoven materials."
The main line upgrades and continuous improvement activities will be completed in July 2020 and will increase capacity at the site by 50%. Further investments will become active in the first quarter of next year.
In addition to significantly expanding capacity and increasing the local production of medical nonwovens, the investment will strengthen Jacob Holm's position as a leading supplier of sustainable nonwoven solutions. The Sontara Asturias facility currently offers several small footprint products. The upgraded line will allow Jacob Holm to further grow their sustainable offering to to include nonwovens made of natural and biodegradable raw materials such as cotton and hemp.
"Sustainability is a global effort at Jacob Holm and we are committed to drive the change toward sustainable solutions in our industry," Mikkelsen adds. "This investment represents one small piece of the Jacob Holm sustainable strategy as we aim to make a positive impact on our world."