"When it comes to both solid bleached board and folding box board, we are in the highest quality segment of each market," said öystein Aksnes, sales and marketing director for Iggesund Paperboard. "These investments are being made so we can keep that position and also create the conditions required for further growth."
The investment at Iggesunds Bruk will give the mill more flexibility and enable the company to strengthen its position as the European leader in terms of capacity for triple-coated paperboard.
"A third coating station on KM1 means that more of our products can be made on both board machines," said Staffan Jonsson, mill director at Iggesund. "This means we can even out the workload between the machines. The most important effect is greater capacity utilisation, which allows us to increase our deliveries of triple-coated state-of-the-art products for graphics and packaging uses."
The new coating station will be installed during a shut-down in the autumn of 2004. In its new form the board machine will also be able to manufacture triple-coated paperboard.
"We want our paperboard to be the obvious choice for the most demanding jobs," said Jonsson. "In that situation the ability to reproduce printing in a way which attracts and appeals to the consumer is incredibly important - and with more capacity to do just that, we further strengthen our position."
The aim of the investment in Workington is to achieve higher and more consistent quality with Incada, the paperboard family manufactured at the mill. "This is an acknowledgement that the board of directors recognises we're heading in the right direction," said mill director Ola Schultz-Eklund. "It also clearly indicates Iggesund Paperboard's long-term commitment to Workington."
Iggesund Paperboard took over the paperboard production in Workington at the end of the 1980s and since then has consistently modernised the mill to make its products more competitive. The end of the 1990s saw a major rebuild of both the pulp production facilities. This €51 million investment laid the foundation for a new product family of folding box board (FBB) named Incada.
"Incada is a big success for us because we were given the prerequisites to seriously compete in the highest quality segment of the FBB market," said Schultz-Eklund. "Now we're getting the scope to take further steps to increase our competitiveness."
The design of the headboxes and the operating system that will be installed make it possible to control the properties of the paperboard sheets to a greater extent than can be done today. The renovated facility will house the first board machine in the world that can simultaneously optimise a range of properties throughout the entire production sequence. The new installations will also be dimensioned for a greater production volume than the current 225,000 annual tonnes.
"We're the UK market leaders in paperboard today and the investment will let us increase our market share even more," said Schultz-Eklund. "The improved quality consistency will without doubt bring us new business in tobacco packaging, where the extremely high speed of the packing machines places great demands on consistency."
Sweden is the seventh largest processor of paper packaging with 3.9 per cent of the global market share, according to the latest FAO figures. The United States dominates world production of pulp and paper products with 33.6 per cent of the planet's production, followed by Japan at 9.5 per cent and Canada at 8.7 per cent.