Newsprint manufacturer Norske Skog has announced that it will become a containerboard manufacturer by converting two of its newsprint mills.
The conversions at its Golbey mill in France and its Bruck mill in Austria will lead to 765,000 tonnes of containerboard manufacturing capacity made from recycled fibre.
Norske Skog chair John Chiang who also represents its largest shareholder Oceanwood said: “This is a milestone in Norske Skog’s strategy to become a leading European packaging producer through conversion of publication paper capacity.
“We will continue to optimise our broad asset base to diversify within high-growth fibre segments, and maximise cash flows from the publication paper business.
“Norske Skog will still remain a committed supplier of high-quality paper products and a strong reliable partner for our customers. This marks an important step in Norske Skog’s evolution as we look to enhance long-term value for stakeholders.”
The company plans to invest €350 million (£313 million) in the conversion project over an 18-month period commencing in the second half of 2021.
At the Golbey mill, it will invest €250 million (£224 million) to convert its PM1 machine from its current 235,000 tonnes capacity to 555,000 tonnes of recycled containerboard capacity. This mill will still retain 330,000 tonnes of newsprint capacity after the conversion once completed in 2023.
An investment of €90 million (£81 million) will be made at Bruck to convert the PM3 machine from its current 125,000 tonnes of newsprint capacity to 210,000 tonnes of recycled containerboard capacity. The mill will therefore continue to produce 265,000 tonnes of light-weighted coated magazine paper on completion of the conversion in 2023.
Final investment decisions are planned in the first half of 2021, with the first containerboard production to begin in the first half of 2023. Full utilisation will be expected by the end of 2025.