Further investment is on the cards at Palm Paper, which held a special event this week to mark a decade of production and the start-up of its new Paper Separation Plant.
The King’s Lynn newsprint papermaker began production in August 2009, after installing PM7, the world’s largest newsprint paper machine with a working width of 10.63m and production speed of 2,000m/min. The initial investment in setting up the site was more than £300m.
PM7 produces 400,000 tonnes of newsprint a year, from 100% recycled fibre.
At the event this week Dr Wolfgang Palm, chief executive of the Germany-headquartered group, officially inaugurated the new Paper Separation Plant (PSP), which started up this month. The plant separates paper that is suitable for de-inking from mixed papers, old corrugated cardboard, and non-deinking fibres.
Some 150 guests, including local dignitaries, suppliers and customers, attended the event, which also marked the official inauguration of the site’s Combined Head & Power Plant (CHP).
The CHP started up last year and was a £60m investment, while the paper separation plant involved a £20m investment.
David Procter, managing director of production at the site, said that additional investment was in the pipeline to further enhance the site’s improved newsprint grades.
“During the event Dr Palm announced that he would continue to invest in the mill for the long term future and his next investment was going to be £10m to upgrade the calender to improve the gloss and smoothness of our improved grades,” he said.
“This investment does not change the grades or tonnage the mill produces, it will merely improve what we are already making.”
The Palm Group had sales of €1.6bn (£1.4bn) last year and employs 4,000 people. It has five paper mills, 28 corrugated board plants, and two recycling plants including Palm Recycling, also located at King’s Lynn.