Technocell invests in the future
The decor paper market is a growth market, especially in North and South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia and China. To capitalise on the opportunities arising in these regions and at the same time meet the changing demands of the markets and customers, Technocell, a division of the Osnabrück-based Felix Schoeller Group, is investing in strategic growth. The investment programme will focus on improving product quality and machine productivity. To this end, two paper machines in Osnabrück and one in Günzach will have new or modified head boxes.
To address continuing growth in the North American market and shore up the company’s current market position, PM 19 in Drummondville, Canada, will also be fitted with a new head box at the end of 2015. At the same time, Technocell is exploring the options for expanding the paper machine’s technical capabilities to produce 2 x 1.61 metre-wide print base papers. With these measures, Technocell is improving its quality standards for lightweight décor papers and creating the conditions needed for further growth.
Due to rising demand, there are also plans to create additional capacity by mid-2015 for the pre-impregnated products that Technocell Dekor markets under the brand name PRIP®. To date these pre-impregnated products have been produced at the Neustadt mill.
Decor and nonwoven papers for the Eastern European market
Although the wallpaper market is mostly stagnating, nonwoven wallpaper’s share in that market is growing. This replacement process will continue in the coming years and will play an important role in the Eastern European markets, especially Russia. To meet the rising demand, modifications to PM 1 in Osnabrück have already been carried out, especially in the beater room, to enable it to produce not only decor papers but also nonwoven papers for the wallpaper market.
To supply the Eastern European markets, especially the Russian market, the decision was taken to build a new paper machine at Penza, Mayak-Technocell’s production facility. It will produce both nonwoven wallpapers and decor papers. It will also be equipped with a film press to enable it to produce inline-coated nonwoven papers. Start-up is scheduled for the first half of 2017. It is set to have a capacity of 30 000 tonnes, which will take total capacity for Mayak-Technocell up to 58 000 tonnes.
The new paper machine will guarantee that Technocell has sufficient local capacity in the Russian growth market for a long time to come. Mayak-Technocell is already well established in the Russian decor paper market with PM 5 in Penza. With this investment in additional capacity, Mayak-Technocell is accommodating the needs of its Western European customers who are increasingly building production facilities in Russia and set great store by a local supply chain.
Self-sufficiency in energy supply is the company’s long-term goal
The Felix Schoeller Group’s long-term energy strategy includes the aim to achieve a high degree of self-sufficiency in energy supply in the future. An initial step towards this aim was taken at the Neustadt mill earlier in the year: a new gas-based CHP (combined heat and power) plant went online there last summer.
Another step in that direction was taken at the Penig mill in Saxony, where a new boiler with gas turbine is scheduled to be installed next year. This measure is intended to help strength the mill’s competitiveness and make sure it is future-proof.