Corrugated board

Blue Paper to raise containerboard capacity


French packaging paper producer Blue Paper plans to rebuild the dryer section of its PM for brown recycled containerboard in autumn, which will also increase the machine’s capacity. Valmet will upgrade the dryer section over six weeks between 12 October to 22 November. Maintenance tasks will also be carried out in the scheduled window.

A Blue Paper spokesperson explained to EUWID that the rebuild was originally planned to begin on 15 August but had to be postponed by two months because of the uncertainties arising from the Coronavirus crisis.

The machine at the Blue Paper site in Strasbourg currently has a capacity of 400,000 tpy and will reach a capacity of 440,000 tpy with the new dryer section, according to the company. The PM makes recycled corrugating medium and testliner in grammages between 70 and 135 g/m², concentrating mainly on the lightweight grades. The company does not plan to change its product portfolio.

Components of the PM date from the time when the company was called Stracel and produced newsprint and subsequently LWC and were designed for lower grammages than the paper that Blue Paper currently produces. Raising dryer capacity would therefore enable the PM to increase output, the company explained.

Blue Paper has not been affected by corona-related production stops and delivery problems in the last ten weeks, according to the company spokesperson. The much-feared bottleneck in recovered paper supply did not arise because Blue Paper is situated in Eastern France where it has access to sufficient procurement sources and can also buy recovered paper from Germany, the spokesperson said. Like other containerboard producers, Blue Paper confirms that order inflow has slowed down in the last week of May.