The idled paper mill Papeterie de Bègles will be sold. The paper mill in southwestern France used to manufacture paper for plasterboard. Etex Group, a Belgian construction materials company and the owner of the paper mill, agreed on the mill’s takeover with Établissement public d’aménagement Bordeaux Eureatlantique and French tissue products manufacturer Global Hygiène.
Global Hygiène intends to produce kitchen rolls at the Bègles plant in the future, planning an annual capacity of 30,000 t. However, AAPB, an association founded by former employees of the paper mill, has different plans.
The organisation is disappointed with the agreement reached with Global Hygiène as it prevents the re-employment of all of the mill’s former workforce. According to the association, the implementation of the tissue project will take long, the existing machinery will have to be dismantled, and the plant will only offer a lower number of jobs for the time being. AAPB had also submitted a project offer itself, but Etex has reportedly stopped negotiations with the group.
AAPB’s plans provided for the conversion of 100,000 tons per year of recovered paper in Bègles to produce and export recycled pulp. The association has not yet given up its project, which was named Origami. According to local press reports, it suggests operating the plant together with Global Hygiène. Both projects could co-exist, AAPB says, as they would rely on different equipment. Global Hygiène now demands the presentation of additional information on this concept.
Papeterie de Bègles has been idle since late March 2021. The paper mill used to produce paper for plasterboard with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year and had around 90 employees. Etex at the time defended its decision to part with Papeterie de Bègles saying that the mill was not part of its core business so making the significant investments needed to modernise the location did not make sense. The mill had reportedly not been viable for several years.