Stora Enso has started a feasibility study at its paper production site in Langerbrugge, Belgium, for the conversion of one of the two paper lines into a high-volume recycled containerboard line. Aligned with Stora Enso’s strategic focus on renewable materials, the investment would support the growth opportunity created by the increasing demand for recycled packaging board.
Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge site currently has two paper lines in production, one for newsprint and one for supercalendared (SC) magazine paper. The feasibility study will focus on the conversion of the site’s newsprint paper line.
The conversion would enable Stora Enso to further grow its recycled and recyclable packaging materials capacity and to meet the growing demand in end-use segments such as industrials, e-commerce, furniture and electronics.
The feasibility study is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2023. Depending on an investment decision, the converted line is expected to be in production during 2025.
The annual capacity would be 700,000 tons of testliner and recycled fluting grades and would generate annual sales of approximately EUR 350 million, i.e. £ 299 million, when run at full capacity. The total investment for the conversion is estimated to be approximately EUR 400 million.
«Today we produce recycled containerboard in Poland, mainly for the Eastern European market. A conversion in Langerbrugge would establish a competitive position for us in Western Europe as well,» explains Hannu Kasurinen, executive vicepresident of the Packaging Materials division. «In addition to sourcing materials for recycled containerboard, the study will also assess the handling of different incoming recycling streams, including laminated grades. Having successfully completed conversions at other sites, we would be able to leverage important learnings from those projects».
Stora Enso announced in March this year that it was initiating a sales process for possible divestment of four of its five paper production sites. The Langerbrugge site has been excluded from this process and will be retained within the Group. The future of the Langerbrugge site’s SC paper line will be evaluated if a decision is made regarding conversion of the newsprint paper line.
«If an investment decision is made, the Langerbrugge site will continue to serve our paper customers as usual until at least the end of 2024. The central location, experienced personnel and good access to recycled fiber remain core strengths of the site» adds Kati ter Horst, executive vicepresident of the Paper division.
Stora Enso also said that its new 100% virgin fiber-based kraftliner, AvantForte WhiteTop, is now commercially available.
The white-top kraftliner targets premium segments such as fresh food, e-commerce, and shelf-ready packaging. It is produced at Stora Enso’s Oulu site in Finland, which completed its conversion from paper to kraftliner production in 2021.