Heinzel Group invests in Laakirchen

Three-digit million euro investment in the conversion of paper machine 11 is to make Papierfabrik Laakirchen one of the largest sites for recycled packaging papers in Europe.

Laakirchen, 19 October 2021. The supervisory boards of Laakirchen Papier AG and Heinzel Holding GmbH have decided on extensive investments in the sustainable further development of the Austrian Laakirchen paper mill for an environmentally friendly future. In the course of an investment programme of well over 100 million euros, paper machine 11 (PM11), which today produces supercalendered papers for magazines, catalogues and advertising prints, will be converted into a high-performance machine for lightweight corrugated base papers based on recovered paper. "Recycled packaging papers are the product of the future and completely in line with a sustainable circular economy," says Kurt Maier, CEO of the HEINZEL GROUP. "With a total of more than one million tonnes of production on two paper machines, Laakirchen will become one of the largest production sites for these products in the whole of Europe." Preparations for the rebuild and obtaining the necessary permits have already been started. On the market, the corrugated base papers produced on PM11 will be available for the first time in mid-2023. "This also means that we will withdraw completely from the publication paper market in 2023," says Franz Baldauf, CFO of Laakirchen Papier AG. "Until then, we want to reliably supply those customers who purchase SC paper from us today. This is important in the current paper shortage on the market," says Baldauf.

With its width of 8.90 metres, the PM11 will produce lightweight corrugated base paper based on recovered paper in basis weights from 70 grams per square metre. These so-called testliner and fluting products from Laakirchen are marketed under the product name "starboard" and are particularly suitable for shipping packaging, but are also used for industrial packaging as well as packaging for agricultural products or electronic devices. The full capacity of PM11 will be more than 550,000 tonnes of paper per year. The production conversion requires extensive investments at the Laakirchen site. Among other things, an additional anaerobic wastewater treatment plant will be built for the production of biogas, which will reduce the use of fossil fuels at the site.

"With this investment, the HEINZEL GROUP is further expanding its position as a producer of recycled packaging paper," says Sebastian Heinzel, shareholder of the HEINZEL GROUP. "This market is growing strongly, not least due to increasing online trade and the increasing displacement of plastic packaging. The Laakirchen paper mill has as unbeatable advantages its location in the heart of Europe and its efficient and modern machines." Laakirchen's waste paper supply will be ensured by Bunzl & Biach, the HEINZEL GROUP's waste paper trader. The papers from Laakirchen will be distributed together with the products from Raubling Papier GmbH via the group's own sales network heinzelsales.

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About Laakirchen Papier
Laakirchen Papier AG, based in Laakirchen (Upper Austria) and a member of the Heinzel Group, specialises in the production and further development of environmentally friendly publication papers and lightweight corrugated base papers based on recycled paper for the European market. Laakirchen Papier generated sales of around 230 million euros in 2020 and employs over 400 people.

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