The company plans to consolidate parchment paper production at the Saint-Séverin plant in France to maintain long-term future and competitiveness of its speciality materials business


Ahlstrom to divest or close its Bousbecque plant in France. (Credit: Ahlstrom)

Fibre-based materials provider Ahlstrom has started a consultation process at its Bousbecque facility in France regarding potential divestment or closure.

The discussions with employee representatives also aim to consolidate parchment paper production at the company’s Saint-Séverin plant in France.

With the move, the Finland-based firm intends to maintain the long-term future and competitiveness of its speciality materials business.

Located in northern France, the Bousbecque plant specialises in parchment materials but is facing overcapacity and heightened competition. The facility has an annual capacity of around 12,000 tons and a workforce of 117 people.

The fibre-based products manufacturer intends to relocate the production to the Saint-Séverin site, with the potential for divesting or shutting down the Bousbecque facility in the absence of a viable buyer.

The latest move is expected to streamline Ahlstrom’s operations, enhance cost efficiency, and bolster competitiveness.

Ahlstrom global food business vice president Guillaume Latourrette said: “We are committed to examining all potential options to minimise any possible social consequences, as we understand that this is a difficult time for our employees at Bousbecque.

“In the absence of viable solutions, we pledge to work closely with our other sites, the municipality of Bousbecque, the Northern French region and all stakeholders to provide full support to all our potentially impacted employees.”

Ahlstrom converts fibres into sustainable speciality materials to serve filtration, food and consumer packaging, healthcare, building materials, and technical materials sectors.

In August last year, the Finnish fibre products company agreed to sell its Stenay plant in France to Accursia Capital.

The Stenay plant specialises in manufacturing one-sided coated speciality papers for diverse applications in the packaging sector. It has an annual capacity of roughly 55,000 tons and a workforce of 127 employees.

The consultation process for the plant was launched in March 2023 and Accursia Capital’s binding offer was announced in July.