This multi-year initiative, which is the part of DS Smith's organic investment programme, is expected to yield favourable returns by increasing efficiency and lowering expenses

DS Smith

DS Smith to upgrade the Kemsley paper mill with new fibre preparation line. (Credit: DS Smith)

British paper and packaging company DS Smith will invest £48m in a new fibre preparation line (F-line) at its Kemsley paper mill in the UK.

Kemsley is said to be the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK and the second largest in Europe. It uses 100% recycled fibre to manufacture 830,000 tons of paper annually.

This multi-year initiative, which is part of DS Smith’s organic investment programme, is expected to yield favourable returns by increasing efficiency and lowering expenses.

The new F-line will provide recycled fibre to PM3, an adaptable paper machine that can produce white top test liner, plasterboard liner, and various corrugated case materials (CCM) grades.

As part of this initiative, a cutting-edge drum pulping and screening equipment will be installed, which effectively separates pollutants from fibre, including plastics, barriers, and coatings.

Additionally, the enhancements complement DS Smith’s recently updated Now & Next sustainability policy by providing substantial environmental benefits to Kemsley’s operations.

The system maximises the utilisation of resources in the recycling process along with lowering water usage and consumption of energy.

The upgrades are anticipated to minimise over 6,000t of carbon dioxide (CO₂) annually. This also supports DS Smith’s goal to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46% by 2030.

Furthermore, the move will cut the mill’s yearly waste output by 39,000 tonnes and its freshwater consumption by about 50,000m3 a year.

DS Smith paper and recycling head Niels Flierman said: “Kemsley paper mill is an important part of our business and of the UK’s recycling capacity, recycling up to one million Tonnes of paper and card every year.

“The installation of the new fibre preparation line will ensure that we can continue to make high performing papers more efficiently while delivering on our medium and long-term sustainability goals.”

DS Smith intends to maximise the resources that arrive at Kemsley by increasing the fibre yield per tonne and thereby lowering waste to landfill.

The paper and packaging company aims to send zero waste to landfill by 2030 by implementing the stock preparation system.

The new stock preparation plant is expected to be put into service by early 2026.