After its conversion, which is expected by early 2024, the idled paper machine will produce up to 150,000 tons of brown and white low-grammage kraft papers per annum
Heinzel Group said that it will convert an idled paper machine at the Steyrermühl mill in Austria for producing sustainable kraft papers for flexible packaging.
The Austrian paper producer will take over the Steyrermühl location from Finnish forest industry company UPM on 1 January 2024 as per an agreement signed by the parties in June 2022.
The mill will enable Heinzel Group to enter the market with a new variety of unbleached as well as bleached kraft papers.
Andritz, an Austrian equipment manufacturer, has been engaged for the rebuild of the idled paper machine. After its conversion, which is expected by early 2024, the machine will produce up to 150,000 tons of brown and white low-grammage kraft papers per annum.
The kraft papers will be sold under Heinzel Group’s STARKRAFT brand.
Heinzel Group CEO Sebastian Heinzel said: “This is the first step in our plan to develop the Laakirchen community with the Steyrermühl mill and our neighbouring Laakirchen mill into a European hub for sustainable packaging papers and renewable energy.
“The new papers will complement our existing range and allow us to offer sustainable products replacing fossil-based packaging solutions.”
According to Heinzel Group, relevant competition regulators have given their approval to the sale of the Steyrermuhl mill to the company. As per the agreement, the idled paper machine’s ownership has been transferred already to the Austrian firm and the conversion project has started.
The Steyrermuhl paper mill, which is owned by UPM as of now, has a history of making graphic paper products.
The conversion of the paper machine will allow the mill to be a part of the market for packaging papers. The new grades of kraft papers to be produced at the mill will be utilised in manufacturing pouches, bags, and other flexible packaging items.
Currently at the site, UPM is operating a paper machine for newsprint production along with a sawmill as well as an incineration plant for residues that is owned jointly with Heinzel Group’s Laakirchen Papier.
UPM intends to continue operating in the same way until the end of this year at which point, the production of graphic papers at the Steyrermuhl mill will be stopped.