The French paper mill Blue Paper invests 15 m € to reach a 440,000 tpy capacity (+ 13%)

Blue Paper paper mill will be shut down between October 12 and November 22 in order to proceed with the reconstruction of the PM’s dryer section. The total amount of this operation reachs € 15 million, € 11 million being allocated to investments and € 4 million to maintenance. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, these operations had to be postponed for two months.

The production capacity of corrugated base paper will increase by almost 13% (from 390,000 tpy to 440,000 tpy). Blue Paper will continue to serve customers from pre-stop stocks. This investment will mobilize both employees and service providers (up to 200 external workers).

Andritz has been selected to supply the drying cylinders, while Valmet will dismantle and reassemble the dryer.

The investment work on the dryer will focus on the following points: complete disassembly and reassembly to replace the drying cylinders; increase in heat extraction and recovery capacity as well as increase in steam supply pressure.

As for maintenance operations, they will mainly be devoted to the annual shutdown of the biomass boiler, to various revisions (turbo-alternator, water treatment station and methanisation installation). Repair and renovation of industrial buildings as well as maintenance work on the PM (excluding the dryer) will also be carried out.

The factory went through the containment period in good conditions, without stopping production. Since mid-March, its activity rate has stood at 100%, the order book being “normal”. As summer approaches, there is some uncertainty, however, given the relatively slow recovery in economic activity. As for the prices of recycled fibers, they are currently slightly decreasing, after a very strong increase, due to a certain shortage created by the difficulties of collection during the period of containment. Finally, stability prevails regarding the prices of finished products.
Launched in 1990 to produce newsprint, the Blue Paper paper machine was already modified in 2000 and 2013. Created in May 2013, Blue Paper is a joint venture between VPK Packaging (Belgium) and Klingele Packaging (Germany).       

                   Valérie Lechiffre