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3-to-1 Containerboard Replacement Investments –More to Come?

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By Marko Summanen, Vice President EMEA, Fisher International

Most capacity investments are Greenfield or Brownfield projects that add a new machine to either a new site or an existing one. There’s a variation on this theme that we’ve seen announced twice in the last few months a Brownfield “replacement” project. Both in containerboard, they are projects that will shut down multiple smaller machines and replace them with one new, large machine.

Last year WestRock announced a replacement investment in its Florence mill. The investment project will include a kraft linerboard machine with a 644,000 metric tonnes per year capacity to replace three older, narrow-width paper machines producing linerboard. The total capacity of the Florence site will be increased moderately due to this new project.

And just last month, a similar announcement was made by German producer Palm for its Aalen mill. Palm announced a monster-sized 750,000 metric tonnes per year machine investment to replace three old and small machines at the site. One of the old machines recently produced newsprint, while the other machines are producing recycled fluting and testliner. The new machine will more than double Aalen’s containerboard production.

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