13 January 2010

SAICA presses ahead with Manchester cardboard mill

Competition for used cardboard is expected to increase next year ahead of the opening of a new cardboard recycling mill in Greater Manchester in February 2012.

Spanish paper company SAICA today (January 13) announced that it is now to go ahead with its paper mill construction project which it put on hold last year. Only site clearance work was carried out at the Partington site near Manchester with the company holding back from a full investment decision because of the recession.

Now the company has said that it will be spending £290 million on the project at Partington, which is in the Trafford area of Greater Manchester and received planning permission in October 2008 (see letsrecycle.com story).

An image of the proposed mill at Partington, Trafford

An image of the proposed mill at Partington, Trafford

Mill construction work is expected to start within a few months with machine start up to make new cardboard from recycled material in 2012. The machine will be known as SAICA's Paper Machine 11.

Investment

A statement from SAICA said: “This investment brings SAICA's committed and planned investment in the UK to over £470 million since 2007, when the company acquired International Paper's Packaging business in the UK and Ireland.”

When fully operational, about 400,000 tonnes a year of 100% recycled containerboard will be produced at the Partington Mill, to be used in the manufacture of recycled corrugated boxes. Paper Machine 11 is to be a state-of-the-art, 7.5 metre wide machine, and will operate at speeds of up to 1,500 metres per minute.

The company said it will be producing top quality, high performance, light weight containerboard (in the 75-125 gsm range).

A consequence of the opening of the new mill will be more demand for used cardboard. Currently used cardboard goes mainly to one of three larger UK mills, in Kemsley and Snodland in Kent and to a plant in Birmingham, or to export.

Eduardo Aragues, SAICA president

Eduardo Aragues, SAICA president

Export material

SAICA suggested today that it will be seeking to use material currently exported – mainly to China. It said: “The new paper mill will help to divert the export of some 450,000 tonnes a year of used paper by recycling it within the UK. This will also significantly reduce the containerboard imports coming from Europe and reduce the CO2 emissions associated with this exportation and importation.”

However, construction of the mill is expected to push prices for material up and could also put pressure on some of the UK's older mills where even closure has been discussed within the sector in recent year.

Eduardo Aragües, president of the SAICA Group said: “I am delighted that we are able to announce the Board's decision to press ahead with the construction of the Recycled Paper Mill at Partington. This huge investment, in the current economic climate, is the best message SAICA can send to its UK customers, to whom we are fully devoted and with which we are establishing a long term partnership. SAICA is committed to supply its UK customers with the best products, on an environmentally friendly basis”.

“SAICA would like to thank for their invaluable advice and collaboration during the planning, feasibility and permission granting phases of the project, the British Embassy in Spain, UK Trade and Investment, the North West Development Agency and the councillors and officers from Trafford Council,” he added.

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