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Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

Ahlstrom To Expand Production Capacity In United States, Italy

Finland-based fiber-based materials manufacturer Ahlstrom Corp. will invest 7 million euros (US$10.3 million) to double production capacity for the manufacture of specialty glass fiber reinforcements at its Bishopville, S.C., plant, which currently serves North and South American reinforcement markets.

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The expansion — the result of growing demand for specialty glass fiber reinforcements, particularly within wind energy and marine markets — will take place in two phases. New machinery will be installed in 2008 as part of the first phase. New production lines will be implemented in 2009 through 2011 as part of the second phase.

Ahlstrom also plans to invest 10 million euros (US$14.7 milliion) in additional nonwovens capacity at its plant in Turin, Italy. The investment will be used to rebuild a machine currently manufacturing release base papers so that it will be capable of manufacturing wetlaid nonwovens for industrial applications. The revamped line is expected to be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

January/February 2008