UK – DS Smith, a leading British packaging company, has earmarked £48 million (US$60.76 million) for a new fiber preparation line (F-line) at its Kemsley paper mill.

This investment, part of DS Smith’s organic investment program, is expected to yield significant returns by enhancing efficiency and cutting costs over several years.

Kemsley stands as the UK’s largest mill for recycled papers and the second largest in Europe, producing 830,000 tonnes of paper annually from 100% recycled fiber.

The new F-line will supply recycled fiber to PM3, a versatile paper machine capable of producing various grades of paper, including white top test liner and plasterboard liner.

A state-of-the-art drum pulping and screening system will be installed to more effectively separate contaminants like plastics, barriers, and coatings from fiber, further improving efficiency and quality.

These upgrades align with DS Smith’s Now & Next sustainability strategy, offering environmental benefits by maximizing material usage, reducing water consumption, and lowering energy usage, resulting in a reduction of over 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Moreover, waste reduction initiatives will see a significant decrease of 39,000 tonnes per year, contributing to DS Smith’s goal of optimizing every fiber in its supply chain and achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030.

The new equipment will also slash Kemsley mill’s freshwater usage by more than 50,000 cubic meters per year, equivalent to the volume of 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Niels Flierman, head of paper & recycling at DS Smith, emphasized the importance of the new fiber preparation line in maintaining efficiency and sustainability goals, ensuring the production of high-performing papers while reducing environmental impact.

This investment follows DS Smith’s recent partnership with E.ON to unveil a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Kemsley, operational since 2022, which saves 36,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

In addition, this investment comes on the heel of a similar initiative where the company committed US$14M to advance sustainability and efficiency in its Australian operations.

The investment program at the DS Smith plant in Margarethen includes the deployment of new palletizing robots and transfer carriages, alongside targeted enhancements to the production process.

Similarly, the Kalsdorf facility has seen the commissioning of a new folder gluing machine (Masterfold) and a high-performance die-cutter (Masterline), aimed at enhancing operational capabilities.

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