MEXICO – Paper-based packaging solutions provider Smurfit Kappa has invested $23.5 million to upgrade its Nuevo Laredo sheet plant in Mexico to a fully integrated corrugated plant.

The paper-based packaging solutions provider says it will install a state-of-the-art corrugator and extend the building so its facility can become a fully integrated corrugated plant.

The new machine, which began operating last week, will have the two-pronged benefits of reducing CO2 emissions by up to 40% and doubling production capacity, Smurfit Kappa said.

Smurfit Kappa’s Nuevo Laredo plant is located in the Tamaulipas region in north-eastern Mexico, where the company said it has strong partnerships in the industrial, electrical appliances, and electronics sectors.

The region represents 3.3% of the country’s GDP and is home to over 200 companies that manufacture products for the U.S.

This investment reinforces our commitment to being an important player in the growth of the Mexican market,” said Laurent Sellier, CEO of Smurfit Kappa the Americas.

It will also strengthen our partnerships within the sectors that drive the local economy in the Nuevo Laredo region.”

With increased capacity, Smurfit Kappa can streamline its operations in San Antonio, Texas, where a fast-growing appetite for sustainable packaging is demanding larger production volumes, the company said.

The investment is also expected to advance the plant’s ambitious sustainability targets. Its CO2 emissions will be reduced by up to 40% due to significantly less transportation between Smurfit Kappa’s Nuevo Laredo and San Antonio plants, the company said.

The enhanced production capacity we now have because of this investment has strengthened our ability to meet the needs of current and indeed, potential customers in the region,” said Eduardo Rubio, CEO of Smurfit Kappa North America.

This latest investment follows Smurfit Kappa’s US$22 million expansion of its Culiacan corrugated plant in northwest Mexico last year.

The company modernized and expanded the Culiacan facility via the installation of “high-tech, state-of-the-art machinery” and the construction of a new 117,000-square-foot building which included a new corrugator and automated rotary die cutter.

The firm had announced earlier this year that it has plans to expand the production capacity of its plant in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Liked this article? Subscribe to our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s packaging and printing industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.