Ahlstrom Corporation, a leader in high-performance fiber based materials, today announced its decision to invest MEUR 5.5 in a fine fibers production line at its plant in Turin, Italy. The new line will produce advanced filter media and composites broadening Ahlstrom product offerings in this key market
Including the new investment, the Turin plant will have 4 production lines serving fast growing nonwovens market with products designed specifically for filtration applications as well as for medical, wipes and general industrial applications. Turin is Ahlstrom's largest production site with, in total, six production lines and over 500 employees.

In relation to the investment Jukka Moisio, President of the FiberComposites division said, "Ahlstrom constantly looks for ways to serve its global customers in their changing needs. This investment continues our program to improve and expand our capabilities; during the last 12 months we have moved forward with several new production line investments and capacity extensions in nonwovens".

Claudio Ermondi, Vice President, Engine Filtration, added, "in the last few years, following the development of the engines, filtration of air, oils and fuel in automotive applications has become a critical matter for our customers. This investment allows us to offer them innovative and competitive solutions to their latest needs".

The investment program will begin immediately and commercial output from the new production line is expected in October 2004.

Trade media please contact Alistair Brown, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, FiberComposites division, tel: +44 131 458 2003

Local contact: Claudio Ermondi, Vice President, Engine Filtration, tel. +39 011 926 0111

FiberComposites division in brief:

Ahlstrom's FiberComposites division manufactures products for engine filtration, nonwoven and reinforcement composites markets worldwide. Ranked among the top 10 nonwoven manufacturers, its engineered fabrics are used in industrial products as well as everyday consumer products, e.g. surgical gowns, tea bags and wipes. The division is a leading supplier of engine filtration products to the transport industries. Its expertise in reinforcement composites, derived mostly from glassfibre, serves the energy, marine, sporting goods and transport sectors. The FiberComposites division employs more than 2500 people, operates from 16 sites in Europe, the Americas and Asia, and in 2002 had net sales of EUR 693 million (US$ 693 million).

Ahlstrom in brief:

Ahlstrom serves niche markets worldwide. Our fiber solutions are used in a large variety of everyday products for the environment, health care, transport, packaging and home & office. The company whose heritage spans more than 150 years, is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, employs approximately 6600 people and serves customers with sales networks and production facilities in more than 20 countries on five continents.Today annual net sales of Ahlstrom's fiber solutions business are approximately EUR 1.8 billion