Ahlstrom to further expand its capacity in release base papers

Ahlstrom, the leading global supplier of specialty label and packaging papers, today announced a EUR 18 million plan to expand its production capacity of supercalendered release base papers at its Turin, Italy, plant.
The worldwide demand for release base papers, used for the manufacturing of self-adhesive laminates and silicone coated release liners, is estimated to grow annually by 5-7 % on average. This is mainly driven by the increasing use of pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) labeling for product identification, decoration and tracking.  Ahlstrom's target is to exceed the average market growth in this business and to strengthen its global leading position.
The investment in Ahlstrom Turin PM 8, which will be completed in January 2006, will include modification of several components of the paper machine and the off-line supercalenders. It will allow a significant machine speed-up, bringing Ahlstrom a capacity increase close to 20,000 tons annually as well as significant improvement in product quality.
The investment is in line with the company's strategy to increase capacity, product quality and efficiency of PM 8, one of Ahlstrom's cornerstone assets. The company intends to make similar investments at its La Gère, France, plant, which is Ahlstrom's other main site for the manufacture of release base papers.
In addition, Ahlstrom is assessing opportunities to expand the production of release base papers outside Europe.
For additional information, please contact:
Jukka Moisio, President & CEO, Ahlstrom Corporation, tel. + 358 10 888 4700

Diego Borello, Senior Vice President, Label & Packaging papers,   
tel: + 39 011 92601
Ahlstrom in brief:

Ahlstrom is the global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of high performance fiber-based materials. Nonwovens and specialty papers, made by Ahlstrom, are used in a large variety of everyday products, e.g. in filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. The company has a strong market position in all business areas in which it operates, built upon the company's unique fiber expertise and innovative approach. Ahlstrom's 5,800 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on five continents. In 2004, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. The company website is www.ahlstrom.com.