Ahlstrom to start specialty reinforcement production in the USA

Ahlstrom Corporation PRESS RELEASE 30.6.2006 at 9.10
Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, today announced it will invest approximately EUR 5.2 million (USD 6.5 million) in a new specialty glassfiber reinforcement plant in the USA. The investment further strengthens Ahlstrom's position as a leading global developer and manufacturer of specialty reinforcements for wind energy, marine, transportation and other technically demanding markets.

The investment will consist of new machinery and building located in Darlington, South Carolina, USA, where Ahlstrom's Filtration business area already operates a plant. The construction work will begin in summer 2006, and is estimated to be completed in early 2007.  The plant will mainly serve North American customers and other dollar-based markets. 
"Ahlstrom has lately strengthened its global market position as a specialty reinforcement supplier, especially for the wind energy and marine industries. These markets are growing faster than the composites markets on average. This investment further supports Ahlstrom's global growth strategy and enables synergies within the company", says Jukka Moisio, President and CEO of Ahlstrom Corporation.
"Our target is to continue profitable growth at a rate that exceeds the market average. In March 2006, Ahlstrom announced the investment to build a new glassfiber tissue plant in Tver, Russia, which will be in operation in the fourth quarter of 2007. The expansion of our Mikkeli specialty reinforcement plant in Finland will be ready in October this year and the new plant in the USA in early 2007. Next year Ahlstrom will have glass nonwovens production in Europe, in the USA and Russia. In addition, the glass nonwovens markets in Asia offer attractive growth opportunities for Ahlstrom", says Tommi Björnman, Senior Vice President, Glass Nonwovens.
The Specialty Reinforcements product line is a part of Ahlstrom's Glass Nonwovens business area, which belongs to the company's FiberComposites segment.
For further information, please contact:
Tommi Björnman, Senior Vice President, Glass Nonwovens, tel. +358 50 526 1607
Dan Jönsas, General Manager of Specialty Reinforcements, tel. +358 50 549 0916
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Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom is a 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 several business areas in which it operates, built upon the company's unique fiber expertise and innovative approach. Ahlstrom's 5,600 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2005, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.55 billion. Ahlstrom's share is listed on the main list of the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The company website is www.ahlstrom.com.