Ahlstrom celebrates addition of new spunlace wipes production line in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, today celebrated the addition of a EUR 30 million production line at its facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin, US. With its strategic location close to the North American customers and converters, the new line offers innovative and technically sophisticated solutions for a wide range of wipes end-user products.

"The new expanded capacity recognizes the strength and growth potential of the dynamic wipes market, as well as Ahlstrom's intention to invest in technically superior products for next-generation applications," said Martin R. Davis, Vice President & General Manager of Ahlstrom's global wipes business.  "We continue to invest in capacity and capabilities that give our customer a competitive edge," said Davis.

The Green Bay plant was acquired in 2004 and became a key production site for Ahlstrom's wipes product line.  Ahlstrom made a number of investments at the plant with the aim of broadening and diversifying its product offering to the growing wipes market.  Investments include a new capability for the production of cotton-containing products, as well as increasing capacity of its spunlace line.

The investment on the new line started in May of 2006, and started up in December, two weeks ahead of schedule.  In addition to producing rayon/polyester spunlace materials, the new machine enables hydro embossing, in-line printing, cotton blending, and the design of composite structures.

In addition to the new line in North America, Ahlstrom also announced a spunlace nonwoven investment in Brazil, a spunmelt nonwoven investment in the UK, and needle punch nonwoven investments in France and China.

Additionally in 2007, Ahlstrom acquired Fiberweb's consumer wipes business which includes four plants, two of which are located in Italy, one in Spain, and one in South Carolina, and the Orlandi spunlace nonwovens business with two plants in Northern Italy.

"These investments in organic growth and acquisitions are in line with Ahlstrom's growth strategy," said Claudio Ermondi, Senior Vice President, Nonwovens.  "The transactions have now positioned Ahlstrom as the leading wiping fabric producer and the third largest supplier of nonwoven materials in the world." 

For further information contact:
Martin R. Davis, Vice President & General Manager, Wipes, Tel. +1 860 654 8455, martin.davis@ahlstrom.com
Karen Castle, Director of Marketing & Sales, Wipes, Tel: +1 860 654 8328, karen.castle@ahlstrom.com

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, such as filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. Based upon its unique fiber expertise and innovative approach, the company has a strong market position in several business areas in which it operates. Ahlstrom's 6,200 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2006, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. Ahlstrom's share is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The company website is www.ahlstrom.com.