Ahlstrom to invest EUR 27 million in new nonwovens capacity in United Kingdom

Ahlstrom Corporation STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 12.12.2006 at 14.00
Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, today announced it will invest approximately EUR 27 million in a new food nonwovens production line at its plant in Chirnside, Scotland. The new line utilizing spunmelt technology will primarily serve the growing infusion products market with next generation spunmelt products.
The infusion products market in general is anticipated to grow at 5% annually. Major customers are seeking new technical solutions for beverage and other food packaging applications. The growth in high value-added segments, which is higher than in traditional tea markets, demands a differentiation in the type of filter media used.
Ahlstrom currently operates a nonwovens plant in Chirnside with three production lines and is an established player in the infusion market. The new investment consists of a building and machinery, and the line is estimated to be operational in late 2008.
"There is a clear market demand for new spunmelt materials. Our leading customers have indicated growing interest in new solutions, and moreover, environmentally friendly products. The new spunmelt technology is environmentally sound as it manufactures products with recyclable and biodegradable materials. Based on our extensive experience in the infusion market and specialty fiber capabilities, we are in a good position to introduce the new technology to our customers", says Claudio Ermondi, Senior Vice President, Nonwovens.
"The investment opens up new market opportunities for Ahlstrom. The UK and continental Europe still remain the leading tea bag consumers, but demand in emerging markets, such as Russia, India and China is growing fast. Organic investments in fast growing product segments are an essential part of our global growth strategy", comments Jukka Moisio, President and CEO of Ahlstrom Corporation.
For further information, please contact:
Jukka Moisio, President and CEO, Ahlstrom Corporation, tel. +358 10 888 4700
Claudio Ermondi, Senior Vice President, Nonwovens, tel. +39 011 9260 232
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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 5,700 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 Helsinki Stock Exchange. The company website is www.ahlstrom.com.