Ahlstrom to close Bellingham, USA plant

Ahlstrom, a leader in high-performance fiber based materials, announced today that it will close its Bellingham, MA, USA plant during the first half of 2008 and consolidate some of the assets to its Darlington, SC, USA facility.
This move is mainly driven by the need to be more cost competitive, and it will also allow Ahlstrom to locate its dust filtration business closer to many of its customers. Ahlstrom previously announced the addition of a new needlepunch line for the Darlington site with start-up scheduled by the end of June 2008.
The relocation will affect approximately 80 jobs in Bellingham and the transition will take up to one year to complete. Ahlstrom estimates that the cost related to the closure and the consolidation of assets will be approximately EUR 2 million.
"The consolidation allows us to improve our competitiveness by moving our most efficient lines to our Darlington facility. Furthermore, the move will create some 50-60 positions at our Darlington, South Carolina facility, " commented Scott Murdock, VP GM Filtration North America. "The move will begin early in 2008 and should be completed by July.  During the transition period, service to Ahlstrom's customers will not be disrupted."
Ahlstrom's Filtration business is a leading global manufacturer of filtration materials used in air, liquid and transportation applications with 13 production sites across four continents.
Scott Murdock, VP Filtration North America, +1 860 654 8362, scott.murdock@ahlstrom.com
Trade press contact:
Jerome Barrillon, Director Marketing, +1 860 654 8607, jerome.barrillon@ahlstrom.com
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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, 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.