Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, today announced it will invest an additional EUR 5.0 million (USD 6.3 million) in a new specialty glassfiber reinforcement plant in the USA. Ahlstrom announced in June that it would invest EUR 5.2 million in a specialty glassfiber reinforcement plant in South Carolina, USA. With the additional capital allocated to the investment today, the total value of the investment will be approximately EUR 10.2 million (USD 12.7 million).
With the additional investment, Ahlstrom increases the production capacity of the plant, ensuring it will be able to serve the fast growing specialty reinforcement markets, particularly in wind energy, marine and transportation industries. The investment will consist of new machinery and appropriate infrastructure. The new Bishopville plant is estimated to be operational in early 2007 and it will mainly serve North American customers and other dollar-based markets.
"Ahlstrom has strengthened its global market position lately as a specialty reinforcement supplier, especially for the wind energy, marine and transportation industries. These markets are growing faster than the composites markets on average. This additional investment further supports Ahlstrom's global growth strategy and enables synergies within the company", says Jukka Moisio, President and CEO of Ahlstrom Corporation.
"We are pleased to see that our current and potential customers have been so positive in their approach to Ahlstrom's Glass Nonwovens business entering this new geographic area. Being able to serve global customers worldwide is vital to our success and this additional investment further strengthens our position, together with the on-going investment, already announced, in Tver, Russia. Next year Ahlstrom will have glass nonwovens production in Europe, in the USA and in 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
Helsinki Stock Exchange
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 5,800 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.