Key milestone in Ahlstrom's expansion in Asia: Ahlstrom's new nonwoven manufacturing plant in Mundra, India inaugurates today

Key milestone in Ahlstrom's expansion in Asia: Ahlstrom's new nonwoven manufacturing plant in Mundra, India inaugurates today

Ahlstrom Corporation PRESS RELEASE 27.5.2010 at 09.45

Ahlstrom Group, a leading developer and manufacturer of nonwovens and specialty papers, today celebrates the inauguration of its new medical nonwovens production facility in Mundra, Gujarat state, northwest coast of India. The plant produces medical nonwoven fabrics for the healthcare industry in India and Asia and employs initially 70 people. The Mundra plant is Ahlstrom's first manufacturing facility in India and among its biggest in Asia.

The new plant belongs to Ahlstrom's Advanced Nonwovens business area. The investment including the plant facility, production line and required infrastructure amounts to approximately EUR 42 million. Ahlstrom's President & CEO Jan Lång stresses the importance of the plant in Ahlstrom's growth strategy in Asia.

"Ahlstrom has a strong footprint in Europe and the Americas and is starting to establish a solid manufacturing platform in Asia. This plant, with its state-of-the-art technology, competent personnel and an optimal location in the Special Economic Zone and in the vicinity of one of Asia's biggest ports, will have a key role in our growth strategy in India and Asia. As India is among the world's fastest growing economies today and the healthcare industry is growing at an annual rate of over 20%, the market for disposable hygiene products is expected to grow significantly in the coming years", Jan Lång says.

The plant produces a broad range of single-use protective fabrics specifically developed for the medical market. These materials are used in hospitals, e.g. in surgical drapes and gowns to protect patients and staff from infections. Being singe-use products, they are also more hygienic and more sustainable than washable garments, as laundering is a greater burden to the environment.

In addition to India, Ahlstrom has two other manufacturing sites in Asia: one in Wuxi, China, and one in Hyun Poong, South Korea, where the company manufactures filtration materials. In addition to the manufacturing plants, Ahlstrom has sales offices in nine major cities in Asia. Altogether, Asia currently brings in about 10% of the Group's net sales.

Mundra investment milestones
Investment decision         December 2007
Laying the cornerstone    May 2008
Machinery installation      December 2009
Operation started             April 2010
Inauguration                     May 2010

Mundra region in brief

·         The town of Mundra is located about 60 km from Gandhidham which is one of the major towns in the district of Kutch in Gujarat.

·         The population of Mundra town is around 85,000.

·         The Mundra Port is the largest private port in India, located on the north-west coast of India, en-route major maritime routes and with connectivity through rail, road, air and pipeline. This makes it one of the country's most convenient gateways for international trade towards Europe, Africa, Americas and the Middle East.

·         The Mundra Port benefits from proactive policies and governance in Gujarat, one of India's most industrialized, investor friendly and commercially successful states.

Further information:
Ahlstrom Group
Jan Lång, President & CEO, tel. +358 10 888 4700
William Casey, Executive Vice President, Advanced Nonwovens, tel. +1 860 654 8370
Rahul Dharmadhikary, Managing Director, Ahlstrom Fibercomposites India Pvt Ltd, tel. +91 11 2375 3680

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www.ahlstrom.com

Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom is a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of high performance nonwovens and specialty papers. Ahlstrom´s products are used in a large variety of everyday applications, 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 5,800 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2009, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. Ahlstrom's share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. The company website is at www.ahlstrom.com.

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