Metsä Board is investing 38 million EUR (35 million USD) in an extrusion coating line and related infrastructure at its Husum mill in Sweden, which will offer it a paperboard extrusion coating capacity of approximately 100,000tpa to expand its offering to the food and food service markets.
The substrate supplier said a substantial amount of food and food service packaging requires barrier properties against moisture and grease, for example, which can be produced with extrusion coating. At present, Metsä Board’s paperboards are coated by external converters. The company is also continuing development work on other barrier options. The line with paperboard extrusion coating capacity is scheduled to start-up at the beginning of 2017.
As previously announced, the company is currently installing a folding boxboard machine with a capacity of 400,000tpa in Husum, with a targeted start-up in January next year. Metsä Board is marketing this new volume to the Americas as well as to food service end uses, such as cups, plates and trays, globally.
Metsä Board CEO Mika Joukio said extrusion coated paperboard based on renewable fresh forest fiber competes on many occasions with plastics. ‘Transferring to paperboard offers food service companies an opportunity to improve their responsibility. As our paperboards are lightweight and stiff, they also bring many additional benefits to logistics and converting, for instance.’