DS Smith Kemsley paper mill 28.02.24

DS Smith has announced a £48 million investment in a new fibre preparation line at its Kemsley paper mill. The company says this multi-year investment will deliver returns through improved efficiency and reduced costs.

The new F-line is part of DS Smith’s organic investment program. According to the company, Kemsley is the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK and the second largest in Europe, producing 830,000 tonnes of paper every year made from 100% recycled fibre.

Reportedly, the new line will supply recycled fibre to PM3, a paper machine capable of producing white top test liner, plasterboard liner and other corrugated case materials (CCM) grades. A drum pulping and screening system that more efficiently separates contaminants from fibre such as plastics, barriers and coatings will also be installed as part of this initiative.

The upgrades also support DS Smith’s refreshed Now & Next sustainability strategy, apparently offering significant environmental benefits to Kemsley’s operations. The system maximises the use of materials in the recycling process in addition to reducing water usage and energy consumption.

The company states this reduction of emissions by more than 6000 tonnes of CO2 a year reaffirms its goal of decreasing its Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 46% (compared to 2019) by the year 2030. It adds that production waste will be decreased by 39,000 tonnes annually and the new equipment will lower Kemsley mill’s freshwater use by more than 50,000m year.

DS Smith says it aims to send zero waste to landfill by 2030, and through the implementation of the stock preparation system the business will maximise the materials that arrive at Kemsley, by improving the fibre-yield per tonne and therefore reducing waste to landfill.

Commissioning of the new Stock Preparation plant is due early in 2026. The announcement comes after DS Smith, in partnership with E.ON, revealed a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Kemsley.

In January, DS Smith teamed up with Nafici Environmental Research (NER) to explore the conversion of straw and grain into packaging. More recently the company was approached by Mondi over a potential €11.7 billion merger, expected to result in a joint company that could become an ‘industry leader’ in paper packaging solutions, according to a report from Jefferies.

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