EUROPE – Irish corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa has completed its previously announced investment of more than €20 million (US$20.8m) to upgrade its manufacturing plants in Europe.

The company said the investments further highlight its expansion and commitment to investing in its Central and Eastern European operations.

Smurfit Kappa explained that the two plants received significant upgrades, installing new equipment to expand capacity and address the rise in customer demand for paper-based packaging solutions.

It said the investment sees the installation of new converting equipment which will increase the capacity by over 100 million regular and offset printed boxes a year.

It will also allow the business to further target specific industries, most notably the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and electro-technical sectors.

Zdenek Suchitra, CEO of Smurfit Central & South-East Europe, said the two investments were finished on time and within their original budget at a time when there is a scarcity of all kinds of materials.

“These investments, along with the investments we made in two additional sites in the Czech Republic, demonstrate our commitment to our customers and operations in Central and Eastern Europe,” he added.

“Through these investments, which have created state-of-the-art facilities for our plants, we are excellently positioned to satisfy our well-established customer base, while also venturing into the FMCG, e-commerce and electro-technical sectors.

“We are in a strong position to continue to deliver our high-quality sustainable solutions, as well as a best-in-class efficiency to the market and to be a better place to work for our people.”

Based in Dublin, Smurfit Kappa supplies paper packaging to companies in 23 European countries and 13 countries in the Americas.

Meanwhile, the company agreed to acquire Pusa Pack, a bag-in-box packaging plant located in Onda, Castellón, Spain.

Pusa Pack S.L. specializes in the manufacture of large-capacity flexible bags, sized from 200 to 1500 liters.

These bags are used for the storage and transport of bulk food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and other liquid and semi-liquid products.

In October this year, Smurfit Kappa also announced plans to invest US$100 million in a sustainable biomass boiler in Colombia, in a bid to drive down CO2 emissions.

The company said that the boiler will replace the fossil fuels currently in use at the mill with different types of organic waste to generate cleaner energy.

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