Mondi to take over Burgo's Duino mill and convert it to containerboard production

A new recycled corrugated case material project has emerged in Italy. Mondi will buy the Duino LWC mill and produce 420,000 tpy of recycled containerboard there in the future.

More recycled containerboard capacities will be added to the Italian market. Mondi will acquire and rebuild the Duino LWC paper mill of Italian paper manufacturer Burgo in northern Italy. The two companies issued a press release saying that a sales agreement was already signed. The purchase price was put at €40m.

The transaction is scheduled to be finalised in the second half of this year. Burgo emphasised that the mill would continue to produce LWC paper throughout 2023, with Burgo managing sales and customer service in this period.

Burgo currently produces LWC on one machine (PM 3) in Duino with a capacity of 200,000 tpy. Mondi says it plans to convert this machine to the production of around 420,000 tpy of recycled corrugated case material. An estimated €200m will be invested in the project.

"Close to two important export harbours, Duino is ideally located to supply the group’s Corrugated Solutions plants in Central Europe and Turkey as well as to serve the growing local Italian market," Mondi said. It added that the new containerboard machine would strengthen backward integration in its corrugated packaging business.

The future of the Duino mill has been discussed often in the past and several projects have been considered. German paper and packaging producer Progroup had recently expressed interest in acquiring the mill. Trade union representatives said early in the year that negotiations and site visits had been conducted. Progroup’s plans also envisaged a rebuild of the machine to produce containerboard.

Besides LWC paper, the Duino mill currently also produces thermomechanical pulp (TMP) on one line. A second machine, PM 2, was idled back in 2015. Efforts to revive PM 2 with the help of an investor and rebuild it to produce coreboard failed in the past.

Italy's containerboard capacity up 31 per cent in two years

This move will boost the Italian market for recycled corrugated case material even more, after one million t of new capacities were already added to the market by the rebuilds at Pro-Gest's Mantua and SKG's Verzuolo mills in the last couple of years. Assocarta statistics show that between 2019 and 2021, containerboard production in the country grew by 31 per cent to reach 3.2 million t in 2021.     

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