VPK Alizay to start commercial production of corrugated case material with minor delay

New recycled corrugated case material capacity will soon be available in France. VPK Group's rebuilt 450,000 tpy machine in Alizay is almost ready for start-up. This is the first of a couple of projects in France that will add containerboard capacity to the market.

Belgium’s VPK Group will commence commercial production at its Alizay recycled corrugated case material mill in France a little later than recently announced. A company spokesperson told EUWID that VPK would begin producing paper at the site within the next six weeks, with other company insiders mentioning the end of April as the start-up date. Test runs are set to take place from 3 April onwards, the spokesperson says.

VPK has rebuilt the Alizay mill's former woodfree uncoated paper machine to produce recycled corrugated case material with a capacity of 450,000 tpy. The mill also houses a corrugated board plant. A new corrugator was already commissioned in November 2022.

Another big project is in the pipeline in France for this year. Norske Skog will bring another 550,000 tpy of new recycled containerboard capacity on the market during the year. The company is currently rebuilding one of its two newsprint machines at the Golbey mill in France and plans to start up the rebuilt PM in the fourth quarter.

The two projects will add one million t of new containerboard capacity to the French market. For comparison: French paper mills produced around 3.8 million t of corrugated case material in 2022. And these will not be the last projects of this kind in the country. The former newsprint mill Chapelle Darblay is also set to be transformed. Veolia and Fibre Excellence plan to produce corrugated case material with a capacity of around 400,000 tpy there in the future – probably mostly recycled grades, but it is not excluded that fresh fibre-based grades will be manufactured as well. It might still take some time, though, until this project will be finalised.

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