Kipas’ new containerboard PM in Turkey still not running

Containerboard production at Kipas' Söke mill has not yet started
22 Mar 2021 − 

One of Europe's biggest containerboard machines was supposed to start up at the beginning of March. But Kipas Kagit once again postponed the start-up of its new machine in Turkey, which should have come online already in the summer of 2020.

The new 700,000 tpy containerboard machine of Turkish packaging producer Kipas Kagit was supposed to be operational by now. But the company once again postponed the start-up. According to Ercan Yürekli, the vice president of Turkish recycling association Tüdam, Kipas now announced it would commission the machine in early May.

The big investment project was originally scheduled to be completed in June 2020, but the company postponed the start-up date several times - most recently to early March.

According to Mr Yürekli, Kipas cited the pandemic and its repercussions as the main reason for the delays. With every delay, the company was losing money, Mr Yürekli commented, referring to the fact that the market for corrugated case material is currently faring well, with online shopping having increased and demand from the packaging industry being very strong.

Meanwhile, Turkish newspapers reported in the past months that the president of the Republican People's Party (CHP) in Söke, Ali Kemal Özcan, is concerned about the new mill's water consumption. The mill would turn the fertile soil in Söke into a desert, he was quoted as saying. In another newspaper article of last year, Kipas Kagit defended itself against the accusations of problematic wastewater discharge that were circulating on the internet and spoke of defamation in this context.

Kipas contracted Voith in 2017 to supply the new PM. The machine is installed at the Söke mill in Western Turkey and has a capacity of 700,000 tpy. According to earlier information, it will produce recycled as well as virgin-fibre corrugated case material and well as some board grades. At the time of the announcement, the company furthermore informed that a second machine for corrugated case material would be installed after completion of the first project.

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