The WEPA Group has started up a new paper machine at its Welsh site in Bridgend, thus doubling its production capacity for the British market. The paper produced is converted into toilet and kitchen paper for the UK consumer market in which WEPA has a leading role. The investment created over 50 new jobs at the site.
The new paper machine has a production capacity of 70,000 tons of tissue paper per year and is designed to produce hygiene paper products from virgin fibres as well as 100% recycled fibres. With its high energy efficiency, the new tissue machine sourced from manufacturer Valmet also significantly contributes to cutting CO2 emissions and water usage. This saves resources and optimizes cost structures. The new paper machine is technically state-of-the-art and is designed to produce the highest quality in terms of softness, strength and absorbency.
The investment project includes new buildings to house the stock preparation equipment and the new paper machine. In parallel, several converting projects have been executed including a new line for lotioned and perfumed bathroom tissue products.
Martin Krengel, CEO of the WEPA Group: “With the largest single investment in the history of the WEPA Group, we are further strengthening our claim to both: technology leadership and market leadership for sustainaable hygiene papers.”
The UK is a significant growth market for WEPA. Martin Krengel: “To us it is important to foster market-orientation and to produce for our UK customers in their own country. The investment in Bridgend is an investment in the future and our long-term customer partnership. It strengthens our position in the UK market with highest benchmarks in sustainability and product quality and as part of the project we created over 50 new jobs.” The workforce at the Welsh WEPA site now amounts to 325 people.
The site in Bridgend has been part of the WEPA Group since 2013 – initially as a joint venture before being fully acquired in 2018. With this investment, the WEPA Group strengthens its competitive capability as one of the three largest European manufacturers in the hygiene paper market. With a total of 22 paper machines, the group has a production capacity of approximately 850,000 tons per year.