UNITED KINGDOM (From news reports) -- A Turkish company plans to convert the Shotton paper mill in north Wales from newsprint to containerboard in an attempt to boost UK-based paper recycling.
In an initial scoping report for Flintshire County Council ahead of a planning application, Eren Holdings said: "Analysis of the UK paper industry shows that the UK is currently a net importer of both containerboard products and tissue products, while at the same time being a net exporter of recycled (waste) paper.
"The proposed development is intended to close both these gaps by increasing production at the site, thereby allowing the use of more recycled paper, with the proposed new cardboard paper production facility using 100% recycled paper."
It said the main elements of its plan were to redevelop the existing operational site, expand on to an adjacent one, and build combined heat and power plants.
From 1 October, Shotton Mill will become a wholly owned subsidiary Eren, which said it has an annual turnover in excess of £1.5bn.
Eren said it had been seeking a suitable site in the UK to expand its paper and packaging division and its plans "will deliver a market-leading operation incorporating the newest innovations and technologies in this market".
UPM Shotton was founded in 1983 and produces newsprint paper. Eren said: "Due to the decline in newspaper circulation, demand for the newsprint products currently produced at the existing works is low and diminishing.
"Consequently, the production and sales of newsprint is expected to cease by the end of 2021. The outdated plant will at that point be sold or disposed of to make way for the wholesale redevelopment of the site, which includes expansion into adjoining land."
Switching production from the declining newsprint market to containerboard and tissue products would mean Shotton could make the UK "more self-supporting in these materials, reducing reliance on external supply".
The company said it was "intended that Shotton will become the second largest containerboard campus in the UK and that, when completed, Shotton's new containerboard machine will be the largest and most technologically advanced paper mill in the UK".