The WEPA Group has started-up its second paper machine at its Welsh site in Bridgend, doubling its production capacity for the British market.
The Valmet-supplied tissue machine has a production capacity of 70,000tpy and is designed to produce hygiene paper products from virgin fibres as well as 100% recycled fibres.
It is then converted into toilet and kitchen paper for the UK consumer market.
WEPA Group said the paper machine is designed to produce “the highest quality in terms of softness, strength and absorbency”, and the investment project also includes new buildings to house the stock preparation equipment and the paper machine.
Several converting projects have also been executed including a new line for lotioned and perfumed bathroom tissue products.
Martin Krengel, Chief Executive of the WEPA Group, said: “With the largest single investment in the history of the WEPA Group, we are further strengthening our claim to technology leadership and market leadership for sustainable hygiene papers.
“The UK is a significant growth market for WEPA. 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 a total of 22 paper machines across 13 European sites, the group has a production capacity of approximately 850,000tpy.