Walki is investing over €10m in a state of the art, next generation production line in Valkeakoski, Finland, to answer to the increased demand for sustainable materials in the fast-growing consumer packaging segment and for flame-retardant materials.
The investment is the Valkeakoski plant’s most sizable investment ever. Walki has received financing of €3m from Business Finland’s circular economy funding.
The company has planned the production line inhouse for over two years and it’s being built on premises. “We have designed it ourself and have conducted extensive test runs to get it exactly right. It will be a completely unique production line and the most modern one in the world,” explains Kari Salminen, Deputy CEO and Executive Vice President, Engineered Materials.
The new production line will make use of a novel coating technology that has not previously been used at Walki. This combined dispersion and impregnation technology is important for creating barriers for recyclable fibre-based packaging.
“There is a strong trend where brand owners are switching to recyclable packaging. Dispersion technology is a sustainable way to get a barrier for fibre-based packaging that does not compromise recyclability in fibre streams,” says Salminen, adding that the new production line also caters to the increased demand for heat sealable packaging solutions.
The production line will also answer to the increased demand for flame-retardant materials. Regulation is increasingly being tightened in the construction industry, creating the need for materials that can replace aluminium but still offer flame-retardance in order to comply with fireclasses. The new production line will produce facings coated with a flame-retardant substance for Polyurethane insulation.
The production line will also be used for testing completely new innovations. It will be taken into use during Q2 2023 and will also deliver capacity to Walki’s plants outside Finland.