The world’s largest machine for the production of kraftliner has entered service in Obbola in Västerbotten, outside Umeå, eastern Sweden. With a total investment of SEK 7.5 billion, this major project has been completed ahead of schedule and within budget, significantly increasing opportunities to produce packaging materials that replace plastic. “At full capacity, the machine will increase capacity from 450,000 tonnes to 725,000 tonnes a year, enabling our renewable kraftliner to replace large amounts of plastic and improve the [Obbola] plant’s competitiveness on the global market,” says Gustaf Nygren, SCA Obbola Plant Director. The Expansion Obbola investment project has a total budget of SEK 7.5 billion, of which approximately SEK 1 billion has been earmarked for environmental improvements at the site. For example, a biofuel-fired mesa furnace has been installed at the plant with the potential to phase out the use of fossil fuels and save 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Pregis LLC has acquired Rex Performance Products (RPP), Marysville, Michigan, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will enable Pregis to build on its leadership position as one of the largest foam producers in North America.
Founded in 2011, RPP is known for its high-quality laminated foam technology, as well as its customer-centric approach to doing business. The acquisition adds another 100,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, as well as 150,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space to the Pregis network. RPP currently has 85 employees.
RPP has been led by Don Tate, president and chief executive officer, who will be joining Pregis and leading the combined engineered foam business going forward.
“The acquisition strengthens Pregis’ position as a leading North American producer of engineered foam. We will now have five engineered foam manufacturing locations and a vast warehousing network across the continent to serve fabricators. The combined organization will offer customers an expanded portfolio of protective packaging solutions,” said Kevin Baudhuin, president and chief executive officer.
RPP is the fifth acquisition Pregis has completed in the past four years under Olympus Partners ownership. The other four are Sharp Packaging, 3M Company’s PolyMask protective films business, Easypack paper-based protective packaging systems and Eagle Film Extruders.
“We view the Rex Performance Products organization and their employees as a perfect fit within Pregis. We believe our combined product offering, enhanced foam technology and our teams’ knowledge strengthen our position as a valued partner to our customers,” Baudhuin said.
RPP’s engineered foam products have been used for protective packaging (cushioning, surface protection, blocking/bracing, void fill) solutions for a wide variety of products and markets. The RPP product line includes polyethylene foam and laminated planks which provide wide performance attributes including military, thermal performance, flame-retardant, multi-density and anti-static.