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Ahlstrom Corporation Begins Glass Fiber Tissue Production in Russia
Helsinki, Finland, 03 June 2008 -- Ahlstrom Corporation, today celebrates the inauguration of its new glass fiber tissue production facility in Redkino, Tver Region, Russia. The plant produces glass fiber tissue for Russian construction and plastic composite industries and employs 80 people. The Tver plant is Ahlstrom’s first fully owned production facility of fiber-based materials in Russia.

The investment, including the plant facility, glassfiber tissue machine, and required infrastructure, is worth approximately EUR 40 million. Production capacity of the plant is 250 million square meters per year, which doubles Ahlstrom’s total glass fiber tissue production capacity in Europe. The plant’s main product application is cushion vinyl floor coverings and other applications include wall coverings, laminate surface layers, building panels, pipe wrapping, and bitumen roofing.

“The Tver operation strengthens our position as a leading developer and manufacturer of specialty glass fiber tissues. We have a strong customer base in Russia, which we are now able to serve locally from the plant. Enhancing our local presence also supports our other expansion possibilities in Russia, as well as in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Asia”, says Ahlstrom’s CEO Risto Anttonen.

Senior Vice President Tommi Björnman, Ahlstrom’s Glass Nonwovens Business Area, sees Russia’s glass fiber tissue market as a very attractive business for Ahlstrom. “The growth in glass fiber tissue products is between 15% and 40%, depending on the end application. With the Tver plant, we expect to grow our market share in Russia, as we have the state-of-the art technology and production capacity the customers are looking for.”

Seppo Mustonen, Tver plant’s general director, stresses that Ahlstrom brings new jobs to Redkino and is stimulating the regional economy through its needs for services and subcontractors. The personnel of the plant were recruited from Redkino and Tver. All of the 80 new employees were trained in Karhula plant in Finland. In addition to professional training, they were trained on security and quality issues and familiarized with Ahlstrom’s business.

Glass fiber tissue products are part of Ahlstrom’s growing glass nonwovens business that comprises approximately 8% of the Group’s net sales. Besides the Tver plant, glass fiber products are manufactured in Ahlstrom’s Finnish plants in Karhula and Mikkeli, and in Bishopville, South Carolina, USA.

In addition to the Tver plant, Ahlstrom has a sales office in Moscow and a minority shareholding in a specialty paper company, Troitskaya, in the Kaluga region.

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