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Expansion of Ahlstrom La Gère Plant Completed
Helsinki, Finland, 02 July 2007 -- Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, today announced the completion of the expansion of its production capacity of supercalendered release base papers at the La Gère plant in France.

The investment comprised the speed-up of the PM6 paper machine, the construction of a new 2800 square meter building to hold the completely redesigned finishing and loading department, and the installation of a new high-speed winder. The project started in the second quarter of 2006, when the foundations of the new building were laid, and was completed in two steps in the first and second quarter of 2007.

The expansion has increased the plant's annual production capacity of supercalendered release base papers by more than 35%, which will be progressively achieved in the coming quarters. At the same time, it enables a significant improvement of product quality. The project followed a similar operation that had taken place at the Turin, Italy, plant in early 2006.

After these two major investments in Europe, the company announced it would form a joint venture with the Brazilian pulp and paper manufacturer Votorantim Celulose e Papel (VCP) to produce specialty papers in Brazil. The joint venture will enable Ahlstrom to develop a new platform to supply the whole Latin America, one of the fastest growing markets for pressure-sensitive products. Ahlstrom will own 60% of the joint venture shares.

Ahlstrom is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and marketing of high performance fiber-based materials. Nonwovens and specialty papers, made by Ahlstrom, are used in a large variety of everyday products, such as filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. Based upon its unique fiber expertise and innovative approach, the company has a strong market position in several business areas in which it operates. Ahlstrom's 6200 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2006, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. Ahlstrom's share is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

The company Web site is www.ahlstrom.com.


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