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Plans to Restart Vertaris Mill

Voreppe, France 13 November 2013 -- The liquidated Vertaris mill in France will possibly restart operations. Activapro, a Swiss investment company, is considering acquiring the site which has the capacity to produce 140,000 tpy of recycled pulp.

Vertaris, former paper producer in the south-eastern French town of Voreppe that is under liquidation, is tantalisingly close to resuming operations. The municipality of Pays Voironnais announced plans to sell its assets to the Swiss investment firm Activapro AG, which reportedly wants to reopen Vertaris as a recycled pulp producer.

The plan was to resume production using the existing deinking plant and to add a drying unit that is currently located in Sweden. The municipality's statement notes that the new owner is to invest a total of €53m in the project and create about 70 new jobs. The construction of a biomass power plant is also in the preliminary planning stages as a next step; it would create another 12 jobs.

The municipality of Pays Voironnais said that it would sell the Vertaris assets that it currently held, which were valued at €3.75m, to Activapro for a price of €1.5m.

This July, the municipality snapped up the company's machinery and plants at the liquidation and hired three former workers to maintain and secure the site. Vertaris encountered financial difficulties due to high costs and was sentenced to court-led reorganisation proceedings (redressement judiciaire) in 2011. Vertaris was then liquidated towards the middle of last year.

Vertaris can make around 140,000 tpy of recycled pulp using the existing and planned technology. Demand was growing in this market, not least because of changing rules and businesses focusing on reducing their carbon footprint, the municipality said in a statement. Market insiders estimate that the mill might need up to 15,000 t of recovered fibre each month.


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