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Heinzel Group buys paper mill Steyrermühl

Heinzel Group buys paper mill Steyrermühl

Lakirchen. The Heinzel Group has entered into a purchase agreement with UPM to acquire UPM Kymmene Austria GmbH and its subsidiaries in the Laakirchner district of Steyrermühl. Together with Laakirchen Papier AG, already belonging to the Heinzel Group, the site will become a center for sustainable packaging paper and renewable energies from January 1, 2024. The transaction is subject to approval by responsible competition authorities.

At the Steyrermühl site, UPM now operates a newsprint paper machine, a sawmill, and a waste incineration plant, which are jointly operated by Heinzels Laakirchen Papier AG. UPM plans to continue operations at the site unchanged until the end of 2023 and then stop producing graphic papers.

The Heinzel Group will use the time between signing and closing the deal to evaluate, plan, and prepare for the transition to sustainable packaging production. This assessment will cover not only the paper machine that is currently in operation, but also Steyrermühl’s second paper machine, which the UPM was decommissioned in 2017.

Today, the Heinzel Group produces various papers for flexible packaging (the so-called kraft paper) and rigid packaging (the so-called container board) at its sites in Bols, Lakirchen and Roebling. “At Steyrermühl we want to expand our product range. We see great opportunities in the fast-growing markets for sustainable packaging paper,” says Sebastian Heinzel, CEO of the Heinzel Group.

In addition, the Heinzel Group will consider developing Steyrermühl into a heating and power supply center for the municipality of Laakirchen and the Laakirchen paper mill. “We want to develop Steyrermühl into a sustainable and renewable energy product,” says Kurt Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of the Heinzel Group. “Recent developments have shown us all the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and gas.”

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The integration of Steyrermühl into the Heinzel Group will also create new opportunities for plant employees. “At the neighboring plant in Laakirchen, we have successfully demonstrated that life continues beyond the end of graphic paper production,” says Thomas Welt, CEO of Laakirchen Papier AG. ‘Sustainable packaging papers and green energy are the future.’

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In their first reaction to the acquisition, Governor Thomas Stelzer and Economy Minister Markus Achleitner spoke of “enhancing paper production in our state and thus in Upper Austria as a business location” and about a step towards sustainability: “It is an important contribution to the energy transition in Upper Austria, where the Heinzel Group wants Now establishing a supply center for sustainably generated heat and energy in Steyrermühl, not only for paper production, but also for the Lakerchen region,” State Governor Steyrermühl and State Chancellor Achleitner confirms.