Groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant in Aalen Neukochen, Germany

Today, in the presence of representatives from administration, politics, business, and industry, the Aalen-based family-owned company Palm is breaking ground for the construction of its new plant in Aalen Neukochen.

The centrepiece of the EUR 500 million investment in a new mill is a new paper machine (PM 5), which is used for producing corrugated base paper that is required for sustainable packaging. The investment encapsulates a modern, innovative new plant construction, environmental, transport, and infrastructure project.

The new paper mill will be built between 2019 and 2022. As part of this project, the existing plant will be completely dismantled. The investment will provide the existing 300 staff members directly employed at that mill job prospects for the future.

Dr Wolfgang Palm, Managing Director of the Palm paper mill, explains: "Our €500 million investment is one of the largest ever made in the region. We will employ the latest technologies. All requirements in terms of environmental protection, sustainability, energy efficiency, architecture and transport infrastructure have been exceeded wherever possible. This will enable us to set standards and remain competitive in the long term. We will be able to supply our customers with sustainable packaging papers in a reliable manner. Our papers, which have excellent running properties for any corrugated cardboard plant, are among the best of their kind in the world. They reduce weight and save packaging. Already today, we are the trendsetter for future developments."

Investing in sustainability

Palm has a long tradition of only using recycled fibres from waste paper for paper production. With the new plant, water consumption per tonne of paper will be reduced by half. Although the production volume will double, the same amount of water will be used for the production of corrugated base paper as before. The new, state-of-the-art effluent treatment plant will be significantly quieter and will have double the performance. The wastewater will be discharged into the river Kocher as clean as when it was extracted, in some parameters, it will be even better.

A new power plant will operate according to the energy-efficient principle of combined heat and power generation, which will consist of an ultra-modern gas turbine with an energy efficiency of 90%. This will produces steam and electricity that are both needed to run the paper mill. Due to its flexibility, the gas turbine is the ideal partner for renewable energies. It can deal with fluctuations in renewable energies in an environmentally friendly way.