Ahlstrom to further consolidate its air filtration production in the USA

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Source: Ahlstrom Corporation

Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, announced today that it will consolidate its air filtration sites in Bellingham, Massachusetts and Darlington, South Carolina to its Bethune plant in South Carolina. Following the consolidation, the Darlington plant will be closed by the end of the year 2007. The Bellingham plant will be closed by the third quarter of 2008, as announced earlier. Ahlstrom estimates to book a non-recurring cost of approximately EUR 4 million in its fourth quarter result in 2007.
 
Ahlstrom acquired the Bethune nonwovens plant from Fiberweb in May 2007. The EUR 8 million investment in a new needlepunch line at the Darlington facility, announced on May 11, 2007, will be redirected to the Bethune plant. In addition, selected manufacturing lines will be transferred to Bethune from Bellingham and Darlington. The consolidation of assets to Bethune is in line with Ahlstrom's strategy to consolidate business to larger sites in order to share the existing infrastructure and reduce fixed costs. After the consolidation, the Bethune plant will have eight production lines, including four air filtration and four wiping fabrics lines, and employ over 300 employees.
 
The closure of the Bellingham and Darlington plants will affect altogether approximately 150 positions. The consolidation of manufacturing lines to the Bethune plant is estimated to create 50 new positions in Bethune. Ahlstrom strives to ensure that service to its customers will not be disrupted due to the consolidation process.

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