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DS Smith boosts efficiency at Kemsley paper mill

DS Smith boosts efficiency at Kemsley paper mill

Company to upgrade fibre preparation line driving improved efficiency, sustainability and reliability.

DS Smith, a world leader in sustainable packaging solutions, has unveiled a £48 million investment in a new fibre preparation line (F-line) at their Kemsley paper mill. Forming part of DS Smith’s organic investment program, this multi-year investment will deliver attractive returns through improved efficiency and reduced costs.

Kemsley is the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK, and the second largest in Europe. It produces 830,000T of paper every year, all made from 100% recycled fibre.

The new line will supply recycled fibre to PM3, which is a highly versatile paper machine, that is capable of producing white top test liner, plasterboard liner and other corrugated case materials (CCM) grades.

A state-of-the-art drum pulping and screening system that more efficiently separates contaminants from fibre such as plastics, barriers and coatings will also be installed as part of this initiative.

The upgrades also support DS Smith’s refreshed Now & Next sustainability strategy by offering significant environmental benefits to Kemsley’s operations. The system maximises the use of materials in the recycling process in addition to reducing water usage and energy consumption.

This reduction of emissions by more than 6000 Tonnes of CO2 a year reaffirms DS Smith’s goal of decreasing their Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 46% compared to 2019, by the year 2030.

Production waste will be significantly decreased by 39,000 Tonnes annually which also helps the business reach its 2030 target of optimising every fibre for every supply chain and sending zero waste to landfill.

The new equipment will lower Kemsley mill’s freshwater use by more than 50,000m3 a year – the equivalent of 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Niels Flierman, Head of Paper & Recycling at DS Smith commented: “Kemsley paper mill is an important part of our business and of the UK’s recycling capacity, recycling up to one million Tonnes of paper and card every year. The installation of the new fibre preparation line will ensure that we can continue to make high performing papers more efficiently while delivering on our medium and long-term sustainability goals.”

DS Smith aims to send zero waste to landfill by 2030 and, through implementation of the stock preparation system, the business will maximise the materials that arrive at Kemsley by improving the fibre-yield per tonne and therefore reducing waste to landfill.

Commissioning of the new Stock Preparation plant is due early in 2026.

The announcement comes after DS Smith, in partnership with E.ON, revealed a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Kemsley. This plant started up in 2022, saving 36,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.


Photos of the mill taken by Graham Mcintosh, May 2020 with his drone.

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