Acquisition paves way to output rise, better serve overseas demand
The Double A premium-paper maker has recently taken over a pulp and paper mill in northern France from the government of Eure department to expand its production capacity to 1.12 million tonnes per year and allow it to be responsive to its European, Middle East and West African customers’ needs.
Double A will also add a brand to its product portfolio as it will continue the production of Evolve recycled office paper, which is well known in Europe and Australia.
Double A (1991)’s executives led by executive chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura joined the signing ceremony in Alizay, Eure department, last week with French government representatives. They were Arnaud Montebourg, national minister of industrial renewal; Jean-Louis Destans, president of the Eure General Council; and Dominique Sorain, prefect of Eure. One of the most advanced fully integrated pulp and paper manufacturers, Double A will restart the Alizay operations after the mill’s closure last year.
Virabongsa said the opportunity to acquire the Alizay mill and restart it was made possible with the dedication, work and cooperation of the French Embassy in Thailand, headed by Ambassador Thierry Viteau.
The Alizay pulp and paper mill had been owned by M-real, a Finnish company. After it suffered an economic crisis, the mill came under the care of the Eure government, and Double A was chosen for the takeover of the site for economic recovery and to foster closer relations between Thailand and France.
The Alizay paper mill will start production again in four months using short-fibre material from Double A Thailand’s sustainable paper supply from khan na, the vacant spaces that separate rice paddies. This will ensure that the fibre source will be sustainable and the quality of the paper to be manufactured at Alizay will be on par with Double A quality.
This paper mill will become a new manufacturing base for Europe, the Middle East and West Africa, as the logistics costs will be lower than transport from Thailand.
Double A will begin producing recycled office paper under the Evolve brand to bring its quality paper back to the European and Australian markets. The raw material for this paper will come from recycled fibre, which is environment-friendly and helps conserve natural resources.
The Alizay mill has a combined pulp and paper production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year. And with 820,000 tonnes per year paper capacity in Thailand, Double A will be producing more than 1.12 million tonnes of premium paper per year.
With this investment, Double A says it gains export advantage and enhances its brand strength in the global market. Also, France uses nuclear energy as an electricity source, so Double A will be able to save up to 20 per cent on electricity costs.
Double A has three paper mills in the 304 Industrial Park in Prachin Buri that produce 820,000 tonnes per year at full capacity. Double A premium copy paper is available in 138 countries worldwide including those in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and generates income for Thailand of more than Bt10 billion per year.
Double A is the sole paper company using the unique and sustainable khan na source.