As part of its overall commitment to support its customers’ increasing demand for paper-based packaging, Huhtamaki has today inaugurated the extension to its existing manufacturing site in Nules. The extension, which will commence production in January 2023 represents a €20 million investment and will double the site’s capacity. The investment includes a grant of €2.2 million from the Conselleria de Hacienda y Modelo Economico (Community of Valencia).
This latest investment reflects the growing demand from for renewable and recyclable paper-based packaging to substitute rigid plastics. The Nules factory is a Huhtamaki Global Center of Excellence, developing innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for its customers across Europe.
The extension of 12,500 m2 has been built to the globally recognized BREEAM1 sustainability standards. This is in line with Huhtamaki’s 2030 Sustainability Ambitions, including the use of 100% renewable electricity, which is on track with a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement covering approximately 80% of Huhtamaki’s current electricity usage in Europe signed in December 2021. Thanks to the installation of an advanced HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system with air quality, temperature and humidity control, the plant also meets high thermal comfort standards for its employees.
“Our investment in this new advanced manufacturing capacity, adjacent to our existing Center of Excellence in Nules, confirms our commitment to working with our customers – both current and new – to deliver sustainable paper-based packaging solutions. We have worked hard to ensure the extended facility is itself sustainable in line with highest BREEAM sustainability standards”, says Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki.
“This investment, which will create around 130 new jobs when fully operational, has been aided by the Community of Valencia, which has supported the expansion of Nules with €2.2 million of development funding. It builds on our existing technological expertise and will further enhance our manufacturing capacity for innovative and sustainable paper-based packaging in Europe, providing our customers with the ability to substitute rigid plastics, which are being driven by consumer demand. We continue to urge EU policymakers to support legislation that enables and incentivizes innovation and sustainable packaging solutions”, says Eric Le Lay, President of Huhtamaki’s Fiber Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment.
Earlier this year, Huhtamaki announced that its manufacturing site in Alf, Germany is switching its focus from plastics to smooth molded fiber products to meet the growing demand for plastic free alternatives for food packaging. When fully operational, the state-of-the-art automated manufacturing site will have the capacity to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fiber products annually. This represents the first such large scale production capability in Europe.
1 BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. Official BREEAM “Very Good” Certification is expected to be received in Q1 2023, once the building at Nules is in operation.