Irish paper packaging manufacturer Smurfit Kappa commences construction of first plant in Africa

MOROCCO – Smurfit Kappa, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of innovative paper packaging solutions, headquartered in Ireland, has set base in Africa by investing £35 million (US$37m) in a new corrugated packaging plant in Morocco.

Marking its entry into the region, the company has laid the first stone of the foundation, kick starting construction of the state-of-the-art plant.

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Located in Rabat and covering an area of 25,000 m2, the new facility will enable Smurfit Kappa to supply innovative and sustainable packaging solutions quickly and efficiently to its local customer base.

Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe, said, “We are very proud to announce the construction of this advanced new facility, the first of its kind owned by the company in Morocco. It will be located in an area with significant growth potential and create 300 direct and indirect jobs in the region.

“Our customers will also benefit from our fully integrated and circular business model which will ensure a reliable supply of quality, value-adding and sustainable products.”

The plant is expected to be operational in early 2023 and create packaging for sectors including industrial, agriculture, FMCG, among others and serve both local customers and multinationals based in Morocco.

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In a market where the demand for corrugated packaging currently exceeds supply, the new plant will play an important and strategic role.

This investment is a reflection of the company’s ‘think global, act local’ approach which combines global scale and expertise with local team’s best-in-class knowledge to understand and satisfy its Moroccan customers’ needs.

The new plant will also incorporate an Experience Centre, Smurfit Kappa’s 30th worldwide, which will foster enhanced collaboration with customers and provide creative ideas and insights.

Edwin Goffard, COO of Corrugated & Converting, Smurfit Kappa Europe, said, “This new plant is being built at the right time and in the right place. High demand for corrugated is ongoing and customers want to know that their products are being transported and presented in the most efficient and sustainable way.

“We use the huge wealth of data gained from working with over 65,000 customers worldwide to identify the best solution for the task at hand.”

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The packaging manufacturer, being a pan-regional player boasts of having over 350 production sites across 36 countries in Europe and Americas.

Smurfit Kappa is a key player in the corrugated paper packaging sector and its contribution is driving growth of the global market which was valued at US$ 172.61 billion in 2021 and expected to reach US$ 212.32 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 3.66% from 2022 to 2027, highlights Mordor Intelligence.

Smurfit Kappa invents water-resistant paper

Further spearheading growth in the sector, the integrated manufacturer, recently developed an innovative and sustainable water-resistant paper.

AquaStop is part of Smurfit Kappa’s new TechniPaper portfolio, which consists of an array of high-performance papers designed to handle even the most complex supply chains.

It is water-resistant thanks to a special coating which is added to it during the manufacturing process.

Unlike many other coatings, this does not compromise the recyclability of the product and can be recycled in the same way as standard paper-based packaging.

Designed to withstand exposure to water without being damaged, it is suitable for eCommerce packaging and packaging for products such as fruit, vegetables and flowers where temporary protection against water is needed.

It is also particularly suitable for use in humid conditions as the box remains intact while protecting the contents, making it an excellent solution for the transport and storage of refrigerated products where there is exposure to condensation

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