A producer of innovative and environmentally sound fibre-based materials and specialty papers will receive EUR 45 m in European Investment Bank (EIB) funding under an agreement signed today with Helsinki-based Ahlstrom Corporation.

Under the loan agreement, the EIB will co-finance research, development and innovation investments at the company with the aim of developing new products and product applications as well as improving production processes.  Founded in 1851, Ahlstrom is a leading diversified manufacturer of nonwoven and filtration materials as well as specialty papers. Its products are used in medical fabrics, teabags, glassfiber products, filters, wipes, flooring, tapes and other mainly industrial applications.

The loan will support Ahlstrom’s research and innovation activities in France, Finland, Germany and Italy in the years 2010 to 2013.

Background information:

The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s bank, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States by financing sound investments. The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 member states. This loan is one of many supporting the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and its four priorities:  sustainable environment; regional prosperity; increased accessibility and attractiveness; safety and security.

Ahlstrom is a global developer and manufacturer of high performance specialty papers and fiber composites for industrial applications. Based on unique fibre expertise and an innovative approach, the company is able to offer highly tailored solutions for its customers. It had 2009 sales of EUR 1.6 billion.