Fortress Paper owns and operates two paper mills in Europe – the Dresden Mill and the Landqart Mill. Each with a specific task, the mills are responsible for Fortress’ output of paper products including wallpaper, banknotes, security paper, and more. This article takes a closer look at the Landqart Mill in Landqart, Switzerland.
For over 100 years, the Landqart Mill has been responsible for the production of security and specialty papers. Encompassing products such as banknotes, visa papers, tickets, passport paper, watermarked paper, bristol board and more, the Landqart Mill has developed a strong reputation for being a leader within the security paper industry. The mill has also become a global player in the growing market for trademark protection.
LANDQART, A SHORT HISTORY
The Landqart Mill was originally constructed in 1872 with one paper machine, with a second one being added almost 25 years later. By the twentieth century, the Landqart Mill saw a steady increase in business, adding yet another paper machine to maximize output.
With Europe thriving under a technology boom in the 1960s, Landqart was able to confront the world market more efficiently. The existing mill merged with other paper factories on the Sihl River and switched their focus from a manufacturer of graphic paper to a reputed supplier of security paper. The production of banknotes was key to the new developments at Landqart – so much so that the mill became the sole provider for the Swiss currency in 1979.
In 2003, the Landqart Mill opened a high performance heat embossment plant for the application of film in strips or as patches onto security paper. This technology was implemented into banknote production, allowing the mill to produce high-tech, anti-counterfeit bills.
In 2007, Fortress Paper – a Vancouver-based security and specialty paper company – purchased the Landqart Mill and has been developing, testing, and producing new innovative security products on site ever since.
The Landqart Mill produces banknotes of over 100 currency denominations for more than 25 countries around the globe. In addition to still being the sole provider of the Swiss currency, the mill is one of only nine suppliers of banknote paper for the Euro currency.
Using its extensive knowledge of security papers and features, the mill also develops products for more commercial purposes, such as electronic passports. This January, Fortress Paper announced the signing of a contract that will see the mill produce approximately 2,500,000 e-passports over the next five years (read “Fortress Paper Announces EPassport Contract”).
On top of that, Fortress also announced in February that it had received funding to rebuild one of its primary paper machines at Landqart, the PM1. Currently used for lower margin specialty papers and low to medium security papers, the rebuild of the machine will increase the mill’s production capacity four times over – from 2,500 tonnes per year to 10,000 tonnes per year (read “Fortress Paper Announces Signing of EUR18.5 Million Loan for PM1 Rebuild”).
USING STEAM TO GO GREEN
Producing security papers and banknotes aren’t the only innovations with which the Landqart Mill engages. The mill has also developed a unique strategy to combat its environmental emissions with the use of steam.
Steam is an important component of creating paper. It’s used as a primary source of heat in the process of converting pulp to paper and while many paper mills would burn fossil fuels on-site to generate this steam, Landqart actually re-uses steam that comes from a nearby refuse incinerating plant.
The steam has to travel nearly 7km through a pipeline that connects the plant to the mill. Landqart agrees that the pipeline is perhaps “unconventional,” but is going a long way – literally – to protect “natural resources and reduce CO2 emissions into the environment” in the production of paper which they are using to create – among other things – banknotes.