Paper mill boss celebrates 10 years in King's Lynn with new £80 million facilities
The boss of a major Lynn employer has announced a new multi-million pound investment plan as it celebrates 10 years of operations in the town.
Palm Paper this morning unveiled two new facilities at its Saddlebow site, worth a total of around £80 million.
And the company is planning to spend another £10 million next year to renovate the main paper mill on the site.
Chief executive Dr Wolfgang Palm paid tribute to the near 200 staff who work at the plant and local political leaders for their support over the past decade.
He said: "Being here is one of the best decisions I ever made in my life."
The mill began producing paper in August 2009 and has made around 3.7 million tonnes since then.
The latest facilities include a £60 million combined heat and power plant, intended to produce steam and electricity for the production process on site.
The idea for the plant, which the company claims will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 tonnes a year, first emerged several years ago at the height of the incinerator crisis.
The company was seen as a likely customer for heat and power from the ill-fated project but never publicly committed itself to it.
Dr Palm said it would have been "a good technical solution", but maintained it was for local people to determine whether the project went ahead or not.
The second new facility is a £20 million paper separation plant, which began operating in the last few days.
It is designed to separate paper from cardboard.
And Dr Palm revealed the company is in talks with local authorities across the country in a bid to persuade them to introduce a separate paper and card collection in order to increase the quality of the material extracted for re-use.
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said Dr Palm was a "legend" in Lynn and thanked him for his commitment to the area.
He said: "I think, when the story of Lynn is written, it will include King John's jewels being lost, the Lynn Minster and that iconic Customs House. But it will also include Palm Paper.
"We're incredibly proud of you. Today is a very special day."