Schweitzer-Mauduit International, an Atlanta-based supplier of fine papers for the tobacco industry, last week announced the opening of a new fiber paper machine at its Quimperle, France subsidiary, Papetries de Mauduit.

      The new machine cost $24 million and will add an estimated 6,000 metric tons of annual capacity for the production of long fiber products such as highly porous tobacco-related papers, alkaline battery separator paper, liners for vacuum cleaner bags and overlay papers.

      “The new capacity will permit us to immediately meet the strong demand for highly porous plug wrap in Europe, North and South America and other developing markets,” said Wayne H. Deitrich, chairman and CEO of Schweitzer-Mauduit.

      In December 1995, the company was spun off by Kimberly-Clark, in part to avoid adverse publicity and lawsuits against the tobacco industry harming other, unrelated aspects of the parent company’s business, said Kimberly-Clark.

      Schweitzer-Mauduit reported 1996 sales of $471.3 million, an increase of 1.8% from the previous year.

      For more information call Bill Foust of Schweitzer-Mauduit at (770) 569-4203.