21. June 2022

Federal Minister of Economics Habeck visits Mitsubishi HiTec Paper in Flensburg

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From left to right: Matthias Neukirch (Head of Quality Assurance), Sebastian Sieck (Head of Production Coating Machine), Christian Müller (Head of New Business Development), Robert Habeck (Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection), Nic Holmer (Director Sales & Marketing), Michael Steuernagel (Director Production & Technology)

Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, visited the Flensburg mill of the specialty paper manufacturer Mitsubishi HiTec Paper on 17 June. On site, he was not only able to exchange views on the current pressing issues regarding the supply situation and the price situation for gas and electricity, but also to learn about the latest sustainable papers from Mitsubishi.

At the Flensburg site, Robert Habeck exchanged views with Nic Holmer (Director Sales & Marketing), Michael Steuernagel (Director Production & Technology) and other employees of Mitsubishi HiTec Paper. After a short company presentation, Vice Chancellor Habeck showed particular interest in the energy policy aspects at the Flensburg site. After all, as an energy-intensive company, Mitsubishi HiTec Paper is hugely affected by the current situation on the gas and electricity markets as a result of the war in Ukraine. Hydrogen as an energy carrier of the future was discussed as well as possible future scenarios on the gas markets.

A resident of Flensburg since 2001 and winner of the Flensburg-Schleswig Bundestag constituency, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection has special ties to businesses in the Flensburg region. Robert Habeck was especially interested in the presentation of the latest developments in the field of sustainable barricote® barrier papers for flexible food packaging and non-food as well as the actual applications presented. This is because barricote papers can not only replace plastic packaging, but are also recyclable in the waste paper cycle and made from renewable raw materials, i.e. they are not based on fossil raw materials.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi HiTec Paper was able to inform the Vice Chancellor about the development of special papers based on silphia plants. The cultivation of the perennial silphia plant has a clearly positive influence on biodiversity - and the holistic process can even have a negative CO2 balance.

In a statement after the final tour of the plant, which focused on the paper and coating machine, Nic Holmer said: "We were very pleased to welcome Mr. Habeck to our company. With our barricote products for flexible packaging and the plans for silphie papers, we were able to demonstrate how sustainable and important the products of the German paper industry can be. Against the backdrop of the current developments on the energy markets, the exchange with Mr Habeck was particularly valuable."