17th May 2014 marked 125 years since The Kellner Partington Paper Pulp Company Limited was established in Manchester in England.
The founders were Edward Partington and Karl Kellner, who had collaborated on the development of a method of producing finer varieties of paper based on cellulose. The strategy was to build cellulose factories in areas where the raw materials were found, and then send the cellulose to England for processing into paper. Edward Partington and Karl Kellner secured important patents in cellulose production. The sale and licensing of technology was one of their priority areas.
Norway's first cellulose factory was built at Hafslund in 1874. A lack of capital and technology meant a hard struggle for the first cellulose factories in the early pioneer years. Kellner Partington had a better starting point in terms of both technology and capital.
In December 1889 the company bought Borregaard, which at that time was mainly a farm. The purchase price was £20,000 and building work began almost immediately. Production at the Borregaard factory started in March 1892. The factory had a good start, making a profit from the first year of production.
By 1895 Borregaard already accounted for a third of Norway's total cellulose production, and in 1909 Borregaard was Norway's largest industrial workplace.