13 July 2021. Portals Paper has signed a deal to produce a specialist type of cotton/polymer banknote substrate that is an alternative to the polymer materials increasingly being used instead of traditional banknote paper.
The historic papermaker was acquired by management and private equity firm Epiris three-and-a-half years ago, with former owner De La Rue retaining a minority stake.
Portals bought Fedrigoni’s security paper business earlier this year.
The firm has now signed a licensing agreement with Banque de France, which developed the product, to produce its multi-layer EverFit banknote material – a cotton/polymer composite.
EverFit was first used in Madagascar in 2014, and is now used by nine countries with more than 500m banknotes issued.
Portals said that because of its paper core, the technology was compatible with “the most popular and secure features available”, making it a good option for countries wanting to enhance the durability of their banknotes, but that are “wary of a significant change and of the subsequent need for re-education of the public this would entail” if they switched to a completely different substrate, such as polymer.
“In comparison to other durable substrates, the technology also offers a solution against ink abrasion (a common failure mode for polymer banknotes), thanks to a protective layer being added post banknote printing,” the firm stated.
Portals chief executive Ross Holliday said the business looked forward to working with the Banque de France to promote EverFit, which involves a specialist cotton-based high security paper core, that once printed and secured is laminated on each side with a protective layer.
“As a paper manufacturer, we know that some of our customers want their banknotes to last longer whilst still enjoying the embedded security and confidence of well-established and trusted paper technology. This long-term collaboration with the Banque de France will enable customers to combine the benefits of the security features uniquely available in cotton-based banknotes with the durability benefits of polymer for handling surfaces – our customers really will get the best of both worlds!” Holliday said.
Vincent Bonnier, director general of banknote manufacturing at Banque De France said the business was delighted to sign the new licence agreement, and described Portals as a “world leader” in banknote paper.
“We have developed EverFit with the aim of achieving ultimate banknote protection, in particular for demanding circulation conditions, translating into issuance costs savings for Central Banks.
“This cooperation will enable many issuing entities across the globe to take advantage of this breakthrough innovation and to increase significantly the lifetime of their banknotes in circulation.”
Banque de France has its own paper mill and printing works and is the largest manufacturer of euro banknotes in the Eurosystem.
Portals produces materials for more than 12bn banknotes, 70m passports, 200m brand labels and 60m certificates each year for customers around the world.
by Jo Francis, Printweek.