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Abu Dhabi-based United Printing and Publishing (UPP) have purchased and installed a multi-unit Continent hybrid press line.

The press line – supplied by KBA – became operational in May this year and is said to have cost the company around $27million.

UPP is the third newspaper house in the Middle East to install a KBA hybrid press for coldset and heatset production. The new Continent at UPP is considered to be one of the most advanced newspaper press lines in the region, featuring impressive production capacity as well as enhanced quality and a diverse range of products.

According to reports, UPP is planning to make the new plant its newspaper and commercial printing centre. This will involve all the presses at its existing facility in Abu Dhabi city centre being relocated to the company’s new plant in time for an official inauguration scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

Along with the new Continent, the press hall will also accommodate a 1998-vintage Compacta 213 with dryer, a KBA Compacta 215 commercial web press installed in 2007, a Rapida 104 five-colour litho press with coater, a Performa 74 with a similar configuration and a new KBA Rapida 105 six-colour UV coater press.

UPP’s CEO, Ali Saif Al Neaimi said: “The new Continent allows us to produce a maximum of 64 broadsheet pages, of which 40 can be full colour. With a cut-off of 578mm we can print up to 50,000 copies per hour. The web width can be varied between 635 and 1,000mm. Following its relocation to the new printing plant the Compacta 213 will be used as an independent semi-commercial press. Once the recession is over, growth will return to its former steep trajectory.”