Strategic capital equipment upgrades for U.S. mills
ND Paper in 2020 will strategically inject investment capital to improve the asset quality of its mills in Maine and Wisconsin. The company is a leading North American producer of pulp and paper products, including coated two-side, coated one-side, and uncoated printing papers; containerboard; and market pulp.
"We have four mills, three of which were built more than 100 years ago," said Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Liu. "By focusing on high-return strategic investments, we are building world class, first-quartile mills that deliver innovative, high quality products for our customers."
The Biron, Wisconsin, mill will complete the conversion of the B25 machine from lightweight coated mechanical papers to recycled linerboard and corrugating medium in the first quarter of 2020. “This project will serve as ND Paper's entry into new markets, as well as stabilize the Biron Division and solidify the job security of our dedicated employees,” the company reports.
The Rumford, Maine facility’s pulp dryer and all three paper machines will undergo significant upgrades toenhance product quality for printing and C1S paper customers, as well as increase capacity and productivity. The R12 machine will convert out of printing and writing grades to focus on specialty packaging products. The R15 machine will take an extended outage in the summer months for the installation of a new shoe press. This addition, combined with calender enhancements completed earlier this year, will transform the machine into a top quartile producer of C1S and printing grades. The upgrades on R10 and R15 will increase production output to effectively absorb R12's exit; Rumford's printing and writing papers capacity will be the same post-conversion with two machines as it is today with three.