Yesterday was a proud day in Calhoun, Tennessee, where we broke ground on a $105 million upgrade at our pulp and paper mill. What’s involved in an investment that big? Read our Q&A and find out!
What is the money being spent on?
We’re installing a modern continuous pulp digester and other wood chip processing equipment. The new digester replaces eight older ones, and will help us produce more pulp at higher quality.
What will the upgrade do for the mill?
Simply put, the upgrade will make the mill more competitive. It means lower costs, higher production capacity, and more versatility – we’ll be able to make a wide range of products, including new paper grades not previously produced at Calhoun, and specialty papers like Align.
Will the investments create new jobs?
About 55 people were hired with the restart of the previously-idled paper machine in March, 2014, shortly after the project was approved. (That brings total employment at the mill to 542. Approximately 1,700 people support the mill’s operation through other companies who supply materials and services.) However, the mill continues to need qualified individuals in all areas of production.
Are there any environmental benefits to this investment?
This single greatest impact on the mill’s environmental performance is in the area of it’s discharge. The mill’s measurable environmental impact will be 30% less to the receiving stream once the new continuous pulp digester comes on line.
Congratulations to everyone who made this investment a reality, especially Alan Mynatt, Manufacturing Services Manager, who led the project team.