January 7, 2019 – Columbia Pulp estimates its straw pulp mill, touted by the company as the first of its kind in North America, will be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
Local news outlets in Columbia Country, Washington, where the mill is located, report that the mill made the statement at an economic development meeting in December.
The Lyons Ferry tree-free pulp mill will produce 140,000 tonnes a year of commodity and specialty straw pulp, sourced from within a 75-mile radius, as a sustainable alternative to wood-based pulp. Columbia Pulp says the quality specifications of its wheat and alfalfa seed straw pulp are equal to, if not more than, virgin or recycled wood pulp.
Along with producing pulp for use in papermaking, the mill will produce environmentally friendly biopolymers, which can be used on roads and in animal feed.
The 182-hectare (449-acre) Lyons Ferry mill was originally projected to open in October 2018, but was met with construction delays. A pilot plant in Pomeroy, Washington, is currently operational, producing 10 tons of wet lap pulp daily. It is also acting as a training facility for workers – the full-scale Lyons Ferry mill will employ between 60 and 100 people.
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