Bowater Incorporated announced the successful conversion and start up of PM 3 at Catawba. It is the largest coated groundwood machine in North America, and the fifth largest in the world with a design capacity of 330,000 tons per year. Previously the machine produced newsprint.
Rededication ceremonies for the PM 3 machine are scheduled for Thursday, April 24. South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford, Bowater Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arnold Nemirow and Catawba Vice President and Resident Manager, Bud Nash will speak at the celebration.
Bowater is now the second-largest coated groundwood paper producer in North America with the conversion of the machine. The $106 million conversion enables the rebuilt machine to produce various publication papers, used in magazines, catalogs and retail inserts.
Nicknamed "Ol'Blue", the machine was built in 1969. It is capable of achieving speeds of 4,200 feet per minute and producing a paper width of nearly 30 feet.
The machine's press section was rebuilt in 2001 to improve quality and efficiency. The latest conversion features on-machine coating and finishing equipment, including the latest technology in roll coating systems. Other new equipment includes a new roll handling system and state-of-the-art on-line scanners for process control.
In addition, the Catawba mill is constructing a $175 million fiberline to be completed by the end of 2003. The fiberline project will produce chlorine-free bleached kraft pulp with superior strength and brightness properties. Over the past three years, Bowater has invested in excess of $440 million at the facility.
Bowater rededicates PM 3 to coated at Catawba
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