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Fortress sets start-up date for Thurso dissolving pulp: Nov. 2011


September 6, 2011
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Providing an update to investors, Fortress Paper Ltd. reports that the construction relating to the conversion of the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill at Thurso, Que., from a NBHK pulp to a dissolving pulp operation is proceeding mostly on…

Providing an update to investors, Fortress Paper Ltd. reports that the construction relating to the conversion of the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill at Thurso, Que., from a NBHK pulp to a dissolving pulp operation is proceeding mostly on schedule. However, due to rescheduling of the delivery and installation of specialized equipment, and the enhancement of certain processes, the company has decided to slightly delay the necessary shut down of the mill required to make tie-ins and upgrades on existing equipment for the conversion.

The production of dissolving pulp is now scheduled to commence in early November 2011. According to Fortress, the enhancements to certain processes will provide for a smoother start up and ramp-up to full production capacity. The deferment in the production of dissolving pulp is partially mitigated by the mill’s existing production of specialty pulp which yields a higher margin as compared to NBHK pulp.

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This specialty pulp is manufactured to tight technical specifications, which Fortress says, will also aid the transformation to dissolving pulp. A company release notes: “…as a result of the extensive development and training experience derived from achieving the tolerances required for this unique specialty pulp, the mill will be positioned for a more efficient transition to dissolving pulp production later this year.” Four 110-ton boilers were installed at the site in May, and construction of a 25-MW cogeneration plant began this summer.

As well, Thurso plant manager Marco Veilleux recently told a local newspaper that the facility could eventually become a biorefinery. He noted that the dissolving pulp process extracts a large amount of sugars from the end product, and there are opportunities to make ancillary products from these sugars.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Fortress Paper is an international producer of security and other specialty papers and products. The company operates three mills, located in in Switzerland, Germany, and Quebec.


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