By Cindy Macdonald
Kruger Packaging L.P. will convert a newsprint machine at Kruger’s Trois-Rivières Mill to manufacture 100% recycled, lightweight linerboard.
An investment of $250 million will be made to convert the No. 10 newsprint machine (PM10). The modernization project is expected to generate significant growth opportunities for the Trois-Rivières facility. The project has received $190 million in support from the Québec government, which includes an $84-million loan to finance the cost of the conversion and $106-million contribution, through Investissement Québec, in a new company that now combines all of Kruger’s containerboard and packaging activities. As a result of this investment, the Québec government will have a 25% ownership in this new company which has assets in excess of $600 million, and employs more than 800 people.
Over the coming months, PM10 will be completely modernized to incorporate some of the most advanced containerboard manufacturing technology. Once PM10 is up and running in 2017, it will produce 360,000 tonnes of 100% recycled lightweight linerboard annually, a portion of which will be sold to Kruger Packaging’s box plants in LaSalle, Que., and Brampton, Ont. The remainder will be sold on the market. The type of containerboard to be manufactured in Trois-Rivières is seeing huge growth in North America and around the world, as packaging manufacturers seek to produce increasingly lighter and stronger products, reports Kruger.
The Trois-Rivières Mill will continue to produce newsprint on PM10 until two months before the end of the conversion project. The mill’s other newsprint production line, PM7, will remain in operation into the future. Overall, Kruger’s three newsprint production facilities will have an annual output of 600,000 tonnes, maintaining the company’s ranking among North America’s top newsprint manufacturers.
Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers, tissue products, containerboard and packaging made from recycled fibres, as well as green and renewable energy, cellulosic biomaterials, and wines and spirits.