By Cindy Macdonald
A Maine paper company is making a US$12-million investment to upgrade one paper machine, while permanently closing an older machine at the same mill.
Twin Rivers Paper Company will make the investment at its Madawaska facility as part of a strategic realignment to focus on growth-oriented market segments and maximize productivity.
“Our industry has undergone a great deal of change in the past decade, and we must continue to innovate and position Twin Rivers for the future,” said chief operating officer John Reichert. “As part of our strategic repositioning, we have reviewed our papermaking assets and have initiated a substantial upgrade to the largest machine in the system, PM8, which will be completed in 2017. Additionally, this repositioning will result in the permanent closure of PM3 at the end of July, improving productivity across our operations.”
The company said the rebuild will establish PM8 as one of the largest producers of lightweight technical packaging and label specialties in North America. The machine to be shut down, PM3, is one of the mill’s higher-cost machines – an older, slower and smaller machine that produces a variety of coated and uncoated grades. Approximately 49 people will lose their employment as a result of the closure.
Since the mill changed owners in 2013, the level of capital investments to date is more than $47 million, including this announced upgrade of PM8. Twin Rivers operates three additional paper machines that manufacture a range of specialty packaging, label and publishing papers with options in fiber content, functional characteristics, aesthetics and sustainability.
Twin Rivers also operates a 370,000-tpy pulp mill in Edmundston, N.B., and a lumber mill in Plaster Rock, N.B.