Orchids Paper starts new PM

Brentwood, TN-based Orchids Paper Products started its new 100% QRT paper machine in Barnwell, SC, with capacity of 35,000 tons per year. The QRT paper machine, developed by Valmet, is new technology capable of manufacturing both ultra-premium and premium tissue, towel, facial and napkin paper at a lower manufacturing cost compared to traditional ultra-premium machines. This paper is an integral part of Orchids strategy to penetrate the ultra-premium tissue and towel market which is growing at a rate of 3-5% compared to a 1% over-all tissue market growth rate.

The machine will provide flexibility to produce premium products which will give retail customers more choices in product selection within the premium and ultra-premium product segments. The paper machine has started in optimization mode and is expected to be producing at 70% of production capacity in 3Q2017, 85% in Q4 and 100% by January 1, 2018.

This schedule will help Orchids satisfy the significant additional demand for the premium bath tissue and towel business from a major new customer, which was announced earlier this year. Shipments to that customer started as scheduled in June from both Pryor and Barnwell and full implementation of the sales to this customer are expected in July.

In addition to helping satisfy this demand, the new machine allows Orchids to selectively target additional business, both private label and branded, in the ultra-premium sector of the paper market.


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