Asia-backed ND Paper rebuilding Maine and Wisconsin pulp and paper mills
Oakbrook Terrace, IL - ND Paper, a newly formed, whollyowned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited which is the largest containerboard producer in Asia, is continuing its investment into legacy mills it has purchased in Maine and Wisconsin.
“We have four mills, three of which were built more than 100 years ago,” said group deputy chairman and chief executive officer Ken Liu. “By focusing on high-return strategic investments, we are building world class, first-quartile mills that deliver innovative, high quality products for our customers.”
ND Paper is striving to position itself in the North American pulp and paper products market including, coated twoside, coated one-side, and uncoated printing papers; containerboard; and market pulp. The three mills ND Paper is focusing on are Rumford, Biron, and Old Town.
At its Rumford, Maine facility, the pulp dryer and all three paper machines will undergo significant upgrades. R9, the pulp dryer, will take downtime in the first quarter of 2020 for a rebuild to increase pulp production. R10 machine will pause operation in late March to install a new headbox and shoe press, as well upgrade the forming section. Upon restart, these improvements will enhance product quality for printing and C1S paper customers, as well as increase capacity and productivity. R12 machine will convert out of printing and writing grades to focus on specialty packaging products. R15 machine will take an extended outage in the summer months for the installation of a new shoe press. This addition, combined with calendar enhancements completed earlier this year, will transform the machine into a top quartile producer of C1S and printing grades.
The upgrades of R10 and R15 will increase production output to effectively absorb R12’s exit; Rumford’s printing and writing papers capacity will be the same post-conversion with two machines as it is currently with three.
The Biron mill, located in Wisconsin Rapids, will see the completion of the conversion of the B25 machine lightweight coated mechanical papers to recycled linerboard and corrugating medium in the first quarter of 2020. This project will serve as ND Paper’s entry into new markets, as well as stabilize the Biron division and solidify the job security of our dedicated employees.
Earlier in the year, ND Paper celebrated a new beginning for the Old Town Mill in Maine as it reopened and refurbished a mill shut down in 2015. ND Paper crews produced its Old Town’s first bales of unbleached softwood pulp just after 4 a.m. on July 31.
ND Paper, www.us.ndpaper.com