, a paper company based in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, has announced plans to install a new tissue converting facility in Wagram, North Carolina. The company says it expects to invest nearly $55 million on the project, which should be completed by the end of 2014. Additionally, the company will be transferring some converting equipment from another Cascades location to the North Carolina facility.
Cascades already has a sizable presence in the state, with facilities in Kinston and Rockingham.
In highlighting the success the state has had with attracting businesses, North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker, says, “This is a great example of how Gov. (Pat) McCrory and I are focused on helping promote economic development in our rural communities. Companies like Cascades Inc. recognize that North Carolina is a great place to do business.”
“Cascades is expanding its presence in the Southeast, one of the fastest growing markets in the United States,” says Suzanne Blanchet, president and CEO of Cascades Tissue Group. “This investment in North Carolina will allow us to optimize our converting platform by relocating equipment presently used elsewhere, by adding new manufacturing equipment and installing robotized warehouse management. In doing so, we are moving closer to many key markets, improving our productivity and logistics while enhancing customer service.”
Mario Plourde, president and CEO of Cascades Inc., adds, “Cascades has made clear its intention to prioritize investments in the tissue paper and packaging products sectors. This new investment in Wagram will allow us to further improve our tissue manufacturing and customer service through the addition of an ultra-modern converting plant that will be ideally situated to serve the growing needs of our customers.”
The Cascades expansion project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $402,000. The One North Carolina Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
In related news, after more than 17 years as the head of Cascades’ Tissue Group, Blanchet will vacate the post to join Cascades’ management as senior vice president of corporate development.
Jean Jobin will succeed Blanchet and add the title of president to his already occupied title of chief operating officer of Cascades’ Tissue Group.
“I am very proud of how far we have come since we began our activities in the tissue paper sector. Starting with a single mill, we have managed to climb to the rank of fourth largest producer in North America and to become a key player, not only in the retail sector, but also in the commercial and industrial sectors,” says Blanchet. “I firmly believe in the importance of ensuring the sustainability of the ingredients that have made Cascades successful since the beginning, and I am confident that the team that is now in place will lead the Group to continued growth.”
“It is a great honor for me to succeed Suzanne Blanchet,” says Jobin. “Today, I wish to salute her vision and the exceptional work she has accomplished, which have enabled Cascades to become a top-rank player in the North American tissue paper market. I take on this challenge, being fully aware of the key role that our operations play in Cascades’ strategic plan. Rest assured that we will be on the lookout for growth opportunities, especially in the American market.”