ND Paper, an Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois-based producer of pulp, paper and packaging, has announced plans to launch a new recycled pulping operation at its division in Old Town, Maine, in commemoration of Earth Day. ND Paper is the U.S. division of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd., a large containerboard producer in China and Asia with $10 billion of annual sales.
According to a news release from ND Paper, the new production line will make about 200 metric tons of unbleached recycled pulp per day at full capacity. The Old Town mill plans to consume regionally sourced recovered paper, mostly old corrugated containers (OCC), as its primary feedstock for the new recycled pulping operation. ND Paper says it expects to be at full capacity for both production and staffing of this line by the third quarter of the year.
"Adding this line helps increase production capacity at the mill, thus improving our economic capabilities and impact," ND Paper tells Recycling Today, adding that the new capacity also helps to allow ND Paper "to take another step toward fiber integration for our worldwide manufacturing platform."
At full operation, the recycled pulping operation will support about 20 new jobs. ND Paper also plans to spend money locally and elsewhere in Maine on services such as fiber sourcing, operational and maintenance supplies and logistics.
According to ND Paper, the Old Town mill began operations in 1860 as a sawmill, moving into pulp products in 1882 as the Penobscot Chemical Fiber Co. After multiple ownership changes over the years, the facility was idled in October 2015. ND Paper purchased the shuttered mill in October 2018 and has since invested millions of dollars into its restart. In addition to unbleached recycled pulp, the mill produces unbleached softwood kraft pulp.
“We are thrilled to start our new recycled pulping operation at the Old Town mill,” says Bruce Hogan, vice president and general manager of the Old Town division. “This multimillion-dollar investment from ND Paper represents another vote of confidence in the State of Maine’s forest products sector, the Old Town Division, and our vision to build a sustainable company for the next 100 years.”
ND Paper operates four mills in the U.S., as well as a corrugated packaging plant in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.