Canadian Packaging

Cascades acquires Virginia newsprint mill for US$34.2 million

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General

KINGSEY FALLS, Que. – Canadian packaging manufacturer Cascades Inc. has recently bought a manufacturing facility in Bear Island, VA, where the company plans to produce high-quality recycled lightweight linerboard and medium paper.

A Cascades press release from last Thursday announced that the company, which specializes in the recovery and production of green packaging and tissue products, had purchased the White Birch plant for US$34.2 million. The newsprint paper machine at the facility is to be reconfigured to make the paper for the North American market; until that happens, White Birch will operate the site as a newsprint mill under a 27-month lease.

“This project is directly in line with the goals of our strategic plan, which include, among other things, investing in our core sectors of packaging and tissue through modernization and expanding our geographical footprint,” Cascades CEO Mario Plourde said in a press statement on Thursday.

“In addition to the paper machine, [which] is particularly well-suited for conversion, the Bear Island site is strategically located for raw-material sourcing and logistics,” added Plourde. “Based on the success of our Greenpac Mill, we expect this to be a highly competitive facility that will significantly contribute to the success of our containerboard operations, by supporting our geographic expansion in the U.S. market, in addition to generating solid returns for our shareholders.”

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Charles Malo, the chief operating officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging, said in a statement that the Bear Island site has numerous advantages, such as access to an experienced paper-making workforce and a platform for continued growth though downstream converting capacity.

“It will also allow us to better serve our customers and to expand our market share, by increasing our capacity to provide clients with high-quality, recycled, lightweight linerboard, similar to what we produce at our Greenpac Mill,” added Malo.

Cascades expects the new machine to achieve a production capacity of 400,000 tons per year, with construction expenses that will be competitive with similar conversion projects, according to the release. The company estimates that the conversion will cost between US$275 million and US$300 million and that production will commence in 2021.

The company will announce more specific details of the project after its Board of Directors approves the plans next year.

Cascades was established in 1964. The company manufactures, converts, and markets packaging and tissue products composed primarily of recycled fibre. It employs approximately 11,000 employees in nearly 90 production facilities throughout North America and Europe.

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