FORT MILL, S.C. (News release) -- Domtar Corporation announced it will restart a paper machine at its Ashdown, Arkansas, mill to add the capacity necessary for the company to meet increasing customer demand.
After a period of time to ramp up production, the machine is expected to resume full operation in January 2022, allowing Domtar to add 185,000 tons of uncoated freesheet capacity to its manufacturing network. The strategic initiative will help the company maintain its leadership position in the North American uncoated freesheet paper market and deliver the service and quality its customers expect. The company estimates the restart will cost approximately $10 million.
A portion of the increased paper capacity may be utilized to increase thermal coated paper capacity at Domtar's West Carrolton, Ohio, facility to meet improving demand for its thermal point of sale paper.
"As the economy begins to recover from the pandemic, the demand for paper is also recovering," Rob Melton, senior vice president, pulp and paper commercial, said. "Our customers' business is steadily growing, and we want to support that growth by leveraging the flexibility of our asset base."
The changes at the Ashdown Mill will result in a capacity reduction of 185,000 tonnes (or ADMT) of baled SBSK pulp per year. The paper machine restart will not impact the Ashdown Mill's fluff pulp production capacity or its potential to produce containerboard and other packaging products in the future. The company is continuing to develop a potential kraft linerboard project for the facility.