SPRING GROVE, Pa. (News release) -- On April 22, 2020, the Pixelle Specialty Solutions mill in Jay, ME restarted two of its paper machines. The A4 and A5 machines are now running 24x7 and customer service and sales personnel are taking orders from customers.
The mill is utilizing pulp produced by Pixelle mills in Chillicothe, OH and Spring Grove, PA, and supplemental purchased pulp. The Jay, ME mill's onsite pulping equipment has capacity to process all incoming pulp. Recent investments in refining equipment will enable the paper machines to produce at the normal quality and output levels.
The restart follows a ruptured digester that occurred on April 15, 2020. The mill will continue assessment, root cause analysis, clean-up of the affected site as soon as conditions allow, and evaluation of potential options for future long-term pulp production. Clean-up and evaluation will require extended time, during which the third paper machine, which produced non-specialty grades, will not be operated.
Commenting on the restart, Tim Hess, Pixelle President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our team in Androscoggin has performed exceptionally well. First and foremost, we will always remember that immediately following the rupture, they utilized their training, skill, and bravery to safely shut down operations. Likewise, we will always be grateful there were no injuries, and no environmental impact."
"Next, we salute the determination that our employees exhibited in evaluating what needed to be done to safely restore manufacturing operations and executing their plan expertly in a matter of days."
"Finally, we are grateful for the first responders; local, state and federal authorities, and our neighboring paper mills for their assistance. Thanks to the efforts of many, this mill will continue supplying the majority of our valued customers."