Jacksonville, Florida, USA, 07 January 2011 -- Rayonier today announced its board of directors recently authorized management to proceed with the final analysis on the potential conversion of the existing fluff pulp fiber line at its Jesup, Georgia, mill to produce high purity cellulose specialties pulps. The analysis will include market assessment, detailed design, and engineering and cost estimates.
The company expects the analysis will be completed by mid-year 2011, when the board is expected to make a final decision on the project. If approved, the converted line would be scheduled to begin production in 2013.
Rayonier, the global leader in the production of high performance cellulose specialties fibers, anticipates that markets will continue to grow, resulting in ongoing strong, world-wide demand. The company’s current cellulose specialties capacity of 485,000 metric tons is sold out and the addition of the new line would raise the total cellulose specialties capacity to 675,000 metric tons.
“We are meeting with our current and potential customers, and expect to receive commitments for most of this additional volume,” said Lee Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer. “The board’s action speaks to our continued commitment to the Performance Fibers business,” Thomas continued. “The business is a vital contributor to our balanced business mix and is expected to continue to play a crucial role in our financial performance.”
Rayonier's cellulose specialties fibers, which include acetates, ethers, and high-strength viscose, are used in the manufacturing of products such as filters, LCD screens, pharmaceuticals, food additives, paints, tire cords, and sausage casings.
Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Timber, Real Estate, and Performance Fibers. The company owns, leases, or manages 2.4 million acres of timber and land in the United States and New Zealand. The company's holdings include approximately 200,000 acres with residential and commercial development potential along the Interstate 95 corridor between Savannah, Georgia, and Daytona Beach, Florida. Its Performance Fibers business is one of the world's leading producers of high-value specialty cellulose fibers. Approximately 45% of the company's sales are outside the United States to customers in approximately 40 countries. Rayonier is structured as a real estate investment trust. More information is available at www.rayonier.com.