Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 06 November 2008 -- SCA Tissue recently started up its new No. 14 paper machine at their plant in Barton, Alabama. The new machine represents a strategic investment of USD 145 million that together with the Barton plant's existing paper machine will increase annual tissue production at the facility by 70,000 tons to 180,000 tons.
"This new paper machine strengthens our strategic position in the industry and increases our ability to better service our customers by increasing our internal supply of tissue. This will serve to enhance our ability to supply customers effectively and to build on our already industry-leading fill-rate of 99.8%," said Don Lewis, SCA Tissue president.
"The Southeast Region is the fastest growing in the country," Lewis said. "Because SCA uses a regional manufacturing approach that involves making products in the regions where they will be shipped, the new machine in Barton is a strategic choice for us," he said. "This investment also reflects our company's confidence in our Barton employees and speaks to our belief in Northwest Alabama as an excellent place to do business."
The 19-month project included construction of a 250,000 square foot building that houses the new 36-foot tall paper machine, a new deink line sized at 100,000 tons per year, and additional capacity for wastepaper storage and handling. The project also included an expansion to the water treatment facility.
"When we chose the Barton site in 2004, we were looking for enough land to allow for an expansion of this kind. SCA owns 650 acres here. The position along the Tennessee River was critical as papermaking requires an adjacent water source," said James Haeffele, manager for the Barton expansion project. "Good planning and excellent teamwork made it possible for us to take on this expansion with no interruption in the ongoing operations at the site."
The No. 12 machine that was installed at Barton when the greenfield plant opened in early 2004 is a wet crepe machine that makes paper for conversion into toweling and dispenser-type napkins. No. 14 is a dry crepe machine that will produce paper for tissues and two-ply dinner napkins. The two machines will supply all the paper used by the 32 converting lines in the complex.
The addition of the No. 14 machine has added more than 30 jobs, bringing total employees in the mill, converting, and distribution operations to approximately 500.
"The investment in this Barton facility was the largest investment SCA made globally in the past year. This reflects the confidence of SCA in our U.S. tissue operations, which are totally dedicated to the away-from-home tissue market, " said Lewis.
All products from the SCA Tissue mills are made from 100% recycled paper. With the new machine, Barton will process an additional 100,000 tons of waste paper per year, bringing the total annual recycled tonnage for SCA Tissue to 800,000. That's enough recycled material to cover more than 249 football fields, including end zones, with bales of wastepaper three feet high.
Recycling by SCA Tissue annually results in environmental savings of 302 million gallons of oil, 2.4 million cubic yards of landfill space, 5.6 billion gallons of water, and 3.2 billion kilowatts of electricity.