ND Paper, the US division of Chinese paper giant Nine Dragons, announced plans to install recycled fiber pulping capacity at its Maine mill. The facility, which ND Paper purchased in 2018, has until now served as a 100% virgin fiber mill.
This new production line will produce about 200 metric tons per day of unbleached recycled pulp, which will equate to between 70,000 and 75,000 tons per year. "Using patent-pending, proprietary technology, the line will consume regionally-sourced recovered paper, primarily old corrugated containers, as its primary feedstock; this incremental demand for scrap paper is anticipated to improve local recycling and ultimately reduce disposal alternatives like landfilling. In addition, while traditional pulping operations typically require considerable use of water, this new line is novel as it requires very little consumption", the company informs.
The Old Town mill began operations in 1860 as a sawmill, moving into pulp products in 1882 as the Penobscot Chemical Fiber Company. After multiple changes of ownership through the years, the facility was idled in October 2015. ND Paper purchased the shuttered mill in October 2018 and has since invested millions of dollars into its restart and optimization. “We are thrilled to start our new recycled pulping operation at the Old Town mill,” stated Bruce Hogan, Vice President and General Manager of the Old Town Division. “This multi-million-dollar investment from ND Paper represents another vote of confidence in the State of Maine’s forest products sector, the Old Town Division, and our vision to build a sustainable company for the next 100 years.”