Less than a month after specialty paper manufacturer Fortress Paper began its production of specialty cellulose at its facility in Thurso, Quebec, another Canadian paper producer – Glatfelter Gatineau – ramped up production on its specialty products.
This week, week the Pennsylvania-based company launched a $9-million production line that sees its Ottawa-valley mill double the output of high-absorbency paper.
According to an article published by the Ottawa Citizen, Glatfelter creates its products through a proprietary “festooning” process in which pulp fluff is carried by air and formed into a bulky, porous material that is ultra-absorbent. This type of paper is then typically used to manufacture of adult diapers, feminine hygiene products, and other similar products.
Straying away from traditional paper products and into specialty products is a move that Dante Parrini, president and chief executive of P.H. Glafelter Co. said is responding to the type of demands in effect for paper products in the Canadian marketplace today.
“Half of our total business comes from some kind of fibre products (such as air-laid material),” Parrini told the Ottawa Citizen this week. “The market for things like the Swiffer and feminine hygiene products are growing faster than the gross domestic product.”
However, these types of products are not only in demand in Canadian markets. Parrini said emerging economies in Africa, South America, parts and Europe are creating a boom for specialty paper products worldwide.
The expanding industry isn’t just good news for specialty paper manufacturers, it is also good news for job markets. With their new expansion in Gatineau, Glafelter anticipates adding nearly 20 more jobs to be added to the already existing 300 positions.
“This really speaks to the quality of the workforce in Gatineau,” Parrini said. “We want to be the global supplier of choice in specialty papers and products.”