A pulp mill in Terrace Bay has found a new lease on life thanks to its new owner who intends to transform the facility into a dissolving pulp plant.
Indian-owned Aditya Birla Group purchased the northwestern Ontario mill earlier this month through its Canadian subsidiary AV Group. The reported price of purchase for the idled mill was $110 million, according to Pulp and Paper Canada, though the company will invest nearly $250 million more to convert the facility for dissolving pulp production.
“The acquisition of Terrace Bay Mill and its subsequent conversion into a dissolving grade pulp mill is a major strategic move for our business,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group. “The Terrace Bay Mill upon conversion will provide superior quality pulp for our viscose staple fibre business.”
Dissolving pulp – also called specialty cellulose – can be used in many products, but is predominately used in the textile industry for the creation of rayon, a silk-like textile that is becoming more and more popular due to the rising cost of cotton particularly on continents such as Asia.
The conversion process is not expected to be complete until 2016. Until then, the once-idled mill will carry on producing bleached softwood kraft and bleached hardwood kraft pulp.
According to Pulp and Paper Canada, the Ontario government noted that the re-starting of this mill will support 275 mill jobs, 355 woodland jobs and an estimated 1,300 indirect jobs across the province.
By 2016, the mill is expected to produce an estimated 280,000 tonnes of dissolving pulp per year.