Rayonier One Step Closer to Converting Fluff Pulp Line at Jesup Mill to Specialty Cellulose

Jan. 10, 2011 - Rayonier announced that 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 (USA) 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 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 like filters, LCD screens, pharmaceuticals, food additives, paints, tire cords and sausage casings.

SOURCE: Rayonier