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Pixelle Specialty Solutions Restarts Two Paper Machine at Andoscoggin Mill Following Digester Explosion

paper on reel Pixelle said the Androscoggin mill's A4 and A5 paper machines are now running 24x7 and customer service and sales personnel are taking orders from customers.

April 24, 2020 - Pixelle Specialty Solutions announced that it has restarted two of the paper machines at its Androscoggin mill in Jay, Maine.

Pulp and papermaking operations at the mill came to a halt on April 15 after a rupture of the the mill's digester caused a massive expolosion. There were no workers in the immediate area of the digester and no serious injuries were reported.

According to information collected by the State Fire Marshal's Office with assistance from Jay police, mill employees manually shut down valves following the explosion, which helped prevent further damage.

Pixelle said the A4 and A5 machines are now running 24x7 and customer service and sales personnel are taking orders from customers.

The mill is utilizing pulp produced by Pixelle mills in Chillicothe, Ohio and Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and supplemental purchased pulp. The Jay, Maine mill's onsite pulping equipment has capacity to process all incoming pulp. Recent investments in refining equipment will enable the paper machines to produce at the normal quality and output levels, Pixelle said.

Commenting on the restart, Tim Hess, Pixelle President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our team in Androscoggin has performed exceptionally well. First and foremost, we will always remember that immediately following the rupture, they utilized their training, skill, and bravery to safely shut down operations. Likewise, we will always be grateful there were no injuries, and no environmental impact."

"Next, we salute the determination that our employees exhibited in evaluating what needed to be done to safely restore manufacturing operations and executing their plan expertly in a matter of days."

"Finally, we are grateful for the first responders; local, state and federal authorities, and our neighboring paper mills for their assistance. Thanks to the efforts of many, this mill will continue supplying the majority of our valued customers."

Pixelle said that it will continue assessment, root cause analysis, clean-up of the affected site as soon as conditions allow, and evaluation of potential options for future long-term pulp production. Clean-up and evaluation will require extended time, during which the third paper machine, which produced non-specialty grades, will not be operated.

Androscoggin Mill

The Androscoggin mill has the capacity to produce approximately 425,000 tons of paper per year and currently produces flexible packaging papers, release liner base, specialty labels, kraft papers and linerboard.

About Pixelle Specialty Solutions

Pixelle is one of the largest specialty paper producers in North America. Pixelle has industry-leading positions in food contact papers, high speed inkjet papers, release liners, carbonless and forms, envelope paper, greeting cards, trade book paper, and playing cards. For further information, visit:

SOURCE: Pixelle Specialty Solutions and local media reports

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», Digester Explosion Rocks Pixelle Specialty Solutions' Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine - April 16, 2020.