Kruger to invest C$200 million in de-inking plant at Trois-Rivières mill

Feb. 23, 2007 - Kruger Inc. today said that it will invest C$200 million at its Trois-Rivières mill to build a de-inking plant with an annual capacity of 342,000 metric tonnes.

The announcement was made by Joseph Kruger II, chairman and CEO of Kruger in the presence of Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec; Raymond Bachand, Economic Development, Innovation and Export Minister; and Julie Boulet, the Minister responsible for Transport and the Mauricie region.

Kruger said the de-inking plant will allow the company to process an additional 422,000 metric tons per year (mty) of recovered paper, for a total of 1,122,000 mty of paper and board. Other benefits include: a 46 MW reduction of energy consumption, or about 20% less than the mill currently uses, and a reduction in virgin fiber consumption of 200,000 mty of chips and 229,000 m3/year of roundwood.

Bernard Routhier, executive vice president and COO of Kruger, emphasized that this project will allow the company to improve its competitive position while offering its customers papers with high recycled fiber content.

“Almost half of the fiber currently being used in our mills’ manufacturing processes is recycled. This project, in addition to our other recent initiatives, allows us to improve our environmental balance sheet even more,” Routhier said.

According to Kruger, the C$200 million investment was made possible by a C$20 million non-refundable contribution from Investissement Québec. The project also meets the eligibility criteria of Hydro-Québec’s Plant Retrofit Program – Major Customers (PAMUGE) for energy efficiency, i.e. a contribution of C$30 million. Lastly, Investissement Québec also contributed a C$50 million loan.

The project will create 200 full-time jobs with a total payroll of C$50 million during construction, while purchases of goods and services are estimated to be C$125 million, Kruger added.

The de-inking plant will use a new technology to produce two grades of pulp that can be used to manufacture newsprint as well as supercalendered and coated papers. The pulp from the deinking process will entirely replace groundwood pulp, and will be used to produce value-added papers with recycled fiber content, Kruger said.

Kruger expects the project to be completed in a little of two and a half years.

SOURCE: Kruger Inc.

PaperAge. Copyright © O'Brien Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.