International Paper Begins Linerboard Production at Pensacola Mill

Sept. 24, 2007 - International Paper today announced it has begun production of high-performance lightweight linerboard at its Pensacola, Florida mill. The company expects to ramp up machine production during the fourth quarter and estimates average production of 50 to 60 percent of the machine's capacity for that period.

In early 2006, IP announced plans to convert its Pensacola mill from a 350,000 ton-per-year uncoated paper machine to a 500,000 ton-per-year lightweight linerboard machine. The conversion was part of the company's strategy to strengthen its existing uncoated paper and packaging businesses. Related changes within the company's containerboard business include the previously announced closure of the 200,000-ton Terre Haute, Ind., mill slated for Oct. 1.

The mill conversion and paper machine rebuild began in the first quarter of 2007 and involved hundreds of mill employees and significant contracted engineering and construction support, IP said.

"This was one of the largest capital projects we've undertaken in North America in the past several years. Our employees and the firms that worked to complete this project deserve the credit for a job well done," said Michael Exner, International Paper vice president of containerboard manufacturing. "Now our goal is to operate the mill safely and productively to manufacture high-quality board on a consistent basis," he added.

IP's Pensacola mill is located in Cantonment, Fla., on the outskirts of Pensacola. The mill employs approximately 550 employees. In addition to its new linerboard capacity, used to make boxes and other industrial packaging products, the mill also produces fluff pulp, an absorbent pulp used in diapers, feminine care and adult hygiene products.

SOURCE: International Paper

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