Domtar to Convert Plymouth, NC Mill to 100% Fluff Pulp

Oct. 20, 2009 - Domtar said that it will invest $73.5 million to convert its Plymouth, North Carolina mill to 100% fluff pulp production. When complete, the conversion will increase Domtar's annual fluff pulp making capacity almost threefold to 444,000 metric tons per year.

Domtar expects the project to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010,

The mill reconfiguration will also result in the permanent shutdown of Plymouth's remaining paper machine, which in turn will reduce the company's annual uncoated freesheet production capacity by approximately 200,000 tons.

The mill reconfiguration will help preserve about 360 positions, Domtar noted.

"We are refocusing Plymouth's operations to capitalize on its competitive strengths. As an experienced fluff pulp manufacturer with an established presence in a growing market, we can expand our capabilities with confidence," said John D. Williams, president and CEO.

"Plymouth is well-positioned geographically with ready access to export markets through ocean ports as well as competitively-priced fiber ideally suited for the manufacture of premium quality fluff pulp," Williams added.

Regarding the paper machine closure, Williams said, "The redirection of orders to other paper mills in our system will help bring up operating rates and lower manufacturing costs. Upon completion, Plymouth will become a world-class fluff pulp operation with direct access to a dynamic export market."

Fluff pulp is bleached softwood cellulose fiber used worldwide in absorbent applications such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products.

SOURCE: Domtar Corp.

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