PaperAge Magazine

Columbia Pulp Receives $20 Million of New Markets Tax Credit Financing

Columbia Pulp groundbreaking Groundbreaking for Columbia Pulp took place in August of 2017. The new, 140,000 tons per year pulp mill, which is expeced to start up in October 2018, will use wheat straw as its primary raw material.

March 12, 2018 - Columbia Pulp I, LLC has received $20 million in critical New Markets Tax Credit financing from CEI Capital Management LLC to help the start-up build a new processing plant.

Columbia Pulp is planning to build a pulp mill on a 449 acre site near the Lyons Ferry Bridge in Columbia County, Washington. The new mill will produce pulp from wheat and alfalfa straw supplied by farmers in the area. The site is located in the heart of one of the densest wheat farming regions in North America. As a byproduct, the processing plant will also produce a lignin-carbohydrate co-product to be sold for use in soil and dust abatement and industrial applications.

According to CEI Capital Management, the New Markets Tax Credits are directed toward the construction of that lignin-carbohydrate co-products processing division.

“We're developing a next-generation pulp mill with the potential to be a transformative regional and national supplier of sustainable, tree-free pulp and unique co-products for years to come,” said Michele McCarthy, CFO from Columbia Pulp. “But it would not have been possible without the New Markets program filling a gap in our financing.”

Because of the economic conditions in Columbia County, Washington, the company qualified for the federal New Markets program, which was designed by Congress to stimulate private investment and economic growth in low income communities that lack access to capital needed to grow businesses, create jobs, and sustain healthy local economies.

Columbia Pulp broke ground for the $184 million pulp mill project on August 10 of 2017. It is expected to be under construction for 14 months and start-up in the fall of 2018.

The mill is expected to use 230,000 tons of waste straw to annually produce about 140,000 tons of pulp and 95,000 tons of co-product. Columbia plans to sell the pulp to regional paper mills.

When operational, Columbia Pulp will create about 87 new, direct permanent jobs.

SOURCE: CEI Capital Management and Columbia Pulp