Green packaging and tissue products manufacturing and recovery firm Cascades has acquired White Birch’s Bear Island paper plant in Virginia, US, for $34.2m.
Cascades will reconfigure the newsprint paper machine at the facility to enable the production of recycled lightweight linerboard.
White Birch will temporarily operate the site as a newsprint mill under a 27-month lease, following which Cascades will convert the equipment at the plant, with an estimated investment of $275-$300m.
Once the conversion is completed, the new machine is anticipated to have a production capacity of 400,000t per year.
Cascades CEO Mario Plourde said: “This project is directly in line with the goals of our strategic plan which include, among other things, investing in our core sectors of packaging and tissue through modernisation, and expanding our geographical footprint.
“In addition to the paper machine that is particularly well suited for conversion, the Bear Island site is strategically located for raw material sourcing and logistics.
“Based on the success of our Greenpac Mill, we expect this to be a highly competitive facility that will significantly contribute to the success of our containerboard operations by supporting our geographic expansion in the US market, in addition to generating solid returns for our shareholders.”
The company expects to commence production in 2021.
With the increased production capacity from the new facility, the company aims to expand its market share.
The Bear Island plant is also anticipated to provide a platform for continued growth through downstream converting capacity.