Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 37
St. Croix Tissue:
The Strong Newcomer in
the US Tissue Business
The company has breathed new life into
a once-shuttered mill in Maine
The ANDRITZ tissue machines at St. Croix.
Two decades ago, the Woodland mill
in Maine was a vibrant pulp and paper complex. Suffering the fate of many commodity
pulp and fine paper mills, Woodland was near
extinction in 2010 when a company with a
vision bought the assets, injected US$200
million (EUR 170 million), and changed the
course to value-added tissue production.
St. Croix Tissue is among the newest producers of premium tissue parent rolls in North
America. The machine hall is built next to
the existing hardwood pulp mill Woodland
Pulp. Mirror-image ANDRITZ PrimeLine
tissue machines, which started up in 2016,
are quickly ramping up to a combined design
production of 126,000 tonnes/yr.
"Without question, the addition of tissue making capabilities saved this pulp
mill," says Arvind K. Agarwal, CEO of
International Grand Investment Corp. (IGIC),
the parent company of Woodland Pulp, St.
Croix Tissue, and Cascade Pacific Pulp mill
in Halsey, Ore. "Just prior to our buying
Woodland in 2010, the owner (Domtar) put
the mill into indefinite shutdown."
The rebirth of the mill has special meaning to
Marty Richard, tissue manager. Richard was
raised in the local community and worked at
the mill for 16 years.
"We saw some tough times and it looked like
the end was near," Richard says. "In the late
1980s, there were 1,200 people working in the
pulp, paper, and oriented strand board (OSB)
plants around here. Before IGIC came in there
were about 320 people in the pulp mill left. To
come full circle where we are investing and
hiring-for a mill that has a bright future-is
really rewarding to be part of."
SETTING THE STAGE
"When we acquired Woodland in 2010, we
already had the idea to maximize our return by
adding tissue making capacity," says Agarwal.
"My job was to turn this facility around by
converting it from a commodity producer to
a value-added facility."
Agarwal and his team went to work immediately. "First thing," Agarwal says, "was to
"The future of this facility as a commodity
pulp mill was simply not sustainable," says
Arvind K. Agarwal, CEO, International Grand
Tissue360º SPRING/ SUMMER 2017