Paper360 - November/December 2009 - (Page 13)

PROUD TO BE A PAPERMAKER Maine campaign. “Collectively we’ve at least begun to apply some pressure and get things moving in some of these critical areas,” he says. “It’s very promising that the paper industry in this state is able to take a collaborative view on this, and it’s especially positive that the state is responding to our call for help. It’s important to everyone here that we continue to keep our mills operating and employees on the job.” There were some articles in local newspapers after the governor’s recent press conference, “and it was like they felt we had come into this room and introduced ourselves after 40 or 50 years of hiding,” Jackson adds. “I personally didn’t feel that way because I wasn’t familiar with the past posture and previous behavior of large companies up there. We just thought it was an opportunity to say before any- body leaves the state, including us, that here’s the deal: We have some good land, great people, excellent facilities, outstanding water access, etc., but we need some help to remain worldwide competitors.” Ken Patrick is senior editor of Paper360° and editor of Bioenergy Technologies Quarterly newsletter. Contact Ken at EVEN PLAYING FIELD Jackson stresses that what his and other paper companies in Maine are especially looking for is an even, competitive playing field. “If one operation requires a cleansing zone of, say, 200 yards, and someone else’s plant or mill up the street requires two miles, that’s obviously not a level playing field,” he says. “Currently these kinds of criteria vary pretty widely from mill to mill, plant to plant, and town to town. “The politicians here have been very good in at least listening to us. The governor and Congressman Mike Michaud and others have been very supportive, especially on the transportation side. They’re supporting the double axle, for example, allowing larger trucks on Maine highways to help us reduce freight costs,” Jackson explains. In Maine, Verso has paper mills at Jay (Androscoggin mill) and Bucksport, ME, as well as mills in Quinnesec, MI, USA., and Sartell, MN, USA. Between the two Maine mills, Verso employs 1,600 people. Jackson points out that Michigan has been “under stress” with the automotive and other industries that have been lost there in recent years, as has Minnesota to some degree. These states, he notes, are understandably more sensitive to industry and its particular economics than Maine has been. “Again understandably, they have a more positive view toward industry than Maine, which has prided itself only as the ‘vacation homeland’ for many years. That’s finally beginning to change,” he says. Supporting the industry Larry Montague, TAPPI CEO and president, followed up distribution of the Verso brochure, with a letter of his own to basically the same recipients. In his letter, Montague noted that “the pulp and paper industry continues to be the largest segment of manufacturing in Maine, contributing some US$ 1.477 billion or 4.1 percent of the gross state product.” He further pointed out that the industry employs more than 1 million people across the country, which Jackson adds is more than either the automotive or plastics industries. GO PA L K R IS H N AGO PA L A N Twenty-three years of BRINGING students to the industry From India to Auburn, Gopal Krishnagopalan al Krishnagopalan an has been one of the industry’s ry’s strongest supporters JAN BOTTIGLIERI hen Gopal Krishnagopalan n began his industry career er in India in 1963, he had no inkling that years later he would be helping hundreds of students ts follow a similar path. Dr. Krishnagopalan is currently a professor of chemical engineering at Auburn University, where he has been n teaching since 1984. He will retire this is year, 23 years after first starting Auu- W Gopal Krishnagopalan, educator Paper360º November/December 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2009

Paper360 - November/December 2009
Over the Wire ... News Summary
Effluent Clean Enough to Drink
A Klass Act
Verso Awakens Maine
Twenty-Three Years of Bringing Students to the Industry
Marcal Rises From the Ashes
Buckeye Turns Lemon to Lemonade
Forty Years and "Still Doing It"
There's No Business Like Paper Business
Saving Energy at the Paper Machine
Low Alkali System Meets the Challenges of ONP/OMG Recycling
Around the Industry
Conquering Innovation Fatigue
Give Yourselves a Hand
Index of Advertisers

Paper360 - November/December 2009