Since 2015, the Company has invested more than $500 million in Québec to convert existing equipment, purchase new equipment, modernize some facilities, and diversify into new growth products, helping at the same time to protect more than 1,200 jobs in the Mauricie, Estrie and Lanaudière regions.
Announced in September 2017, the diversification project concerns more specifically the Brompton Newsprint Mill and the Wayagamack Coated Paper Mill. It represents investments totalling $107.5 million over three years to develop new markets for both mills and to offset the decrease in demand for traditional products such as newsprint and other publication papers.
The new niches include lightweight packaging products for the food and retail sectors, as well as labelling products. Customers in these markets are looking for eco-friendly alternatives to reduce the use of plastic, which is one of the numerous advantages of the products that Kruger Specialty Papers will be offering packaging manufacturers.
As stipulated in the timeline for Phase 1 of the diversification project, Kruger will begin production of new products by the end of July at its Brompton Mill and by December at its Wayagamack Mill. The first diversification phase will see several products added to Kruger’s current offering, including super-calendered kraft paper (SCK) and coated one side paper (C1S) for the manufacture of lightweight packaging and labelling products, as well as food packaging paper.
New Beginnings at the Brompton Mill
The Brompton Mill, which has exclusively manufactured newsprint to date, will be the first to benefit from the diversification project. The introduction of new products by the end of July will help protect some 200 jobs at the mill, while enabling Kruger to reduce its overall annual newsprint production by 200,000 tonnes at the end of the project. The Wayagamack Mill in Trois-Rivières will maintain its coated paper production, but will start to manufacture new products in December.