North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) announces the arrival of a new state-of-the-art drum pulper that will help the company expand its production of lightweight recycled packaging papers and safeguard more than 400 mill jobs and support other indirect jobs in Cowlitz County.
The new pulper just arrived at the Port of Longview and will be moved this week to the NORPAC mill. The pulper and other mill infrastructure upgrades represent more than a $50 million capital investment that will expand Longview mill operations to transform wastepaper into lightweight recycled papers for corrugated boxes, displays, bags and various other packaging products.
“We’re excited to reach a big milestone in our work to achieve our vision of opening new markets, providing low-carbon, recycled packaging papers and retaining our talented, innovative workforce,” said NORPAC CEO Craig Anneberg. “This new machine is up to the tough job of keeping wastepaper out of landfills and turning it into new, recycled products – that’s good for jobs and our environment. I’m also pleased NORPAC can support our local economic recovery in real-time with construction jobs that will make our new facility operational.”
“It’s great to see new construction jobs literally rolling into Cowlitz County,” said Ted Sprague, Cowlitz Economic Development Council President. “The EDC was pleased to help connect financial resources in support of NORPAC’s project that will put people to work and place Cowlitz County on the cutting edge of recycling sustainability.”
After two years of constraining imports, in late 2020, China effectively banned the import of waste papers. This dramatic change in wastepaper markets has caused major disruption in the Pacific Northwest recycling system – resulting in paper that was traditionally recycled being sent to solid waste landfills. To help the state respond, NORPAC plans to recycle hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year of recovered wastepaper into recycled packaging papers, including linerboard, corrugated medium, bag grades, and specialty Kraft papers.
NORPAC began producing packaging papers in 2018 and has since refined its product offerings, process, and raw material sourcing to enable this expansion, which takes advantage of current wastepaper supplies while enhancing the mill’s product diversity and agility in dynamic markets. As a result, NORPAC expects to consume substantial amounts of waste and mixed paper grades – effectively dealing with the environmental challenge and diverting this waste material from landfills.