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Packaging Corporation of America to convert Wallula Mill paper machine

The Company will discontinue production of uncoated freesheet (UFS) and coated one-side (C1S) grades at its Wallula, Washington mill in the second quarter of 2018 to begin the conversion of its 200,000 ton-per-year No. 3 paper machine to a 400,000 ton-per-year high-performance 100% virgin kraft linerboard machine.

Packaging Corporation of America to convert Wallula Mill paper machine
Mark Kowlzan, PCA Chairman and CEO.

The conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at the Wallula Mill is planned for the second quarter of 2018 with an initial production rate of approximately 60 percent of capacity. Ultimately, production will increase to 1,150 tons per day once a new headbox, forming section, and shoe press are added in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The capital cost of the conversion is expected to be approximately $150 million. The Mill’s No. 2 paper machine will continue to produce 150,000 tons-per-year of semi-chemical medium.

PCA Chairman and CEO Mark Kowlzan said, “Our strategy is to improve the overall profitability of the paper business for PCA by focusing our people and investments on increasing our competitiveness and ensuring a sustainable future in the office and printing & converting markets with our mills in International Falls, MN and Jackson, AL. In addition, at our current containerboard integration rate of 95%, the low-cost conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at our Wallula Mill provides us with much needed linerboard capacity, allows us to integrate over 200,000 tons of containerboard to our Sacramento Container acquisition, and enables further optimization and enhancement of our current mill capacity and box plant operations. The conversion will significantly enhance the mill’s profitability and viability.”

Paul LeBlanc, Vice President – Paper, added, “We will work closely with our customers to ensure a smooth transition as we wind down production of the current grades we make on our No. 3 paper machine at Wallula. Throughout this transition, all customers will continue to receive the high quality products and service they are accustomed to.”

About Packaging Corporation of America

PCA is the fourth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products and the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in the United States. PCA operates eight mills and 93 corrugated products plants and related facilities.

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