Verso Corp. has restarted the No. 3 paper machine at its mill in Jay, Maine, after converting it from coated printing and writing paper output to kraft linerboard. Verso CEO Chris DiSantis refers to “low-cost conversion strategies, including the on-schedule restart of the No. 3 paper machine at the Androscoggin Mill.”
An analysis by Boston-based forest products information company RISI pegs the Verso conversion as costing just $19 million, a fraction of the cost of some other North American mill conversion projects, which have ranged from $30 million to more than $300 million to undertake.
The No. 3 paper machine is expected to produce about 200,000 tons per year of linerboard, according to DiSantis. DiSantis said the lower cost was attributable to “an excellent machine that had a very good backend.” He added, “From a technical standpoint, making graphic paper products is technically more difficult than making linerboard.”
When in February 2018 the company announced its plans to convert the No. 3 machine, DiSantis commented, “Verso identified this upgrade and restart of the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment at the Androscoggin Mill as part of our continuing development of a holistic strategy that includes repositioning of certain assets.”