Columbia Pulp restarts pulp mill after more than a year

Columbia Pulp produces pulp based on straw
23 Jun 2021 − 

Columbia Pulp's straw pulp mill in the USA has been standing still since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Now, production has resumed.

US company Columbia Pulp has restarted its pulp mill in Lyons Ferry, Washington after a break of more than a year. The company had halted production at the mill, which produces pulp based on straw and alfalfa, on 28 March last year.

The site was initially stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company subsequently decided to undertake modifications to the production process and the plant, mostly regarding material handling and mixing, and needed to raise capital to accomplish that, a company spokesman told EUWID. The straw pulp mill resumed production on 10 June.

Columbia Pulp produces straw pulp for paper production with a capacity of 140,000 tpy and employs around 100 people at the Lyons Ferry mill. The mill can also make up to 95,000 tpy of lignin and sugar for co-products for road and agricultural uses such as de-icing, dust control, and spray adjuvants. Production is currently being restarted as well, the spokesperson says.

The Lyons Ferry mill was commissioned in October 2019 following start of construction in 2017. According to the company, straw pulp has similar characteristics as hardwood pulp and can therefore serve as an alternative product. Columbia Pulp decided to launch the project because the region is one of the densest wheat-growing regions in North America.

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