ND Paper has decided to transform the Rumford division to increase product flexibility and profits

ND paper

ND Paper is set to transform Rumford division to produce packaging grades. (Credit: ulotkidruk from Pixabay)

ND Paper, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper, announced that its Rumford division will undergo a series of transformations to further expand into packaging grades.

The fully integrated Rumford division in its current configuration operates three paper production lines, kraft and mechanical pulping assets, as well as a pulp dryer. It mostly produces bleached grades for printing and writing (P&W) markets.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the demand for P&W papers, including coated woodfree and coated mechanical papers.

The company has decided to transform the mill to increase its product flexibility and produce packaging grades, thereby helping to increase the profits of the Rumford division.

It will commission an unbleached recycled pulp line to offer fibre flexibility to the R12 and R15 paper machines.

ND Paper will convert R15 paper machine to produce kraft linerboard products

The company stated that it will convert its R15 paper machine from P&W papers into lightweight and high strength kraft linerboard products.

ND Paper will expand R12 paper machine capability to produce unbleached recycled bag and converting paper, in addition to its current offering of bleached and unbleached papers.

It will also continue operation of the R9 pulp dryer and expand it to produce unbleached softwood kraft market pulp. The company will permanently close mechanical pulping operations and R15 coating and supercalender assets.

The newly rebuilt R10 paper machine will continue to produce P&W and speciality products for ND Paper’s base of existing customers

Oxford C1S, Orion, Vision, Escanaba, and Dependoweb grades currently produced on R15 machine will be shifted to the R10 and Biron B26 machines to serve the regular customers.

With both bleached and unbleached capability, the R12 machine will produce Rumford offset, as well as recycled and kraft papers for multi-wall bags, retail bags, and converting applications.

ND Paper intends to complete the transformation activities by the end of this year.

ND Paper Group deputy chairman and CEO Ken Liu said: “However, while other mills have exited the market and closed their doors, ND Paper is repurposing the Rumford Division for a competitive future.

“Moving our largest Rumford machine into packaging grades helps to balance the deteriorating P&W market in North America, while simultaneously positioning us into bigger and more stable packaging paper markets.”

In October 2018, ND Paper announced an investment of $300m in its mills in Wisconsin and Maine in the US.