Pulp and Paper NetLetter

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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SCA Tissue Details $20 Million Investment in South Glens Falls, N.Y., Mill
3G Publishing 8/13/2008 5:22:35 PM
SCA Tissue North America announced plans today for a $20 million capital investment in its paper mill in South Glens Fall, New York, including new state-of-the-art equipment to keep the mill competitive.

Pending review and anticipated approval by the Village of South Glens Falls Planning Commission, work will begin immediately on the one-year project, which will include:

Purchase of a new Torkmatic Industrial Rewinder and associated downstream equipment to more efficiently produce Tork® brand hand towel and bath tissue products

Construction of a 50,000-square-foot building that will house not only the new rewinder but also a new Employee Services area that will include a cafeteria, locker rooms and a large conference/training room;

Other upgrades on the 28-acre site such as a paved employee parking lot, a new security gate house and perimeter fencing, and associated landscaping to give a fresh look to the mill, which has been in operation since the 1860s.

This project will go a long way toward making the South Glens Falls facility more efficient and competitive today and to ensuring its economic viability in the future, said Don Lewis, President of SCA Tissue North America.

"This strategic allocation of private and public dollars will help position our New York operations for the future and demonstrates the confidence that SCA and the state of New York have in our operations and employees here."

Since the 2001 acquisition of the paper mill in South Glens Falls and the paper converting plant in Greenwich, SCA Tissue has invested nearly $70 million in its upstate New York facilities, according to Ron Thiry, VP of Manufacturing. Those facilities support 460 jobs and generate an annual direct economic impact of $120 million in the region.

"When this project is completed a year from now, SCA Tissue will have invested close to $90 million in improvements to the paper mill at South Glens Falls, the converting plant in Greenwich and the distribution center in Saratoga," Thiry said.

"The investment announced today will help further stabilize jobs in this region while strengthening the company’s competitive position in the Northeast and in the industry."

The project is being supported by a $500,000 Manufacturing Assistance Program grant from the state of New York.

The South Glens Falls mill currently employs 263 hourly employees, who are represented by the United Steel Workers union, and 57 salaried employees.

The new rewinder will replace four older, less efficient machines and enable the mill to increase capacity and efficiency in its production of Tork® brand Premium, Advanced and Universal hard-wound paper towels and jumbo bath tissue.

The new machine will be supplied with paper produced at the mill, thereby maximizing the supply chain opportunities of an integrated facility and further increasing efficiency.

The new employee services section in the new building will support employee efforts to work in a High Performance Work System that empowers them to be involved in business decisions and workflow initiatives, Thiry said.

"These new facilities will allow our employees to prepare for work in a more professional setting and provide them with a designated space for training and onsite meetings," said Thiry.

"South Glens Falls will be the first SCA Tissue facility to have such a space.”

Keith Baker, president of the USW local and a mill employee, said the project announced today is the latest example of what has been a mutually productive partnership between company officials and employees.

"Since acquiring this mill seven years ago, SCA Tissue has continued to invest in the workers and our community with stable, good paying jobs at a time when manufacturing jobs are leaving the state," Baker said. "Last year alone, SCA invested 10,000 hours in the training of its employees in this region."

SCA Tissue manufactures all of its tissue from 100% recycled materials.

The South Glens Falls mill currently processes 110,000 tons of recycled paper annually, producing 80,000 tons of paper that is converted into more than 5 million cases of bath tissue, folded and hardwound towels that are sold in the away-from-home market to commercial venues such as restaurants, office buildings, health care facilities and other public venues in the Northeast.

In addition to the South Glens Falls mill and the Greenwich converting plant, SCA Tissue North America, which is headquartered in Philadelphia, has six other manufacturing facilities located in Wisconsin, Alabama, Arizona and Illinois. The company employs 2,400 in the U.S.

A division of SCA Americas, SCA Tissue has annual sales of $1 billion and is the third largest manufacturer of Away From Home tissue products in North America. Its products include disposable napkins, towels, wipers, bath tissue and related dispensing systems for the food service, industrial, commercial and health care markets under the global Tork® brand of its parent company, SCA. More information is available at http://www.torkusa.com.

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