NewPage breaks new ground

ESCANABA – In an effort to save on transportation costs, NewPage is working with a supplier to build a facility at the mill that will produce one of the essential ingredients in the paper-making process.

Omya Region Americas and NewPage have partnered to build a plant to make Precipitated Calcium Carbonate, also known as PCC. The project will create seven new jobs here.

Representatives from both companies participated in an official ground-breaking ceremony at the mill Friday to commemorate construction of the new facility.

“We expect to be up and running this time next year,” said Tony Colak, Omya CEO, explaining that Omya will own and operate the plant on the mill property.

According to Ryan Kittredge, project manager and engineer for Omya, the 7,800-square-foot building will house office space, a control room and a production area.

AMG Engineering of Dayton, Ohio, will be the general contractor on the job. Subcontractors

will include B & B Electric and CR Meyer.

Lorraine Scott, program manager for NewPage, said work actually began on the site a couple months ago. Four structures had to be demolished first. Infrastructure is currently being installed. Cement forms for the foundation will be put in next week, she said.

“Our intent is to have it closed in by winter for heating so work can continue inside during the winter months,” Scott added.

Escanaba Mill Manager Roger Rouleau commented the new plant will benefit both the mill, as the buyer of the PCC, and Omya, as the supplier. The new jobs will contribute to the local economy and the production of PCC will use raw materials available locally.

NewPage currently purchases PCC from another supplier. Omya, a long-time supplier for the mill, will manufacture PCC on site using lime from the Upper Peninsula and carbon dioxide which the mill currently emits into the atmosphere as waste.