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Fortress Paper concludes initial strategic evaluation for Fortress specialty cellulose mill

Fortress Paper has concluded its initial strategic evaluation and testing of alternatives for the Fortress specialty cellulose (FSC) mill.

Post evaluation, the company has reached to a conclusion that the FSC mill should be operated as a swing mill.

According to Fortress Paper, the mill can be used to produce northern bleached hardwood kraft (NBHK) pulp instead of dissolving pulp, with minor modifications and no capital expenditure.

Shifting production at FSC mill would result in a reduction of cost structure in producing NBHK pulp as against dissolving pulp using the same fibre source, said the company.

Also as compared to dissolving pulp, the simplified production process and higher yield of NBHK pulp will result in an increase in production capacity at the FSC mill by about 25%, claimed the company.

Fortress Paper claims that the FSC mill will also produce other products including specialty maple NBHK pulp, tissues and toweling, and other technical and specialty papers.

The production of other specialty hardwood pulp will be assessed in the next few months.

FSC mill is said to improve margins by producing lower-cost NBHK pulp, which does not require this additional process.

Production at FSC mill will also enable the company to mitigate any adverse impacts resulting from the threatened imposition of a dumping tariff by China’s Ministry of Commerce on the import of Canadian dissolving pulp into China.

Fortress Specialty Cellulose president Yvon Pelletier said the company is now ready to quickly shifting production at the FSC mill to increase margins in changing market conditions.

"This opportunity is unique to us due to the configuration of the FSC Mill and our extensive experience in producing both dissolving pulp and NBHK pulp and eventually other specialty hardwood grade pulps," Pelletier added.

"We believe we can leverage this expertise to improve our bottom line."