Resolute Forest Products plans to resume full production at fluff pulp mill in Coosa Pines, Alabama, as of Jan. 25; temporary shutdown since Dec. 19 was due to 'challenging market conditions' that will improve with Chinese demand, says mill manager

LOS ANGELES , January 11, 2012 () –

Resolute Forest Products Inc. plans to resume full production at its fluff pulp mill in Coosa Pines, Alabama, as of Jan. 25, according to a mill official, reported The Daily Home on Jan. 11.

The temporary shutdown, which started on Dec. 19, was caused by “challenging market conditions;” but that will change as Chinese demand returns to normal, said Richard King, the mill’s general manager, during an address to a local Kiwanis Club on Tuesday.

Orders from China, which is a major buyer of Resolute's products, will be restored once Chinese mill inventories have been worked down and production is back on track, he said, The Daily Home reported.

The mill is now producing only fluff pulp, after previously also making newsprint.

Fluff pulp demand is increasing at 3% to 5% annually, with major growth areas in China, India and Africa, said King.

The mill is located “in a great fiber basket,” he said. Southern pine fiber provides “the best liquid transportation rate of any wood species,” making it an ideal feedstock for fluff pulp production, said King, reported The Daily Home.

The mill consumes 1.4 million tonnes per year of pine pulpwood to make about 270,000 tonnes/year of fluff pulp. In normal times, the mill operates seven days a week, 350 days a year.

To remain competitive, Resolute will have to invest in technology, as the demanding market is always pushing for improved and innovative ways to make a higher-quality product, said King.

Fluff pulp is used to make disposable diapers, feminine-care products, pharmaceuticals and nonwoven fabrics like wipes, The Daily Home reported.

The primary source of this article is The Daily Home, Talladega, Alabama, on Jan. 11, 2012.


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