Columbia Pulp, headquartered in Dayton, has introduced plans to reopen of its Lyons Ferry plant in early Might.
This comes greater than a 12 months after coronavirus considerations pressured the plant to close down in April 2020.
“We’re excited in taking this subsequent step,” Columbia Pulp CEO John Begley acknowledged in a latest information launch.
The restart means greater than 90 full-time workers will return to work when the plant is absolutely operational.
Returning workers are anticipated to make up about 70% the work pressure as Columbia Pulp begins resuming operations, administrative providers supervisor Eleanor Specht stated.
“Though we don’t know for certain, now we have made a robust try to remain involved with furloughed workers,” she stated.
Columbia Pulp has been billed as North America’s first tree-free market pulp mill.
Based mostly in one of many nation’s prime wheat-producing areas, the corporate has two vegetation (the opposite a small pilot plant in Pomeroy) processing waste straw for the creation of paper merchandise reminiscent of meals containers, towels and tissues.
The Lyons Ferry facility close to Starbuck is structured to course of greater than 250,000 tons of waste straw per 12 months, with a carbon footprint 76% decrease than that of a standard wood-pulping mill, in keeping with Columbia Pulp.
Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic pressured the 140,000-square-foot plant to shut barely six months after its opening in September 2019.
The a lot smaller Pomeroy facility, which opened in 2018, will stay closed for now.
Nonetheless, Columbia Pulp is happy to restart its Lyon Ferry operations.
“The marketplace is trying good for our revolutionary merchandise, and we’re higher ready than ever earlier than to satisfy that problem,” Begley stated.
In preparation for the reopening, the corporate has acknowledged the plant might be re-commissioned and a number of other course of enhancements might be applied over the following eight to 12 weeks.
The enhancements goal “bottle-necking” difficulties the corporate had begun to expertise shortly after it authentic begin, Specht stated.
The extended shutdown additionally enabled Columbia Pulp to acquire funds for plant modifications.
Firm traders are funding the restart themselves, Specht stated.