McMinn County paper mill starts $105 million project

McMinn County paper mill starts $105 million project

August 19th, 2014 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Resolute Forest Products in McMinn County

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

CALHOUN, Tenn. - Resolute Forest Products today launched a $105 million expansion of its pulp and paper mill that officials said positions the McMinn County factory for the future.

Richard Garneau, chief executive of the Montreal, Canada-based company that took over the former Bowater plant here, said the work is the global company's biggest single investment in 2014. It will permit the factory to grow its specialty and commercial paper production and increase quality, he said.

The expansion, to be completed in late 2015, will install a modern 220-foot-high pulp digester, or cooker, and other wood-chip processing equipment. The project will add about 50 jobs at the plant that now employs 540 people.

Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said the project will help the company make higher demand products.

"It's a transformation of the site," he told about 100 people on hand for a groundbreaking at the McMinn County factory that is marking 60 years of operation.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.