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Quebec mill ventures in to rising rayon market
Jul '10
Quebec-based town Thurso's attempt at reviving its economy is in the real sense, arriving in the form of shipments through the Ottawa River. The town's first delivery of heavy industrial equipment from Finland is scheduled for arrival next month.

These equipments, as heard, will be utilised in transforming Thurso's hardwood pulp mill in to a plant that produces a key ingredient, which can be used to manufacture rayon, a fibre in vast demand in Asia and around the globe.

Fortress Paper Incorporation from Vancouver has purchased three digesters and other special processing equipments from Stora Enso Oyi Cellulose Incorporation based in Finland. This purchase was made as part of its daring move to convert Thurso mill from pulp used to create paper, which is a falling market, to dissolving pulp, which is used to manufacture rayon, a product in vast demand and bright future.

Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chairman and CEO of Fortress, is the brain behind this strategic move, as he always hunts for opportunities in ignored or depressed sectors. Explaining is new move; Wasilenkoff said that, there wasn't enough dissolving pulp in the market, to meet with the increasing demand for rayon.

Rayon is slowly turning in to an alternative for cotton, as it bears similar characteristics, but is more absorbent and breathable. More over, rayon is well-positioned owing to the falling supply of cotton, worldwide, as farmers are shifting to cheaper crops, averred Wasilenkoff.

Fortress will be investing $153 million for the mill makeover, which also includes establishment of a co-generation plant. Around $102.4 million will be provided by Investissement Quebec as loan and another $25 million or so is present in the federal credits and other financial incentives under the green infrastructure program.

Wasilenkoff, on his return from China, informed that, he was overjoyed by the rising demand, he witnessed, for dissolving pulp from rayon producers.

Thurso mill has around 300 people as employees and it is anticipated that it might produce 200,000 tons per year of dissolving pulp. Infact Wasilenkoff expects good profit margins, considering the spot price for the commodity in the $1,650 per ton bracket and the net production and delivery costs to come to around $600.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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