FRANKLIN, VA, Sept. 27, 2016 (Press Release) -Tak Investments, Inc., owner of tissue mills in Oconto Falls, Wis. and Franklin, Va., today announced an expansion of its Franklin facility to further support customers’ needs in the Away From Home (AFH) market. The Company, which operates as ST Tissue, is adding a 50,000-ton-per-year dry crepe machine, alongside its existing 70,000-ton-per-year wet crepe machine. ST also is adding some downstream equipment that will allow it to provide its customers with outsourced toweling finished goods.
The company manufactures product for the commercial tissue, or AFH, market, which represents about one-third of the nearly nine million short tons of tissue consumed in North America. The company’s Oconto Falls, Wis., tissue mill produces 60,000 tons per year of high quality AFH recycled bleached bath tissue, napkin, and towel. The Franklin mill produces high quality AFH recycled kraft napkin and towel.
“When we first announced our acquisition of the site in Franklin, we envisioned a world class AFH tissue facility, with state-of-the-art recycling capability, the ability to provide a broad range of sustainable products, an experienced staff, and many customers within a logical freight radius that were experiencing high growth,” said Sahil Tak, an executive of ST Tissue. “But we also recognized the opportunity to help rebuild a community devastated by a mill closure. So, this next step is simply a natural progression of the company toward achieving that vision.”
The ST Tissue Franklin mill produces 100% recycled, high post-consumer content napkin and towel for the Away From Home market. Its products have received a number of third party environmental certifications for its responsible and sustainable manufacturing processes. While the mill currently produces kraft napkin and towel exclusively, the plant expansion will enable it to also produce recycled bleached, along with virgin, napkin and towel for its customers.
This “new” machine will be reconstructed from an existing uncoated free sheet machine, which was shut down by its previous owner in 2010, into a dry crepe tissue machine. The machine will be focused on making napkin product for ST Tissue’s customers and will draw its fiber from its recycled fiber plant.
ST Tissue’s facility expansion will also include upgrading the existing recycled fiber plant and the addition of towel converting capacity. “As our partners grow,” added Tak, “we want to be there to support them and push them to greater success. That is why we focus on customer service, quality, and innovation. This expansion embodies all of those concepts.”
The new project, slated to create in excess of 50 new jobs and cost about $40 million, will be supported by local and state of Virginia incentives. ST Tissue anticipates the project will be completed in phases during the next 18 months. The existing tissue machine will continue to run normally.
“It certainly is a proud day for the Company,” Tak commented, “and we feel fortunate for the opportunities presented to us. At the same time, we also recognize there is a lot of work ahead. We are looking forward to drive continued growth and success for our partners and both the Oconto Falls and Franklin mills.”