Domtar Corporation will invest $30 million to re-purpose its mill facility in Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina to align with shifting market demands in the paper industry.
The company plans to invest in the plant over the next year as part of a previously announced long-term supply agreement with Appleton Papers Inc. of Appleton, Wisconsin. The capital project will re-purpose the facility to allow the mill to shift its production capacity towards the manufacture of specialty and packaging base papers, effectively replacing a significant volume of communication paper-making capacity currently manufactured at Marlboro.
"We are excited to expand our Marlboro County operations. This is good news for our 325-plus employees, and it's good news for the community," said Bill Edwards, vice-president and mill manager at Domtar's Marlboro mill. "The conversion of our production capacity is an example of Domtar adapting to meet market demands for the long-term. The Marlboro mill's cost competitiveness and agility in serving the needs of our customers will allow us to continue being an important part of the economic fabric of Bennettsville, and keep jobs in Marlboro County for many years to come. "
The Bennettsville facility was previously expanded in 2009 when the company added a steam turbine generator to produce electricity for the plant. The Marlboro County mill has been in operation since 1990 and became a part of Domtar in 2007. The mill has an annual paper production capacity of about 320,000 tons.
"Today's announcement is a big win for one of our state's rural areas. Domtar's $30 million investment in Bennettsville not only shows the company's commitment to our state, it also serves as another indication that South Carolina's business climate is encouraging growth among our existing businesses," said Gov. Nikki Haley.
"Domtar is a leader in the paper manufacturing industry. This investment solidifies the company's presence in Marlboro County and will have impact for years to come. It also is another sign of the continued momentum of our manufacturing renaissance," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
"Marlboro County Council is excited about Domtar's expansion and would like to thank Domtar's management for allowing us the opportunity to work together to make this expansion a reality. Marlboro County is working diligently to make our community a great place for industry and this announcement proves it," said Ken Allen, Marlboro County Council. As an incentive, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a Rural Infrastructure Fund grant for $100,000.