ND Paper, the U.S. subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, is taking critical steps to build on its growth in packaging products. At ND Paper’s Biron, Wisconsin mill, the company will be converting its B26 paper machine at the end of 2022 from coated mechanical papers to lightweight, high-strength recycled packaging products.  

Today, the Biron Division, located in central Wisconsin, employs more than 300 full-time personnel and operates two paper production lines with a combined annual production capacity of approximately 530,000 short tons. Its B25 paper machine produces approximately 270,000 short tons annually of corrugating medium and linerboard for packaging applications, while the B26 machine produces approximately 260,000 short tons annually of lightweight coated mechanical (CM) papers for end uses like catalogs, magazines and retail inserts.

Upon completion of the conversion, both the machine and the mill will have increased annual manufacturing capacity. The B26 machine will have capacity for over 500,000 short tons of packaging paper, and the mill, in total, will have capacity for over 800,000 short tons.

The conversion will include construction of a new recycling facility paired with machine modifications. The new, state-of-the-art pulping facility will provide over 1,550 short tons per day of OCC pulp for paper operations. As the primary raw material for the facility, OCC – post-use consumer cardboard removed from the waste stream – is collected and processed into a renewable fiber-based pulp. This pulp is used in the manufacture of sustainable, lightweight packaging papers. Construction will commence in the first quarter of 2022 with commissioning anticipated by the end of 2022.

The OCC recycling plant project will help advance ND Paper’s commitment to sustainability by reducing energy use and removing landfill waste. Studies have shown that using one ton of recycled paper, in place of greater energy consuming resources, can save 380 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 4.3 tons of C02, and more than 3 cubic yards of landfill space.

These changes further support the strategic transformation of the Biron Division and the Company. Over recent years, demand for packaging grades, such as kraft paper and linerboard, have experienced substantial growth due to a shift toward e-commerce and consumer demand for more sustainable products. Growth is expected to continue in these markets into the future.