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West Linn Approves Capital Projects for 2012

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The West Linn Paper Co., West Linn, Ore., USA, will invest more than $3 million in major capital improvement projects that will get underway in the first half of 2012. The company has committed to several projects but the two most prominent will focus on increasing production and energy conservation.

One of the two projects will address moisture content and sheet strength on the mill's No. 1 paper machine and is expected to improve the quality of the mill's heavyweight products, while increasing production on this machine by 13% or more. PM 1 produces coated free sheet web rolls that range from 70 lb – 146 lb basis weights, as well as matte reply card.

The second of the planned projects will provide cleaner whitewater that will better enable reuse throughout the mill and reduce associated heat loss to the effluent. This project is expected to reduce fuel costs and has the potential to reduce effluent flows by as much as 20%.

"The coated paper market is extremely volatile right now, but West Linn Paper has been able to successfully adapt to changing conditions. We believe that strategic investment in the appropriate areas will help us continue to remain competitive," says COO Brian Konen. "An increase in machine efficiency, product quality, and energy savings is a solid investment and a win for both the mill and our customers."

The bulk of the work is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012, requiring a machine outage of less than a week. The company does not expect that the minimal down time will affect customer shipments.

West Linn Paper is an independent manufacturer of coated free sheet web paper and is the oldest and only active free sheet manufacturer in the western U.S.


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