Calhoun restarts line for newsprint
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Mar 09, 2014 | 1536 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Beginning next week, the local newspaper will quite literally have an even more local feel.

The paper — or newsprint as it is referred to in the industry — will once again be produced at the Resolute Forest Products plant in Calhoun.

That means the paper on which the Cleveland Daily Banner is printed will once again, although temporarily, be produced and shipped from just up the road.

It will be a temporary fix for the former Bowater company as their Augusta plant is taking their “annual maintenance outage,” according to Debbie Johnston, director, U.S. Public Affairs for Resolute Forest Products.

“We have restarted our No. 5 paper machine at the Calhoun mill for the purpose of developing new paper products,” Johnston said in a statement to the Banner. “While our newsprint mill in Augusta, GA is in the process of taking their annual maintenance outage, we are rebalancing our order book and producing newsprint for a temporary period of time on the machine in Calhoun. However, the long term goal is to produce new paper grades other than newsprint on the paper machine at Calhoun.”

Ironically, the short-term transition comes almost a year to the day when the company announced “the indefinite idling” of the Calhoun newsprint machine.

A March 12, 2013, press release stated the idling was the result of “a decrease in demand for newsprint, coupled with high operating costs for the machine.”

Resolute said the mill had produced as much as 215,000 metric tons of newsprint per year.

The company’s decision to pair back at Calhoun came after they acquired 49 percent interest in Calhoun Newsprint Co., which is owned by The Herald Publishing Company, LLC.

Resolute announced at the time the mill would continue to operate its two specialty paper machines and the pulp dryer.

Bowater established the plant in 1954 and at one time produced as much as 750,000 metric tons of paper per year.