Sappi Making New, Versatile Product
Posted at: 10/30/2013 5:38 PM
| Updated at: 10/30/2013 7:39 PM
Sappi Fine Paper in Cloquet is making a new, very versatile product called specialized cellulose.
It's made from trees, like the paper is. And it looks like thick posterboard. But it can made into so many different products.
They displayed some of those examples for us on Wednesday during a tour of the plant. Food, like pizza crust, clothing, deodorant, paint thickener, and pharmaceuticals are just a few examples.
The cellulose is packaged in bales, and shipped overseas. Most of their customers are in Asia.
The plant underwent a $170 million dollar expansion to make this possible. About1100 construction workers spent time on Project Athena. Sappi broke ground in June of 2012, just before the flooding.
The timber industry could use this boost, according to officials, since it's taken hits recently at Boise, for example.
Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren said it's the biggest investment in the Minnesota forest products industry in 20 years.
Workers are still making paper too, though. Officials told us about 1000 tons a day.