Nippon finishes major plant upgrade

PORT ANGELES – Nippon Paper Inc. has completed a major rebuild of one of it’s paper presses, a 16-day and $8.6 million project that company officials say is a sign that the Japanese parent company is dedicated to Port Angeles.

The major rebuild, which took just under two years of planning and just over two weeks of labor in May, went off without a major hitch and without a single loss-time injury.

The improved paper presses for PM2, short for Paper Mill No. 2, will allow the plant to produce more paper at a faster and more reliable rate, said Harold Norlund, manager of the Port Angeles mill.

The upgrade  will pay for itself through energy efficiency and increased productivity in a matter of years, Norlund said.

Nippon employs 238 people and provides $27 million in local salaries and benefits, he said.

“What it shows is that Nippon Japan and NPI (Nippon Paper Industries, the American subsidy) believes there is a future in our mill and have continued to reinvest to make sure we have a future,” Norlund said.

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