By Stacy Parker The Virginian-Pilot May 24, 2012 FRANKLIN Steam is rising again from International Paper’s Franklin mill. The mill on Union Camp Drive recently resumed operations to getready for a June startup of the renovated facility. In its newform, the mill will make fluff pulp that’s used in baby diapers,adult-incontinence products, feminine-hygiene products and medicalwipes. When International Paper closed the mill nearly two years ago, morethan 1,000 workers lost their jobs, and the community lost a bit ofits identity.
The mill had been operating in the town for more thana century. “I’ll never forget what it looked like when smoke stoppedcoming out of the smokestacks,” said Lisa Perry, Isle of WightCounty’s director of economic development. “It washeartbreaking.” Perry visited the mill Wednesday and saw the billowing steam and,along with it, a changed atmosphere in the community. “There’s a whole new energy in the air,” she said.”I felt emotional.” In May 2011, the Memphis, Tenn.-based company said it would invest$83 million and hire about 200 workers to make the pulp. Thoseworkers all will be on the job when manufacturing restarts in June.More than 800 construction contractors who have been on site formonths will remain for several weeks.
Mill manager Allison Magness issued a statement to the communitythe first week of May, letting people know they could expect to seeactivity similar to the mill’s earlier operation. “As part of the startup process, we will begin turning on andtesting systems and equipment, and people will begin to noticeactivities they have not experienced in a while. These will besimilar to the sights and sounds of our past operation,”Magness said. The smells, too. DVB-T2 Digital Receiver
Julie Brennan, International Paper’s spokeswomanin Franklin, confirmed that the pungent odor associated with paperproduction will return. Mill workers are clearing debris and buildup from the steam linesbefore starting power-generating equipment. Steam and noiseassociated with line clearing will be intermittent over the nextseveral weeks. “It’s not like turning on a light switch,” Brennan said. The mill’s woodyard – wood de-barking and chipping systems – ishumming again. ISDB-T Receiver
Logs are processed so they can be turned into woodpulp, the raw material for fluff pulp, she said. Magness said in her statement that the mill will use one-third ofits former manufacturing capacity when it opens next month. Logtrucks will carry rolls of pulp out of the mill daily, she said. The company has been considering options for other firms that haveshown an interest in other parts of the mill. DVB-T2 Digital Receiver Manufacturer
Perry said she hopesthere will be something to announce in that regard within a fewweeks. Stacy Parker, 757-222-5558 firstname.lastname@example.org.