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August. 2022
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Southeast Market Region Leads U.S. in Pulp, Paper & Wood Projects

The U.S. Southeast market region, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, has long been a strong player in the country's Pulp, Paper & Wood Industry and judging by current numbers, remains so. The region leads the U.S. in the value of projects under construction in the sector, although the Great Lakes region takes the prize for the highest number of projects.

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Among the growing trends in the industry is increasing demand for packaging as consumers increasingly turn online to have everything from food to vitamins to books to computers shipped to them rather than going to brick-and-mortar establishments, driving the market for containerboard and corrugated cardboard.

One company is taking this to heart with a project that is underway in Jackson, Alabama. Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE:PKG) (PCA) (Lake Forest, Illinois) is converting a paper machine to produce linerboard, used in the facing of corrugated containers. PCA discontinued use of the No. 3 machine, which made uncoated freesheet used for copy paper and other applications, in late 2020. The conversion kicked off in 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2023. Subscribers to Industrial Info's Global Market Intelligence (GMI) Pulp & Paper Project Database can click here for the detailed report.

Similar projects are underway at other locations. Domtar Corporation (Fort Mill, South Carolina) is converting a printing paper machine in Kingsport, Tennessee, to produce linerboard (see project report), and Cascades Corporation (Kingsey Falls, Quebec) is converting an idled newsprint machine to produce linerboard in Ashland, Virginia (see project report).

But the drive for corrugated packaging is not limited to conversion projects. Pratt Industries Incorporated (Conyers, Georgia) is establishing grassroot corrugated box plants in Cedar Hill, Texas, and in Henderson, Virginia, where it will be joined by a grassroot recycled containerboard mill. Pratt also is adding a new linerboard machine at its mill in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Subscribers can click here for further details on the Pratt projects.

Not many people will forget the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, and First Quality Enterprises Incorporated (Great Neck, New York) is at work on the addition of a tissue machine in Anderson, South Carolina. The project entails constructing an approximately 350,000-square-foot building addition and a new through-air-dried (TAD) tissue machine. The project kicked in 2021 and is expected to be completed later this year. Subscribers can click here for the project report. J.D. Irving Limited (New Brunswick, Canada) is wrapping up the installation of a new tissue machine at its mill in Macon, Georgia, that will produce approximately 75,000 metric tons per year. Subscribers can click here for additional details. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, Georgia-Pacific LLC (Atlanta, Georgia) recently launched Project Cinco, which includes installation of a new TAD tissue machine along with new converting equipment to produce items such as bath tissue, paper towels and napkins. Subscribers can click here for the report.

In 2020 and 2021, the price of lumber reached new highs before finally settling down. For additional information, see June 21, 2021, article - Lumber Price Bubble Pops After Reaching Record Highs. Lumber producers launched projects at that time, some of which have been completed, and new projects are still making their way onto the scene, such as Hunt Forest Products LLC's (Ruston, Louisiana) grassroot sawmill in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, which kicked off earlier this year. The mill, when completed in 2023, will produce approximately 320 million board feet per year. Subscribers can click here for the report.

Industrial Info is tracking more than $1.5 billion worth of grassroot wood projects under construction in the U.S., with particularly strong showings in Louisiana and Mississippi. Subscribers can click here for the reports.

Other major wood-based projects under construction include RoyOMartin's (Alexandria, Louisiana) grassroot oriented strand board (OSB) mill next to its existing OSB mill in Corrigan, Texas. The project kicked off last year and is on track for completion in 2023. Subscribers can click here for the report.

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