The new evaporation system investment is designed to make the mill more energy efficient and reduce water use by more than 30%.
According to Palatka Mill Manager Kevin Curry, "We continue to make ongoing investments in the mill to help reduce our overall environmental impact and to improve our cost- competitiveness. This investment helps accomplish both of those goals, and earning this investment is a great accomplishment for our entire Palatka team. Our mill employees continue to work hard to operate our mill safely and create value for customers, the community, our company and our families."
The mill currently employs more than 900 people from Palatka, Putnam County and the surrounding area. This project will have no new mill jobs associated with it but will generate more than 150 jobs for contractors and vendors during construction and installation.
This new project is in addition to an approximately $19 million investment announced last year for installation of product quality improvement equipment in the mill's kraft paper area. Installation of that project is currently underway at the mill. The mill also has about $10 million slated for safety and environmental improvement projects.
The Palatka mill operates two kraft paper machines, three paper machines manufacturing paper for bath tissue and paper towels, and a number of converting operations producing finished paper products ready for customers.