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Potlatch To Update Minnesota Mill

Potlatch Corp. said it will spend $201 million to modernize and expand its pulp mill in Cloquet, Minn., as part of a nine-year, $525 million project.

Spokane-based Potlatch said it will begin the next phase of upgrading the mill, which makes pulp for coated paper used in advertising inserts and annual reports, in April and expects to finish in the fourth quarter of 1999.

The company plans to more than double the mill’s annual production capacity to 415,000 tons, as it installs more modern pulp-making and bleaching techniques at the plant that had been using technology from the 1950s through 1970s. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in 2001.

“This is a major capital investment and it’s been part of a systematic modernization that the company has been engaged in for more than a decade,” said spokesman Mike Sullivan.

Potlatch has spent more than $289 million since 1992 to upgrade the Cloquet mill. It spent $400 million on its Idaho pulp mill, a project that started in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Tags: business

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