New Page paper mill has been a long-standing giant in Escanaba, creating about 800,000 tons of paper products every year.
They now have a partnership with PCC-maker Omya, and both companies say the collaboration is long overdue.
"We have a fantastic relationship between New Page and Omya. This has been a project ten years in the making, and it's part of the long term strategy for both companies to work together and be mutually beneficial," said Jackie Pride, Communications & Public Relations Manager, New Page Corporations.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today to kick off the operations partnership between Omya and New Page in Escanaba.
About one year ago, construction workers broke ground for the new building, now housing Omya, right next to the paper mill.
"We're working out some of the start-up 'bugs.' We started up about a month ago we're going to be producing a couple of different products here and we're just lining up the process right now with the folks on the paper machines," said Tony Colak, CEO of Omya, American Regions.
Both companies say the joining is mutually beneficial, because of what they both produce.
New Page produces carbon dioxide during its paper making process, which is released into the atmosphere.
Omya produces PCC, or precipitated calcium carbonate, a chemical used in paper making.
PCC is comprised of lime from a local supplier, water, and carbon dioxide.
So now, instead of the paper mill's carbon dioxide emissions going into the atmosphere, the CO2 will now be transferred to the Omya plant to be used for the PCC, reducing the mill's environmental impact.
"We're also reducing some logistics issues because we're producing here onsite. We don't have to worry too much about late deliveries or anything like that, because all we have is a tank and a pump. And so we're just transferring the product from this location to the paper machine," said Colak.
With Omya creating a plant in Escanaba, also comes seven new jobs, six of which were given to U.P. Residents.
"It helps New Page be more efficient, more productive, and more environmentally conscious, so they can be a better competitor. So I view it as a cycle that feeds itself in terms of more job creation and more responsibility in terms of sustainability for all of us," said Governor Rick Snyder.
Also at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Snyder was also given the annual Tuebor Award from the Michigan Forest Products Council.
This award recognizes that Governor Snyder has taken a keen interest in expanding Michigan's natural resource based-economy.