By Geoff Agombar
In February 2021, Kruger Products announced a $240 million expansion of its plant in Sherbrooke’s Brompton borough by 2024. The plan involved adding new LDC (light dry crepe) tissue machine and two converting lines, one for bathroom tissue and one for facial tissue. On Friday, Kruger updated these plans with an additional $111.5 million investment, pushing the global value of the project over $351 million.
This increase will upgrade to a double-wide LDC tissue machine. The company says this doubles the projected production capacity from 30,000 to 60,000 metric tonnes annually.
The construction schedule remains unchanged. The converting line for bathroom tissue is commissioned for 2022 and the facial tissue line for 2023. The LDC tissue machine is expected to start up in 2024.
“This additional capacity will allow us to accelerate the growth of our business and continue to provide our customers across North America with high quality tissue products,” explained Chief Executive Officer Dino Bianco.
While the Government of Québec has already provided a $165 million loan through Investissement Québec, the $111.5 million announced Friday is funded by Kruger Products and a bank syndicate. It consists of a $36.5 million equity investment from Kruger and a doubling of the bank syndicate’s financing from $75 to $150 million.
“Quebec’s pulp and paper industry needs to renew and modernize itself. Kruger Products’ acquisition of this new machine is a great example of technological innovation,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development. “It’s the kind of initiative that will boost the industry’s performance and growth.”
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