News within the industry of pulp and paper, Oct, 20 2017
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Columbia Pulp breaks ground for new straw pulp mill

Photo: Columbia Pulp
Photo: Columbia Pulp
Published by
Simon Matthis - 05 Oct 2017

On Wednesday Sept 27th, 2017, Columbia Pulp hosted a groundbreaking event to celebrate construction of its wheat straw pulp mill at 1400 Highway 261 in Starbuck, Washingtong, USA.

Over 160 invited guests attended the event which consisted of a visit to the construction site via motor coach, a series of remarks from community development leaders, Company founders, and professionals who assisted with the financing of the project. The gathering took place at the Main Pavilion at the Columbia County Fairgrounds with a more informal celebration dinner at Woody’s Bar and Grill in Dayton.

Columbia County, Washington, is known for its abundant crops of wheat and alfalfa – but there’s a downside. After each harvest, a massive quantity of waste straw needs to be managed in some way, either by burning it, plowing it under, or baling it for erosion control. Enter Columbia Pulp, a new firm that promises to put some of that waste straw to better use. Recently dubbed ‘a very big deal’ by The Seattle Times, the project will manufacture pulp for papermaking using cellulose extracted from the straw through a proprietary process developed by Sustainable Fiber Technologies.

The new mill will occupy a 449-acre site near Lyons Ferry State Park on the Snake River. Construction began immediately after financial close in August, with commercial operation expected in late 2018. The mill will purchase approximately 240,000 tons of straw annually from wheat and alfalfa farmers within a 75-mile radius.