International Paper Co., the owner of the closed paper mill located just outside of Franklin, Va., has announced plans to reopen their facility. The announcement comes about a year after the company closed the plant. International Paper said it will spend $83 million in the next year converting the plant into a facility that will produce fluff pulp, a material used to make items such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, and baby wipes.
When the plant closed in June of 2010, more than 1,000 workers lost their jobs. According to the company, the reopening of the plant will create 213 jobs. International Paper said they may rehire some of their former employees. Gov. Bob McDonnell did his part in securing the reopening. The state provided a $350,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to help Isle of Wight County guarantee the company would restore the plant.
The converted plant is expected to produce as much as 270,000 metric tons of fluff pulp per year. International Paper said they plan to begin work on the project immediately. They expect to have the facility operating and running by the middle of 2012.