US building paper pulp mills with China as its customer

Paper pulp

As China prepares to shut its doors to imports of recycled paper at the end of this year, companies in the United States have announced plans to build paper pulp mills to enable them to continue to export there.

The latest to announce plans is the new Empire Recycled Fiber mill, which will be located in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.


Work is expected to commence on the $125 million (£101 million) mill in the autumn with the aim of opening the facility in 2022.

The paper pulp mill will take in over 500,000 tonnes of recovered fibre and produce 440,000 tonnes of recycled paper pulp, all of which will be shipped to China.

It will source the feedstock from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and New York and is expected to take 70% OCC and 30% mixed paper.

Empire Recycled Fiber is understood to have an unnamed Chinese paper group as an equity partner, and has signed a 20-year offtake agreement for the pulp.

US mill group Sonoco has also shifted some of its Canadian mills to pulp production, while Nine Dragons is also expected to ship pulp to China from the mills it owns in the US.

Total Fiber Recovery is also planning a $49 million (£40 million) pulp plant in Chesapeake, Virginia that will process 300,000 tonnes of OCC and mixed paper.

Recently, The Recycling Association called for a pulp mill to be built in the UK.

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