Wausau Paper announced that its board of directors has approved a $15 million capital investment that will optimize fiber handling and stock blending systems at its mill in Brokaw, Wis. An automated pulp bale handling system is expected to be operational by the end of 2008, with the balance of the system scheduled for startup in the second quarter of 2009.
"We are pleased to announce the next step of our Printing & Writing segment’s three part profit recovery plan initially outlined in the fourth quarter of last year. The first phase of our recovery plan, system capacity reduction, is complete while the second phase of our plan, initiatives to drive growth in higher margin markets, is well underway," said Thomas Howatt, president and chief executive officer of Mosinee-based Wausau Paper. "Today’s announcement represents the first of several potential investments intended to significantly improve the cost structure of the business. Project economics significantly exceed our target 17 percent internal rate of return and will substantially improve the capabilities and cost competitiveness of our Brokaw mill."