The Fort Frances kraft mill, costing $45 million and acclaimed as the most modern in Canada, is now operating but still in the start-up phase, according to Jack Haase, mill manager for the Ontario-Minnesota Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd.
Production of bleached pulp to supply the Fort Frances, Kenora ad International Falls paper mills got underway early this month following shake-down rus of the various mechanical ad chemical systems. The product was first utilized in the Fort Frances paper mill Nov. 7 and since then has been successfully used in the Kenora and International Falls paper-making operations. The pulp is delivered by pipeline in slurry form to the two border mills. For shipment to Kenora and other distant markets, the product is flash-dried, baled and wrapped.
"Our pulp has proven to be of excellet quality," Mr. Haase stated, "comparable to the best commercial pulps we've been using. it's running characteristics in the paper mills have been very good."
Mr. Haase said the mill is currently making about 250 tons of bleached pulp per day. This is still below the design rate of 465 tons per day but will build up gradually as all parts of the mill are tuned up and some problems worked out.
"It appears," Mr. Haase added, "that the company's investment of $45 million in this area was a sound decision and will pay off in continuing production of first-grade paper and wood pulp, in bette utilization of the jackpine resources, and in a stable source of employment"
Construction og the big plant facing Rainy River began in February 1970 following several years of feasability studies, planing and engineering. Since then, border residents have watched with interest the progress of a building program that transformed the former O-M woodyard into the most modern kraft mill in Canada.