A new operating plant officially opened its doors Thursday in Escanaba.  Several new jobs come with the plant’s opening, and the Escanaba Paper Company—a subsidiary of NewPage Paper Mill—is now paper thick with the Omya company.

The new Precipitated Calcium Carbonate plant will produce PCC, which is an essential raw material used in the paper making process.  Discussions for the PCC plant started a decade ago. Construction took place more than a year ago and doors finally opened today with a ribbon cutting ceremony, to seal the deal.

“It’s always gratifying to finally complete something. There was a lot of work from a lot of people that went into this, our engineering group, suppliers and a lot of the work happened over this last winter,” Omya Regions Americas CEO Tony Colak said.

The PCC plant is located right next to the mill and will cut down on transportation time, costs, and will be environmentally friendly. In the past, the CO2 produced by the mill was emitted into the air and considered waste. The new on–site plant will make use of the CO2 generated by the mill.

“The PCC in turn is used by the paper mill as a brightening agent in producing paper so it’s a sharing process between both companies,” Communications Manager, NewPage Corporation communications manager Jackie Page said.

“It helps NewPage be more efficient and productive and environmentally conscious so they can be a better competitor, so I view it as a cycle that feeds itself. More job creation and more responsibility in terms of sustainability for all of us,”Governor Rick Snyder said.

PCC is manufactured by using limestone and carbon dioxide. Limestone needed for the manufacturing process will be purchased from the Upper Peninsula.