MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- International Paper is reporting that it could take up to three months to repair the digester damaged by the 22 January explosion at its Cantonment, Florida mill.
The explosion brought fluff pulp and containerboard production to a halt. Since that time, the mill has partially resumed fluff pulp operations, but kraftliner production is still down and may be for several weeks, IP said in its 10-K 2016 annual report filed this week.
"Repairing the damaged digester will take more time, however, and we know that we will not be able to resume full operations producing containerboard at the mill during the first quarter of 2017," the company said. International Paper estimates that it will take approximately three months to repair the damage.
Containerboard capacity of IP Pensacola mill amounts to 500,000 tpy of kraftliner and corrugating medium. In addition, the mill is housing a pulp line with a production capacity of 190,000 tpy of fluff pulp used for manufacturing absorbent hygiene products like baby diapers, feminine care, adult incontinence and other non-woven products.
As reported earlier, the explosion caused significant structural damage to the largest pulp digester and the power house.
"It is currently estimated that the total impact will be in excess of $50 million, but that property damage and business interruption insurance will cover a significant portion of the costs," the company said, commenting on the financial impact of the blast.
Take our annual reader survey here