SCA Tissue North America will invest $145 million in its Barton, Alabama plant for a new paper machine. The SCA board of directors approved this investment at their February meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. Construction will begin immediately and the new machine will be operational in summer 2008.

SCA Tissue North America began operations at the current Barton site in 2003. The company expects to add 30 new positions to operate the new paper machine. The plant currently employs 400.

SCA Tissue NA is one of the largest manufacturers of disposable napkins, towels, bath tissue, and wipers for the Away From Home (AFH) market in the US and Canada. Nearly half of the disposable napkins used in US restaurants are manufactured by SCA Tissue. SCA is a division of SCA Americas and is owned by the Swedish SCA. In 2005, SCA Tissue had gross revenues of more than $1 billion.

“The new paper machine will improve our logistical efficiency and our cost structure. It will strengthen our business in the southeast part the US, enabling SCA to produce tissue and convert it in the same part of the country it will be shipped,” said Joseph F. Raccuia, president of SCA Tissue North America.

“This investment in our Barton facility is an endorsement of Northwest Alabama as an excellent place to do business. We are proud to be deepening our roots in the Shoals area,” said Raccuia.

In addition to the site in Alabama, SCA Tissue has operations in Neenah and Menasha, Wisconsin; South Glens Falls and Greenwich, New York; Alsip, Illinois; and in Flagstaff and Bellemont, Arizona. The corporate headquarters are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The current Barton facility manufactures 100,000 tons of tissue annually. With the new machine, annual tissue production in Barton will increase to 170,000 tons. SCA Tissue North America manufactured 520,000 tons of tissue across the business in 2006, making them one of the leading producers of tissue for the AFH home market in the US and Canada.

“The incremental tissue tonnage that will be produced by the new Barton paper machine will replace tissue that we have been purchasing from other manufacturers. Our commitment to providing excellent service to our customers remains our focus. We achieved a 99.8% fill rate in 2006 and fully expect to repeat that performance in 2007,” said Raccuia.

“We have seen positive development of our AFH business in the US. With a fully integrated facility in Barton we will be able to further improve our service levels and to deliver a more consistent quality to our customers in the region. Additionally, the new paper machine will deliver significant cost savings once it is operational,” said Thomas Wulkan, President of SCA Americas.