Chinese paper plant to employ 2,000 by 2020

Updated: 2014-06-23 11:53

By Meng Lin in Washington (China Daily USA)

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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced last week that Shandong Tranlin Paper Co Ltd, a Chinese pulp and paper company, will invest $2 billion over five years to establish its first US manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County, Va.

Virginia beat out several other states for the project, which will generate 2,000 new jobs by 2020. The investment, announced on June 18, represents the largest Chinese investment and job creation project in Virginia history and is the largest Chinese greenfield economic development project in the US.

"We started our search for potential sites nationally last year in July," said Jerry Peng, chairman and CEO of Tranlin,. "Finally Virginia becomes the new home of our project is because of the combination of all the key factors such as an innovative entrepreneurship environment, transportation system, agricultural resources, and high-quality labor force."

Peng is a 2003 graduate of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a member of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees.

"We will produce no waste nor cause any environmental damage with our new technology," he noted.

Tranlin said in a statement that the company will use its proprietary technology "to produce tree-free, non-chlorine bleached, 100 percent straw paper products made exclusively from organic agricultural field waste such as wheat straw and corn stalks." The process will allow for preservation of farmland and further economic return. Tranlin prides itself on a process that leads to an environmentally-friendly emission, which results in the discharge of clean water, according to Peng.

Tranlin's new facility will push the frontiers of organic agriculture in the US by converting the residuals from its paper manufacturing process, known as black liquor, into humus-based organic fertilizer that will be supplied to farmers and homeowners in the US.

The facility will be located on an 850-acre campus in the James River Industrial Center. The economic benefits to the area will be tremendous, according to Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore.

"Based on the agricultural supply-chain opportunities associated with the project, the economic benefit to farmers in this region alone could exceed $50 million per year once the project is complete and operating at full capacity," said Haymore.

China lifted a ban on Virginia poultry in May.

China is already the largest customer of Virginia's agricultural and forestry products. With the central location of Virginia, Tranlin is able to access 60 to 70 percent of US consumers with a relatively small shipping cost, said Peng. Virginia has the second largest port in the US, which is essential for the company to transfer their products to other American markets.

Shandong Tranlin Paper was founded in 1976 in Liaocheng, China. It is centered on the pulp and paper industry, with an annual production of 400,000 tons of refined pulp, 700,000 tons of machine-made paper, 400,000 tons of organic fertilizers, and 2.4 billion food and medical packaging boxes.

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(China Daily USA 06/23/2014 page3)