Chinese paper mill project advances in Va.

Updated: 2016-09-29 11:36

By Paul Welitzkin in New York(China Daily USA)

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A Chinese company's planned $2 billion, 850-acre paper mill in Virginia took another step forward when a contract for design services and permit acquisition was awarded.

The contract signed on Wednesday with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc is for supporting permit acquisition and developing the overall site design, which includes pulping facilities, tissue making and fertilizer production using the proprietary technology of Vastly, also known as Tranlin Inc, the US subsidiary of Shandong Tranlin Paper Co Ltd.

"It's a complex project and as Jacobs lays out the design for the site a major part of the work will involve all the environmental permits that will be required," John Stacey, senior vice-president of marketing and product development at Vastly said.

In 2014, Shandong Tranlin Paper said it would invest $2 billion over five years to build its first US manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County, which is about 20 miles from Richmond, the state capital. The plant is expected to generate 2,000 new jobs by 2020. It is the largest Chinese investment and job-creation project in Virginia. The company broke ground on the plant's site along the James River in 2015.

"We are within the schedule to begin full operations by 2020," said Stacey.

The plant is expected to begin limited production of bathroom tissues, paper towels and napkins in 2018 by importing rolls of paper from China. "In 2020 everything including the rolls of paper will be made in America with American materials," Stacey said.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our global consumer products business. We have a long history of assisting our clients in growth and expansion in global manufacturing. We look forward to forging a strong, ongoing partnership with Vastly as we work together to develop this state-of-the-art facility," Bob Pragada, president of Jacobs Industrial Line of Business, said in a statement.

Stacey said Tranlin has decided to use the Vastly name to represent the brand in the US.

"The selection of Vastly was made after detailed market research and collaboration with a nationally recognized branding firm," continued Stacey. "The research indicated that often Americans associated the name, Tranlin, with a transportation or language translation company. Given the massive scale and many facets of the manufacturing operations, multiple product lines and our earth restoration efforts we wanted a big name with virtually endless possibilities."