Massive overhaul at Boise mill

The Boise Cascade mill across the river in International Falls, Mn. is closed for a month as 22 capital projects costing more than $30 million (U.S.) are underway there.
“It’s kind of like an ant hill. We’ve got over 500 contract employees working at the mill right now,” noted Boise spokesperson Bob Anderson. “We’re going to spend a little over $30 million in the days we are down.”
The mill closed July 7 and is scheduled to resume production Aug. 5.
At $15 million, the most costly project–and the one which is setting the timeline for the shutdown–is the rebuilding of the mill’s main recovery boiler.
“We’re rebuilding the entire boiler so that we are able to put more capacity into it. It’s being super-sized,” said Anderson.
Another high-budget project is a $6-million winder, which sizes and cuts paper rolls, being installed on the mill’s #2 paper machine. “That’s to have it run more ergonomically,” said Anderson.
A third, $5-million project is tie-ins being installed to have more environmentally-friendly production.
“We’ll be able to take our sludge that usually goes to our landfill and put it through a sludge dryer,” said Anderson, adding the dried sludge then can be burnt as boiler fuel.
A crane can be seen on-site from this side of the river, which is being used for a number of projects, including the installation of two 26-ton super-heaters.
During the construction at the Boise Cascade mill, some employees have gone on holiday, some are helping with the projects, and others have been laid off.
The mill is still shipping inventory supplies to customers but the supplies likely are to be depleted soon. “That probably will end by the end of this week,” noted Anderson.