Tak Investments to invest $60 million to establish a recycled napkin and towel operation in Franklin, Va.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has announced that Tak Investments Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., will invest $60 million to open a recycled tissue plant in Isle of Wight County, Va. TAK’s subsidiary, ST Tissue, will operate the mill, which will consume a range of recovered fiber to produce napkin products, primarily for the away-from-home market. The facility will be located at International Paper’s Franklin, Va., mill.
McDonnell says, “Not only will Tak Investments bring significant investment and 85 new jobs to the region, the company will repurpose and put into use a vacant portion of the International Paper mill. It is a perfect fit, as ST Tissue has the opportunity to modify certain paper-making machinery already in the plant to produce its tissue products.”
The company is rehabbing one of IP’s mothballed machines at the Franklin site, though the company still needed to perform some demolition work to adjust the machine to a new type of product. When IP operated the mill it produced printing and writing paper. At 310 inches, the paper machine will be the largest tissue machine operating in the United States, according to a spokesman for Tak Investments.
When fully operational the mill is expected to produce 200 tons per day of paper napkins and towels for the away-from-home market. Raw material to be used at the mill will include sorted office paper as well as some lower grades of fiber, says Sahil Tak, a spokesman for Tak Investments. Other recovered fiber grades that could be used at the mill include double-lined kraft cuttings (DLK) and old corrugated containers (OCC), he says.
To ensure the mill has an ample supply of raw material, the company also opened a recycled fiber center at the facility.
“The available infrastructure and high-quality machinery, trained workforce and nearby abundant supply of natural resources put Virginia and Isle of Wight County ahead of the competition,” McDonnell adds.
“We enjoy the challenge of helping rebuild communities that we do business in,” says Sharad Tak, president and CEO of Tak Investments. “A few years ago we acquired a struggling tissue mill in Oconto Falls, Wis., and, with help from the workforce and the surrounding community, we were able to transform the facility into a successful business. We envision the same sort of success here in Franklin because the community has been incredibly supportive of our project and the talent base here is also exceptional.”
To help build the project, McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the state’s Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Isle of Wight County with the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities.