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Digester pipe problems cause temporary shutdown at pulp mill

Fortress Paper’s dissolving pulp mill at Thurso, Que., was shut down temporarily due to damaged pipes in the digester area. As of Dec. 9, three of the mill's four digesters were back in operation.The company reports that an incident...


Fortress Paper’s dissolving pulp mill at Thurso, Que., was shut down temporarily due to damaged pipes in the digester area. As of Dec. 9, three of the mill’s four digesters were back in operation.
The company reports that an incident occurred at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso on December 2. The company determined that the incident was caused by an improper third-party pipe fitting installation on one of the four digesters. As the investigation into the root cause of the incident continued, a significant crack on a similar pipe connected to another digester was found.
To repair the damaged pipe, Fortress decided the FSC mill would be shut down until at least December 10. During this time, a thorough investigation into the efficacy of certain similar pipe installations at the site was to be conducted.
The impact of the incident is estimated to be at least six days’ equivalent of lost production.
In order to mitigate the cost of the shutdown, all but essential staff required to perform the investigation and maintain the mill were sent home during this interim period. The cogeneration facility at the FSC mill will continue to operate at a reduced rate and produce heat and power for the mill.