Luther Bruce of Trinity Enterprises was present to provide information and to answer any questions supervisors might have.
"The project involves a tissue mill with three components," he
"Tissue is a consumer product and its light weight and bulk means it can't be made in Asia and shipped here because it's not cost effective," Bruce
said.Showing a chart of the location of tissue mills in the United States, Bruce
said the Navajo County plant would serve the six southwestern states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California.Currently only one plant operates in the area."We aren't planning to be a national distributor," he
said."A lot of the plants are in one area but not here.About 20-23 percent of tissue products are used out here but only 2-3 percent are made here.There's a big niche out here."Bringing the plant to the county near Abitibi Consolidated can develop synergies between several industries in the use of resources and of utilities, he
said."One of the big things is that mills today are highly automated," Bruce
said."There will be a real need for skills training in computer technology.Almost all our employees will have a computer outlook.We cross-train all aspects of the mill."As for the time frame for beginning production, Bruce
said it is on the fast track, with construction taking 18-20 months, rather than the the usual 30 months.They hope to have the mill commissioned in the first or second quarter of 2007."We have signed an agreement with Abitibi to buy the land and they will provide the utility and infrastructure," he
said."We wanted to make sure we located the mill in the right place.We first looked at sites in the Valley and then at other counties.We were asked to come here in the spring and discuss our plans with Abitibi."Both regional and site-specific studies need to be done, he
said.Discussions at supervisors meetings indicate the county will pay for the studies and will have ownership of them to use in giving information to other industries interested in coming to the county.Asked by Supervisor Jesse Thompson what could hold up the project, Bruce said many things.
didn't, that he
wanted to make sure they get the information they can use for their project, adding they had specific needs.However, he
wanted to be careful not to create a perception of a conflict of interest.
was committed to the project, that he
knew the site by Abitibi was a good place for the mill but doesn't yet know if it's good for a converting plant.
It will be about three months engineering time before they can do anything, Bruce
said, but the goal is to begin production in the first half of 2007.Supervisor J.R. DeSpain asked if Bruce
could give supervisors a firm start date.
couldn't because he
didn't know the work load of the engineering firms they wanted to use or how long the studies would take.He
did say there was a specific end date on the agreement.
"There is no time frame," Bruce
said all the numbers he
gave them were for the tissue mill and, barring the unforeseen, it should be here."The tissue mill is not good for the Valley," he
"This will benefit the county, especially with Mr. Bruce
negotiating with Abitibi."