Customer case:

Celebrating a successful start-up of a grade conversion rebuild at Bear Island in Ashland, Virginia

Jun 19, 2023

In May 2023, Cascades announced that it produced its first roll of 100% recycled containerboard at the Bear Island mill in Virginia, United States.

Successful start-up of a grade conversion rebuild

As previously announced, Valmet supplied an extensive paper machine-grade conversion rebuild for this mill.

Cascades would like to thank all its employees and partners who made this project possible, a feat made even more challenging given the difficult global context of supply chain issues. This project was the second largest in Cascades' history, and we are very proud to have successfully converted this plant into a state-of-the-art mill that will allow Cascades to grow our market share and enhance service and our portfolio of sustainable solutions for our customers."
Charles Malo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging

Cascades Bear Island successful grade conversion


Location Ashland, VA, USA
Customer target
  • The mill was looking to convert PM 1, which was originally designed to produce newspaper, to be rebuilt to produce high-quality, lightweight, 100 percent recycled linerboard and medium grades for the North American market.
  • The Valmet delivery included:
    • a new headbox and sizer
    • modernizations for the forming section, press section, drying section, and reel.
  • In addition, Valmet provided a wide scope of Automation and services including:
    • Valmet QCS with two scanners for the headbox
    • Service Agreements (e.g., Paper Machine Clothing, Doctor Care, PEP, SMP, Spare Parts, Refiner Plates, and Reliability Agreements).
  • Annual production capacity of 465,000 short tons of lightweight, high-quality, 100% recycled containerboard
  • The state-of-the-art mill is equipped to perform within the top quartile of its industry.
  • Will strengthen the operational flexibility, geographic footprint, and competitiveness of Cascades' Containerboard platform.
Keywords Board and Paper, Container board, grade conversions, drying, forming, headbox, pressing, reeling, sizing, quality