The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Columbia Pulp Plant to be Operational by March


January 3, 2019

Times File Photo

The exteriors of the buildings at the Columbia Pulp straw pulp plant, near Lyons Ferry, were mostly completed in photo, taken last fall.

DAYTON-Tony Waldo, Operation Manager for Columbia Pulp, spoke about the Lyons Ferry Straw Pulp Mill at the annual Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Update meeting, on Dec. 19.

Waldo said that construction of the facility has been a little behind schedule, but it will be operational late in the first quarter of 2019.

"All the buildings and equipment have been set," said Waldo. "Right now they're working on piping and wiring, and instrumentation."

Waldo said 60-100 skilled people will be working at the site on any given day, and hiring is on-going.

The milling process, which was developed by scientists William McKean and Mark Lewis, cooks straw to make wet lap pulp. The end product contains 50% fiber and 50% liquid. Both products can be marketed, Waldo said. He said the fibrous pulp can be used to make products such as egg cartons, beverage containers, paper cups and paper plates.

Waldo said trials are currently underway to use the liquid, or biopolymers, for livestock feed, dust control for roads and mines, and for deicing on winter roads.

The company recently conducted their first customer trial, which was to make three-ply paper out of the wet lap.

Waldo said the Columbia Pulp Pilot Plant in Pomeroy, which is a scaled down version of the larger mill at Lyons Ferry, is being used as an employee training facility. It can produce 10 tons of wet lap pulp, each day, he said. By contrast, the larger facility will produce 410 short air-dried tons of wet lap pulp every day.

The customer base that is being created at the pilot plant will ready the larger facility when it comes on line, said Waldo.


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