The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin

The local who's who of pulp

Port of Columbia identifies the local pulp players in Columbia County


The graphic, created by the Port of Columbia, shows the locations of straw-related companies in Columbia County.

COLUMBIA COUNTY-With all the media attention surrounding the innovative Columbia Pulp mill, which is preparing to open near Starbuck at Lyons Ferry this spring, it would be challenging to find a local citizen unaware of its existence. As the first tree-free market pulp mill in North America, which has brought dozens of jobs to the area already, the facility is a regular topic of conversation both near and far.

But some folks are unaware of, or confused about, the other straw-related businesses in Columbia County. To help dispel the confusion, the Port of Columbia has created an informative video, which is hosted on the Port of Columbia Facebook page.

The video clearly identifies and delineates the three pulp-related companies that have made Columbia County their home in recent years.

Columbia Pulp

Columbia Pulp processes waste straw into commercial grade pulp. The company has three locations, including a pulp mill at Lyon's Ferry near Starbuck, with more than 40 jobs, currently, a research and development mill in Pomeroy, with approximately 20 employees, and administrative headquarters in Dayton with approximately 20 employees. It is estimated that the mill will create more than 100 family wage jobs, upon completion, which is anticipated in the very near future.

Columbia Straw Supply

Columbia Straw Supply sources straw from area suppliers to sell to Columbia Pulp. It is expected that it will purchase over $15 million in waste straw from farms within 100 miles of its location, just outside of Starbuck. The company currently provides 10 family wage jobs and plans to add more.

Phoeneix Pulp & Polymer

Phoenix Pulp & Polymer operates at the former Columbia Cut Stock facility researching and developing pulp technology and employing 10 people. It is an operating arm of Sustainable Fiber Technologies (SFT) which owns and licenses the cutting-edge Phoenix Process which has been licensed to six mills around the globe, one of which is Columbia Pulp. The SFT main office is in Renton.

According to the Port video, the three new companies mean an addition of more than 120 jobs and $10 million in payroll in Columbia County.

To keep updated on economic development in Columbia County, visit the Port of Columbia page on Facebook or visit the Port website at


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