The Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MTX) said that a satellite precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) plant announced in October of 2011 at a paper mill owned by Double A (1991) Public Company Ltd. in Tha Toom, Thailand, became operational in the fourth quarter of 2012.
This joint venture is Minerals Technologies' second satellite PCC plant with Double A at the Tha Toom paper mill. This PCC facility, which will be operated by Double A Specialty Minerals Company Ltd., will eventually produce approximately 80,000 metric tons of PCC a year after it ramps up production.
The Tha Toom paper mill has also signed a commercial agreement for Minerals Technologies' FulFill(TM) E-325 technology. The adoption of FulFill(TM) E-325 by Double A had been announced previously as an agreement with an unnamed Asian papermaker.
"Our relationship with this premier papermaker, which goes back to 1996, is further strengthened by the startup of this satellite PCC plant and the use of our FulFill(TM) technology," said D.J. Monagle, senior vice president and managing director, Paper PCC. "We are very pleased to further our long-time partnership with this environmentally focused brand leader."
Double A exports its 'Double A Quality' premium copy paper to more than 100 countries and is a world leader in environmentally friendly pulp and paper production based on the development of its Farmed Trees concept. Up to one million Thai farm families plant fast-growing eucalyptus trees in previously unused space between rice patties and tapioca fields to increase their income and provide a sustainable fiber source for Double A.
PCC is a specialty pigment for filling and coating high-quality paper. By substituting PCC for more expensive wood fiber, customers like Double A are able to produce brighter, higher quality paper at lower cost. Minerals Technologies originated the satellite concept for making and delivering PCC on-site at paper mills and the concept was a major factor in revolutionizing North American papermaking from an acid to an alkaline-based technology. Minerals Technologies constructed its first PCC satellite plant in 1986. Today, the company has 57 satellite plants in operation or under construction around the world and continues to lead the industry with consistent quality and technical innovation.