Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Total Fiber Recovery (TFR) will invest $49 million to establish its first recycled pulp production facility in the city of Chesapeake. Virginia successfully competed with Maryland and South Carolina for the project, which will create 68 new jobs.
“Total Fiber Recovery’s innovative operation will produce in-demand recycled fiber that reduces our environmental footprint and positions Chesapeake as a major participant in this important sector,” said Northam in a statement. “This project helps demonstrate that clean air, clean water and a strong economy do not have to be mutually exclusive. We thank the company for investing in our Commonwealth, creating new jobs and supporting Virginia’s conservation efforts.”
TFR will begin operations in 2021 and annually process 300,000 tons of mixed paper and other recycled fiber from the region’s materials recovery facilities (MRFs). The company will increase the region’s capacity to process recycled fiber, a commodity that has been limited due to international restrictions, prompting historically low prices for recycled fiber and added costs to recycling for communities. With domestic and international offtake agreements in place, the pulp product created by TFR in Chesapeake will be transported to paper plants to become new products.
“We are excited that Total Fiber Recovery has chosen the city of Chesapeake for its first recycled pulp production facility due to the region’s workforce and global access through the Port of Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball in a statement. “The revenue from exporting TFR’s pulp product in addition to the creation of 68 new jobs will be a positive economic boost for the city of Chesapeake and the Commonwealth. We look forward to having TFR in Virginia.”
“The paper industry demands recycled pulp to make new products, and North America is home to some of the world’s most advanced MRFs that produce high-quality recycled fiber,” said Total Fiber Recovery President Eric Herbert in a statement. “From consumers recycling at their homes, to legislators and regulators developing creative waste management plans, to the dedicated MRF operators sorting out materials, Americans have shown that we care about recycling. All that is missing here is the capacity to achieve our goals, and that is what TFR provides. We could not be more excited to be a part of the solution and to start here in Chesapeake, and we thank the local leadership for helping us realize our vision. We are grateful for the support of Governor Northam, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Port of Virginia, Mayor West and the Chesapeake City Council.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Chesapeake’s Economic Development Department and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Chesapeake with the project. Total Fiber Recovery is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.