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Nippon takes over at Longview liquid packaging mill

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Nippon Paper Industries officials visited Longview from Japan on Thursday to celebrate the first day of the company’s ownership of the liquid packaging mill, which now will be known as Nippon Dynawave Packaging.

Weyerhaeuser Co. transferred ownership of the mill at midnight Wednesday to Japan-based Nippon, roughly three months after announcing the $285 million sale.

Local and state dignitaries gathered with about 200 employees to celebrate the transfer of the mill, according to a press release. The event was closed to the press.

“Around you, you see more than 85 years of dedicated local labor and world-class engineering, manufacturing and new product development,” John Carpenter, President of Nippon Dynawave Packaging, said in a speech reported by Nippon.

“Today we build on that foundation by launching our new company, with a new identity and a renewed commitment to safely and responsibly providing world-class products to a growing list of domestic and international customers,” Carpenter said.

Politicians who attended included Washington legislators state Sen. Dean Takko, state Rep. Brian Blake, as well as representatives from the offices of Congresswomen Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Nippon and Weyerhaeuser have had a longstanding relationship through their continuing joint ownership of NORPAC.

“It is my strong belief that we owe our new start today as Nippon Dynawave Packaging to having developed a deep relationship of trust and mutual respect through our history of collaboration with Weyerhaeuser,” said Shuhei Marukawa, Executive Vice President of Nippon Paper Industries, in a speech. “And it is our honor to bring the Liquid Packaging Board business into our fold, and to expand on our relationship to a successful teamwork in the Group.”

“At Nippon Paper Group, our motto is ‘shaping the future with trees’ and it is our mission to contribute better living and cultural progress to the communities we reside in, wherever we are,” Marukawa said. “We take pride in our community focus, and we recognize our global citizenship in our commitment to use the resources of our planet in a way that is sustainable and responsible.”

A ‘sakura’ — a flowering cherry tree was planted to commemorate the event.

The Longview mill produces 280,000 tons of liquid packaging board product annually.

Weyerhaeuser will continue to own half of NORPAC, which makes newsprint and book paper. It will also continue to operate the its sawmill and log export dock.

There are about 525 employees at the mill.

The Daily News, Longview, Wash.

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