Marcal Paper has said it will return to regular papermaking operations in New Jersey, America, in January, less than one year after a 10-alarm fire destroyed its iconic manufacturing facilities and caused the immediate shutdown of the business.  

President and chief executive Rob Baron, said: “We are thrilled to announce that we will officially be back in business. 

“The prospect of such an announcement seemed impossible eleven months ago, when a devastating fire eliminated eighty years of manufacturing history in less than eight hours. 

“Thanks to the support we have received from the awesome New Jersey community, and the efforts of our entire team, we will soon return to regular papermaking operations in Elmwood Park. 

“We understand that many in our family lost a lot the day the fire struck our mill, and we have done everything possible to try to help them recover.   

“We also understand what Marcal means to Elmwood Park, to Bergen County and to New Jersey as a whole; we were – and now will be again – the one and only recycled tissue manufacturer in the Garden State.” 

In the days ahead, the company is gathering at the mill to officially restart Marcal, and “launch a new chapter in what is a uniquely New Jersey story”.  

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, Marcal coordinated an aggressive programme of assistance for those team members whose jobs were lost that day.  

State and local officials and dozens of employers connected associates with new employment opportunities and critical human services, and Marcal provided associates with financial assistance and extended health insurance coverage.  

Marcal has also finalised a merger with Nittany Paper, a converting operation in Pennsylvania, to ensure that the paper rolls manufactured in Elmwood Park can be converted into final product for sale.   

The fire substantially destroyed sixteen acres of property, including twenty-one paper converting lines.   

By merging with Nittany, Marcal said it has “secured the only viable pathway to restarting operations in Elmwood Park now, and saving its brand, while leaving open future opportunities for growth or redevelopment at its site in New Jersey”.  

Baron added: “We did not want to just start up some machines and fail. From day one, we wanted to give ourselves a fighting chance to hire back as many people as we could, as fast as we could, while ensuring we had a viable, sustainable roadmap to thrive – in a very challenging market. 

“We’ve all waited 330 days to be able to say that Marcal was ‘back in business.’ That day has arrived.” 

TWM visited the impressive Marcal mill for its north-eastern USA Regional Report in May/June 2016.