July 2, 2019 (Press Release)
Willamette Falls Paper Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Columbia Ventures Corporation in Vancouver, Washington, announces Dr. Phil Harding will join Willamette Falls Paper Company as the Director of Technology and Sustainability.
Dr. Harding has spent the past twelve years serving as the Linus Pauling Chair of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He will bring his wealth of industrial chemical engineering and business experience to develop paper and other products from wheat straw, recycled fiber, and hemp. His background includes work in the paper industry with James River Corporation and in microelectronics with Hewlett-Packard, with responsibilities including process engineering, research and development, product reliability, global manufacturing, and research strategy. He is the winner of the Oregon State University Carter Award for Outstanding and Inspirational Teaching, is a certified Professional Engineer, and holds 15 patents.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Harding to the team at Willamette Falls Paper Company,” states Brian Konen, President of Willamette Falls Paper Company. “His expertise in our industry and his innovation and forward thinking on sustainability will be critical for our new product development and the long-term viability of the business.”
“It is an honor to join Brian Konen and Columbia Ventures Corporation CEO, Ken Peterson, in not only restarting the paper mill, but also creating new market segments that synergistically engage economic opportunity and sustainability,” states Dr. Harding. “State and federal regulatory movement on managing carbon emissions strongly favor our location and business interests.”
Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC) is a private equity diversified holding company. Notably, CVC is the majority owner of Northwest Straw Pulp LLC, which is in the final stages of constructing a first-of-its-kind pulp mill near Starbuck, Washington, to manufacture high-quality pulp fiber from wheat straw. At full production, it expects to annually produce 140,000 tons of pulp that will be able to directly substitute for hardwood pulp in terms of specifications and quality.
Willamette Falls Paper Company, Inc., is a newly-formed company which owns and operates the machinery and equipment at the paper mill in West Linn, Oregon. The company is a non-integrated mill, capable of making coated and uncoated grades with an annual capacity of 260,000 tons. The Willamette Falls Paper Company looks to be an innovative leader in environmental paper production.