Alabama Mill Shifts Strategy

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A major Alabama mill is shifting away from a shrinking market for writing and printing papers and toward a filler product that absorbs liquid in diapers and other products.

The Alabama River Group plans to convert part of its Perdue Hill mill to make "fluff pulp."

The company won't say how much it will spend on the change at its 550-employee complex in Monroe County. But owner Parsons & Whittemore Inc. said it's the "the largest investment in the Alabama River mills" since the $700 million pine pulp mill opened in 1991.

An industry consultant said reconfiguring the mill could cost more than $100 million.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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