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Pryor company expands operation

A paper products plant in Pryor is expanding. Orchids Paper is building a new $27-million paper mill and adding 50 new jobs.

As News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg explains, it's a company that looks good on paper.

Orchids Paper Products Company has been at the Pryor Industrial Park since the late 70's, but lately they're on a roll. "We certainly believe it's a good business or we wouldn't be investing $27-million in it."

Orchids' parent company went bankrupt several years back, but new investors say the Oklahoma plant was always profitable and so they bought it and created a new company with the same name.

CEO Mike Sage says in a year, their new paper mill will produce more paper than their 3 old mills combined. “I came here about 20 years and had never seen that old a machine still operating. It will allow us to make all our paper internally versus purchasing some from the outside." Believe it or not, they eventually turn big rolls of paper into smaller rolls.

Speaking of big rolls, right now, Orchids Paper is buying a lot of big rolls overseas which they say is very expensive. "We currently purchase paper from Indonesia, Colombia, and Mexico, to supplement our own paper. So it's much less expensive to make our own paper than purchase paper on the outside."

Orchids makes paper towels, napkins, and bathroom tissue for the discount store market like Dollar General, Big Lots, and Family Dollar.

Lately, they say they've actually had to turn down some business because they couldn't produce enough paper. But where there is a mill, there's a way.
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