Quinnesec Mill: A young but thriving paper-manufacturer

Established in 1985, Billerud's Quinnesec Mill, located in the southeast corner of Dickinson County, Michigan, is the most recently built production unit within Billerud. Despite its relatively short history, the Quinnesec Mill has thrived as the economic anchor of Dickinson County for more than three decades and has grown into an influential presence in the paper-making industry. Originally focused on pulp production, the mill expanded into paper manufacturing in 1990.

A mining community’s shift into world-class paper manufacturing

Established in 1871 near the Quinnesec Iron Mine, the Quinnesec community initially depended on mining. The primary minerals that we extracted from the Quinnesec Iron Mine include goethite, hematite, and magnetite, with quartz being the primary waste materials. Over recent decades, Billerud's paper mill has taken over this central role within the local industry and has grown to become one of the largest employers in the central upper peninsula. The mill started as a pulp production facility in 1985. Its pivot into paper manufacturing in 1990 paved the way to where it stands today as an industry-leading manufacturer of coated sheets, coated web, coated digital and InkJet, label paper and pulp.

Today’s Production

Quinnesec Mill was acquired by Billerud in 2022. With over 400 employees, the production unit has a solid capacity of 640,000 tons of paper annually, operating on a 2,200-acre site. Renowned for its versatile product range, the Quinnesec Mill caters to a wide array of industries. Its graphic papers are perfect for print communication, while its label papers excel in complex technical applications.

Sustainability and Community Commitment

The Quinnesec mill, situated on the picturesque Menominee River, started up in 1985 making it a relatively modern facility. As a result of the modern design of the facility, environmental compliance was at the top of the list of considerations during construction. The Quinnesec Mill is well laid out from a stormwater perspective and is able to treat all process wastewater onsite. In the last three years there has also been a targeted effort to reduce the venting of non-compressible gases during operational upsets. These reductions have a direct impact on the surrounding community by limiting occurrences of odor. The facility also has a robust land application program where waste water residuals are used as soil amendments in partnership with local farmers. Together with our employees, the Quinnesec Mill supports a wide range of community organizations and events with a focus on education, sustainability and local health and human service needs.

The Mill donated $100,000 to the local community in 2023, with strong community participation driven by our employees who generously contribute their time and talent to volunteering both individually and in various company-sponsored efforts to enhance the quality of life in Dickinson County and the surrounding area.

Since 2001, the Quinnesec Mill has held the esteemed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Star facility under the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP). The MVPP Star cetrification is the state’s highest recognition for workplace safety programs and performance. Moreover, the Quinnesec Mill received its ISO 14001 certification in 2008 which underscores its commitment to environmental sustainability.