Monday, November 23, 2015

Governor Hutchinson Signs Letter of Intent with China's Sun Paper

China-based company is considering $1.3 billion project for south Arkansas

GUANGDONG PROVINCE, China – During Governor Asa Hutchinson’s trade mission to Asia, Governor Hutchinson joined Chairman and Founder of Sun Paper Hongxin Li on November 22 to sign a letter of intent of investment cooperation with Sun Paper, a China-based paper company that employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Through this letter, Sun Paper commits to studying the feasibility of building a $1.3 billion pulp mill in south Arkansas.

The Governor’s Office along with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission will work closely with the company as they finalize details for the location for their new North American facility. This would be the company’s first facility in North America.

Sun Paper is headquartered in China’s Shandong Province and expects to make a final decision on the new facility by May 1, 2016.

“This is another great example of how important these trade missions are in marketing Arkansas to the rest of the world,” said Gov. Hutchinson. “Our time with Sun Paper in China was invaluable as we learned more specifics of the company’s plans for the next several months. As with all prospective projects, working through site location questions is a thorough process and we look forward to continuing to work with the company’s leadership to provide everything needed to make an informed decision. This is an important step in a long process, and I am pleased by Sun Paper’s readiness to commit to a specific timeline and to focus on locations in our state for this major investment.”

Joining Gov. Hutchinson and Chairman Li at the signing ceremony were U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston, and U.S. Consulate General Charles Bennett.

Should Sun Paper locate a new factory in Arkansas, it would be comparable to Big River Steel’s investment currently under construction in Mississippi County. Employment projections are not being disclosed.

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