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Yankee dryer’s arrival here via ‘super load’ marks major milestone

The “super load” carrying a huge industrial dryer for the newest First Quality Tissue plant at Lock Haven marks a huge milestone when it comes to the history of manufacturing in Clinton County.

Privately owned First Quality is investing hundreds of millions of dollars here to add a third tissue and paper towel manufacturing operation locally.

The combined three-dryer plant we believe dwarfs the former operations of International Paper Co., even in its heyday of manufacturing on the property in Castanea Township.

The newest dryer — known as a Yankee dryer — is used in the production of tissue. They are pressure vessels typically used to remove excess moisture from pulp used in the production of paper products.

The dryer was manufactured in Italy.

The super load weighs 628,000 pounds, measures 217-feet long, 20-feet high and 20-feet wide.

It arrived via Lake Erie at the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority on Dec. 5.

Though super loads have passed through Pennsylvania before, this is the first to come through the Erie port, said PennDOT spokesperson Marla Fannin.

We expect that with the dryer’s arrival at Lock Haven today — weather and other factors permitting– a rather large crowd will come out to view this mechanical wonder.

Not counting its journey across the ocean, the dryer will have traversed more than 300 miles through nine counties.

Motorists can check conditions and travel delays on major roads by visiting www.511PA.com and can follow the super load’s progress on Twitter at www.twitter.com.

First Quality, meanwhile, is creating new jobs here with the third plant and its pace of job creation at its multiple plants across the Keystone State has been at the fastest of any private employer in Pennsylvania.

Invest here;

build here

Talking about investment, we’re ecstatic that General Motors just announced it will invest $1.5 billion to make “next generation,” mid-sized pickup trucks at its American plant near St. Louis, Mo.

American automakers have always manufactured some of the best vehicles in the world.

It’s just that, in the past decade or so, many of them moved too much of their manufacturing out of the United States.

Some of that was to expand markets.

But some of it was to cut labor costs.

While U.S. auto manufacturers have challenges to remain profitable, it will be the quality of the vehicles they make that sustain and grow them.

Our president has criticized U.S. automakers for building cars in Mexico and elsewhere.

True, some of the most popular and profitable vehicles sold in the United States by Detroit’s Big 3 automakers — Ford, General Motors and Chrysler — are imported from Mexico.

In 2015, Mexico shipped just over $50-billion U.S. worth of cars to the U.S., and about the same amount worth of auto parts.

Invest here and build here, we say.

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