- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a letter of intent with a Chinese company that plans to study the feasibility of building a $1.3 billion pulp mill in south Arkansas.

Hutchinson signed the memo with the chairman and founder of Sun Paper during the governor’s trade mission to Asia. Sun Paper employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, and the Arkansas mill would be the company’s first facility in North America.

The company is expected to decide on the new facility by May.

The governor’s office says if Sun Paper decides to locate a new factory in Arkansas, it would be comparable to Big River Steel’s investment currently under construction in Mississippi County.

Potential employment figures were not released.

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