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ACQUISITION: ST. LAURENT SNAPS UP BUILDING PRODUCTS BIZ


May 1, 1999
By Pulp & Paper Canada

MONTREAL, QC — St. Laurent Paperboard plans to buy Chesapeake Corp.’s building products business, which has plants in Virginia and Maryland. The acquired assets consist of two pine sawmills in West P…

MONTREAL, QC — St. Laurent Paperboard plans to buy Chesapeake Corp.’s building products business, which has plants in Virginia and Maryland. The acquired assets consist of two pine sawmills in West Point, VA, and Princess Anne, MD; a lumber reprocessing facility in Milford, VA; as well as a chip mill in Pocomoke City, MD. “The facilities to be acquired are an integral part of a refocused long-term supply strategy to deliver high-quality, low-cost pine and hardwood chips chips, as well as sawdust to St. Laurent Paperboard’s largest primary mill located in West Point, VA,” said a press release. The company added that its fibre supply strategy was “realigned” so as to substantially reduce the mill’s fibre cost and increase competitiveness. In total, the two sawmills have an annual capacity of 60 million board feet, while the chip mill has an annual capacity of 300 000 tons. With the acquisition, St. Laurent increases its 3600-person workforce by 120. The deal is subject to the usual approvals of the board of directors and government regulatory agencies.

MERGER: VOITH SETS SIGHTS ON SCAPA

HEIDENHEIM, GERMANY — The Voith Group of Companies said it intends to buy Scapa Group’s paper machine clothing and roll covers business. If approved, Voith will increase its global market share of the roll service business, where the combined revenues of the merged company will hit about $2.3 billion. In 1998, Scapa’s revenues in that sector were about $625 million, and Voith’s about $1.7 billion, that figure representing 56% of Voith’s total revenues. The management group will be led by Ray Hall, executive vice-president of Voith Sulzer Paper Technology service division, and Samuel Entriken, senior vice-president of Scapa. The deal is subject to the usual regulatory approvals.

PRODUCTION: COMPANIES TAKE MORE DOWNTIME

MONTREAL, QC — A number of companies have recently announced production curtailments, mainly as a result of weak demand for paper products:

Donohue Inc., Montreal, QC, plans to take an indefinite period of downtime on paper machine No. 1 at its newsprint and groundwood specialty mill in Lufkin, TX, to reduce inventories. The machine will be shut down in late April until at least the end of 1999, or until market conditions improve for the newsprint and specialty grades produced on this machine. Downtime at Lufkin will remove approximately 45 000 tonnes of newsprint capacity. This is in addition to the 25 000 tonnes of downtime that Donohue is already in the process of taking in Texas this year at the Lufkin and Sheldon newsprint mills.

Bowater Inc., Greenville, SC, is cutting newsprint production at mills in Dalhousie, NB, and Maine to deal with a reduction in orders from major customers. It will reduce production by about 25 000 tonnes. This move comes after a cut of about 35 000 tonnes at its mill in Gatineau, QC. Company spokesman Jim Dorton said the cuts are a result of lost sales caused by weak market demand in Asia.

Unifort, Port Cartier, QC, has announced a temporary downtime of some of the activities at the Tripap plant. This reduction in production took effect on April 5, 1999, and will take about 3500 tonnes out of production. The company cites “the current weakness in the uncoated paper market” for taking its decision.

ENERGY: CONFERENCE LOOKS AT CLIMATE CHANGE

OTTAWA, ON — Natural Resources Canada will host the first ever Canadian Conference on Energy Efficiency at the Ottawa Convention Centre between May 18 and 20. “This annual conference will take stock of what Canada has done in the area of energy efficiency and examine how we can improve over-all performance in the near future,” said Ralph Goodale, the federal minister of natural resources. “It is an important part of our efforts to address climate change and to achieve Canada’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.” The protocol calls for Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6% from 1990 levels by between 2008 and 2012. The conference will also honor the winners of the National Energy Efficiency Awards, given to the country’s most promising energy-efficiency initiatives.

MARKET PULP: TEMBEC TAKEOVER GAINS APPROVAL

MONTREAL, QC — Crestbrook Forest Industries Ltd. shareholders have approved the takeover by Montreal-based Tembec Inc., which offered $70.4 million in cash and stock for the Cranbrook, BC-based producer of market pulp and lumber. As well, Tembec will assume about $200 million in Crestbrook debt. In the deal, Tembec obtains the Skookumchuck mill, which underwent a $291-million modernization to produce northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) and elemental chlorine free (ECF) pulps. “The modern facility at Skookumchuck, in conjunction with Tembec’s technical knowledge, will help ensure we deliver a consistent and high quality NBSK pulp to existing and new customers,” said Frank Graves, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Tembec International Sales Corp., a subsidiary of Tembec Inc.

BRIEFLY

Bowater Inc. says it will invest $22.5-million in its paper mill at Thunder Bay, ON. The money is to upgrade the mill’s recycling plant, to meet market demands for newsprint with a higher content of recycled fibre.

Abitibi-Consolidated Inc., Montreal, QC, said it will close two older machines at its Wayagamack paper mill in mid-May.

Stora Port Hawkesbury Ltd. has changed its name to Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury Ltd., which reflects the new corporate organization as a result of the merger earlier this year between Sweden-based Stora and Finnish-based Enso.

Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd. said its BC Timberlands Division has received ISO 14001 registration for its environmental system.

Produits Desbiens, Montreal, QC, makers of absorbent material for personal hygiene products, spill pads and horticultural products, plans to close its mill in Desbiens, QC, at the end of 1999.

ERRATA

In the March issue’s Session Notebook report on Energy Conservation, the paper by S. Schroderus (p. 40) should read, “Pressure disc filters can give suspended solid levels of less than 20 ppm,” not 200 ppm, as written.

In the same issue, Industry People (P. 72), David Emerson, Canfor Corporation, is the new vice-president of CPPA, not Dave Anderson, as written.


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