Pulp and Paper Canada

CASCADES FINE PAPER GROUP: Recycling at Breakeyville, Quebec

July 1, 2006  By Pulp & Paper Canada

Cascades Fine Papers Group Inc.

Cascades Fine Papers Group Inc.

Cascades Fine Papers Group Inc. (CFP) is a Canadian-based leader in fine paper manufacturing with a strong reputation for craftsmanship. The company churns out more than 100 categories of uncoated fine papers, the majority of which are made from recycled fibre. Recognizable brands include Superfine Line Record, Colonial Bond, ReproPlusBrite, Rockland, Rolland Enviro100 and ST Generation II. The group additionally produces security papers used for stock and bond certificates, voting ballots, passports and travellers’ cheques. The three divisions provide jobs for more than 700 people and distribute products throughout North America. CFP is at the forefront of the recycled paper market, boasting the widest range of Canadian-produced alkaline papers. Strongly renowned for its status as an environmentally friendly company, CFP produces fine papers that contain an average of 30% post-consumer fibre. Headquartered in Saint-Jrme, QC, CFP’s CEO Mario Plourde oversees three production centres, the Rolland Division, the Converting Center, both located in Sainte-Jrme, and Breakey Fibres Division, which is our focus here.



Located on the south shore of the St-Laurent River, Breakeyville faces the provincial capital. Similar to many communities in the area, its growth as a town was based primarily on the forestry industry. Its unusual name refers to Irish immigrant John Breakey, who not only built the first sawmills in the area, but was also instrumental in building the first church in Breakeyville. Over a century later, in 1984, Dsencrage Cascades Inc. was established. In June of that year the firm purchased the then-idle pulp mill from John Breakey Inc., with the aim of building a newsprint de-inking operation. From June 1984 to October 1985 the mill came alive again, with the construction of a new warehouse and the installation of equipment to convert waste newspaper and magazines into de-inked market pulp. A mere three years later, in 1988, the de-inking facility was transformed to bleach kraft papers for fine papers and tissue applications. By 1995 the mill was the very first to use flotation clarifiers for primary and secondary clarification. The following year saw a $3 million investment for peroxide and FAS bleaching, the latter being changed to hydrosulfite bleaching in 1998. A recent investment of $2.5 million permitted the addition of a new flotation line. Today, the annual production capacity of 58,000 metric tons of de-inked beached kraft pulp is achieved using 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Its use of bleached virgin pulp offers Fibres Breakey an extremely competitive advantage. The mill prides itself on being the only one of its type in North America to be certified by the Chlorine Free Products Association (CFPA), which recognizes the chlorine-free process. “This is truly one of the most environmentally friendly mills in operation and to have been involved in the process of getting there is one of the highlights of my career,” said Larame. Roger Gaudreault, general manager of research & development at Cascades and Norampac, is a long time colleague and said of Larame, “His belief in the environment is what he stands for, and addressing environmental issues and finding solutions is what drives him.”

FSC certification

On July 25 of last year, CFP’s ‘green mill’ in Saint-Jrme took the lead in its activity sector by receiving the Forest Stewardship Council certification FSC Recycled. This designation authenticates that the product has a 100% post-consumer content. To determine this, the entire process is taken into account, from the raw material to the consumers. “Cascades Fine Papers Group,” noted Denis Jean, then-president and chief executive officer*, “is the first and only Canadian fine paper manufacturer to be awarded the FSC Recycled Certification. It is the result of outstanding teamwork,” he added, “between the management team of the mill in Saint-Jrme and the team at the de-inking mill in Breakeyville, whose pulp is also certified FSC Recycled.” (The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, non-profit association, whose membership comprises environmental and social groups as well as progressive forestry and wood retails companies, working in partnership to improve forest management worldwide.)

The certification is highly indicative of Cascades’ desire to meet market needs and to complete its offer of ecological fine papers.

The role of recovery at Cascades

Cascades is well known in the industry as a waste paper recovery and recycling pioneer. Ensuring a reliable supply of fibre to suit the specific requirements of its mills has been a priority ever since 1964, when the company was founded. A huge recovery network across North America provides an ever-increasing percentage of raw materials needed by the mills. Additionally, the company offers made-to-measure recovery programs aimed at paper and carton generating establishments. Recycled fibre accounts for an impressive two-thirds of the raw material used by the company’s various operating sectors. In the long run what this implies is that Cascades breathes new life into 2.5 million tons of paper and cardboard, or to 30 million trees.

Richard Larame

Richard Larame was born in Montreal and raised in Quebec City. He readily admits that after graduating from university with a Bachelor of Chemistry, he had no idea he would embark on a lengthy career in the pulp and paper industry. After a short stint with the provincial Ministry of Environment, he joined Cascades Inc. in 1990. The next 16 years saw him bounce around from several locations, including the Burnaby Division of Norampac Inc., a time he recalls as “a wonderful life and working experience. My kids also got the chance to become fluent with a second language.” With a strong belief in environmental issues, his career started in the Research and Development Department of Cascades. Jean Morin, Supervisor of the Process Engineer Group R & D, Cascades Inc., said, “Richard has never lost his vision (for the environment), and whether he is in British Columbia at a large mill, or back here in Quebec at a smaller mill, you know he is always thinking of how to best use our natural resources.” Larame said, “I believe in balance in my home-life and in my work-life, and when we have this, we can achieve our goals.” His ambitions centre on teaching young people about the significance of recycling, and increasing recycling percentages in large urban centres through educating and motivating people to get involved, as he put it, “before it is too late.” He noted that over the last few years, people have become increasingly concerned about the way we manage our forest resources. “I believe that we now see consumers applying pressure to recycle and understanding that our resources are not limitless. There is a way to manage and use our wood fibre resources, and there is no doubt in my mind that recycling is part of the solution.” At age 41, Richard Larame draws his optimism for the future from his two young children, when he sees them both aware and appreciative of the importance of the green recycling box.

* Mr. Denis Jean retired last year, and Mr. Mario Plourde is the CEO of CFP.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed at zsoltp@pulpandpapercanada.com


Beginning of operation: 1984

Number of employees: 51

Production capacity: 58,000 metric tons annually

Raw materials: Office paper & coated papers

Markets: Quebec, Ontario & northeastern United States

Registration: IS0 9001 (2000)


Rolland Division – Saint-Jrome, Qubec

Beginning of operations: 1882

Cascades acquisition: 1992

Production capacity: 155.000 short tons annually

Certification: ISO 9001: 2000 (initially

Products: – More than 100 types of fine papers – Specialty papers – Security papers

Converting Center – Sainte-Jrome, Qubec

Beginning of operations: 1998

Production capacity: 100,000 short tons annually

Certification: ISO 9001: 2000

Services: – Sheeting – Packaging – Storage & warehouse

Breakey Fibres Division – Breakeyville, Qubec

Production capacities at Breakey Fibres Division

1995 46,000 metric tonnes

2000 50,000 metric tonnes

2002 51,500 metric tonnes

2004 52,200 metric tonnes

2005 53,000 metric tonnes

2006 58,000 metric tonnes

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