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EDUCATION: PAPRICAN OFFERS 5-DAY PULPING COURSE

MONTREAL, QC -- Paprican is once again delivering a pulping course to users who are interested in knowing more about the science of pulping and papermaking. The five-day course -- running between May ...


January 1, 2000
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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MONTREAL, QC — Paprican is once again delivering a pulping course to users who are interested in knowing more about the science of pulping and papermaking. The five-day course — running between May 1 and 5, 2000 — contains two options: kraft pulping or mechanical pulping. It promises to give participants fundamental knowledge and current information on technological developments and research that will improve their technical competencies. The course consists of 30 hours of formal lectures, which cover overviews, technological details and developments, as well as hands-on demonstrations, workshops and a tour of a press-room. One of the featured demonstrations is a look at one of the most advanced paper machines in the world. For more information, contact Claudette Harland, course co-ordinator, Paprican, at 514-630-4100, ext. 2351, or at charland@paprican.ca. Or visit its Web site at www.paprican.ca.s the date for shareholders to have their say on the controversial deal.

WEBSITE: SURF OVER TO PAPRICAN

MONTREAL, QC — Paprican has improved its website, www.paprican.ca. The public site, among other things, contains information about its research programs and technologies and the benefits of membership. “We will be adding information on available technologies on a regular basis,” said Sue Stevenson, a Paprican spokesperson. As well, the research institute will be building a section for member companies only — called Extranet — which should be completed by the end of 1999, she said. “Member companies will be able to gain access to reports, projects and proprietary information.”

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PANELBOARD: NEXFOR PAYS $180M FOR BOARD MAKER

TORONTO, ON — Nexfor Inc. plans to buy the remaining 50% share in panel producer CSC Forest Products for about $180 million, which consists of a purchase price of $120 million and the assumption of $60 million of CSC’s debt. The facility, a joint venture since 1995 between Nexfor and Glunz AG of Germany, is based in Cowie, Scotland. Its four mills — two in Scotland (Cowie and Iverness) and two in England (Devon and Newcastle) — produce more than 1.25 million m3 of panel products. In the deal, Nexfor acquires complete control of the United Kingdom’s largest producer of panel products, including oriented strandboard (OSB) and particleboard. Dominic Gammiero, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Nexfor, said that the deal was timely as the company straightens its foothold in Europe. “Owning 100% of CSC is consistent with our panelboard growth strategy. It positions us for further expansion in Europe in the future, particularly in OSB.” Nexfor said that it will finance the acquisition from the sales of its 50% interest in Prince, George, BC-based Northwood Inc. and its Maclaren Energy assets in Quebec. The deal is expected to close by November 17, 1999.

ECONOMY: BETTER TIMES FOR INDUSTRY

THUNDER BAY, ON — After years of tough times, the pulp and paper industry is standing on the threshold of resurgence, said Patricia Mohr, vice-president of economics at Scotiabank in Toronto, and a columnist for PULP & PAPER CANADA. Wood products prices in the US are inching upward and paper products are expected to follow. Much of the credit goes to mergers that have taken place in the last 18 months, which have reduced overcapacity and cut costs. “The pulp and paper industry is now leaner and meaner … and should be able to generate profits at much lower prices,” she told delegates in September at the annual meeting of Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada’s Midwest branch. The result is that investors are returning to Canada’s forest products sector, which will make it easier for companies to raise capital. As well, mills have done a better job of producing products that customers are currently demanding. For example, Abitibi-Consolidated’s Fort William division shifted from high-cost newsprint production to higher-grade paper products.

BRIEFLY

Norampac Inc. of Montreal has inaugurated its new Agnati corrugator at its mill in Drummondville, QC. The $5.5-million investment will double production capacity, reduce production costs and improve the quality of basic products. The company plans to spend an additional $2.5 million on, among other things, sophisticated printing equipment.

Donohue Industries Inc. has hired Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. for engineering, procurement and construction services for the $210-million (US) modernization project at its newsprint mill in Lufkin, TX. The project includes replacing three of the mill’s four machines with a single one capable of producing 250 000 t/y of uncoated supercalendered specialty paper, and improving the kraft pulp mill to comply with US Cluster Rules.

The Canadian Competition Bureau’s mergers branch has cleared the way for Federal Way, WA-based Weyerhaeuser Company’s $3.6-billion acquisition of Vancouver-based MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. Competition authorities in Germany and Ireland have also given the green light. The transaction is still subject to further regulatory approvals, a favorable vote by shareholders, court approval in Canada and other usual closing conditions.

The average family income in the mill town of Terrace Bay, ON, on Lake Superior about 200 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is $76 000 — $16,000 higher than the provincial average. Kimberly-Clark operates a pulp mill in the region.


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