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Industry News (October 01, 2003)


October 1, 2003
By Pulp & Paper Canada

ReductionsCOMPANIES RESTRUCTUREHELSINKI, FINLAND — Stora Enso North America will cut $65 million US in annual fixed costs, which will include two paper machines shutdowns and workforce reduction of a…

Reductions

COMPANIES RESTRUCTURE

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HELSINKI, FINLAND — Stora Enso North America will cut $65 million US in annual fixed costs, which will include two paper machines shutdowns and workforce reduction of about 1,000 employees by mid-2005. The company first implemented such measures last August 2002, as part of its profit enhancement program.

Stora Enso North America currently employs around 6,050 people. After the program has been fully implemented, the number of employees will be about 5,000.

STAMFORD, CT — According to a report by Reuters, International Paper will cut 3,000 jobs, or 3.5% of the company’s global workforce. The cuts will take place over the next year. About 450 positions will be cut at the Memphis, TN, location.

IP also announced that the company is consolidating three existing businesses into the newly-created Specialty Papers Business to serve customers more efficiently. The company’s former Industrial Papers, Kraft Papers and a portion of the Converting & Specialty Papers Business will be consolidated into International Paper’s new Specialty Papers Business. The business will be part of IP’s Industrial Packaging Group.

PRINCE ALBERT, SK — Weyerhaeuser will shut down its Prince Albert pulp and paper mill for two weeks later this fall. Over 650 employees will be laid off from October 29 through to November 12th. Company spokesman Wayne Roznowsky says the move is a result of American tariffs and weak markets, and will have an impact on northern contractors.

One hundred and forty-four salaried employees will not be affected by the shutdown, but they will be encouraged to take some time off.

ATLANTA, GA — Georgia-Pacific laid off 82 workers in August as part of a plan to reduce its spending on information technology by 25%. Most of the lay-offs were in the G-P headquarters in Atlanta.

Fire Cost

BILLIONS IN TIMBER LOST

The Globe and Mail reported that the fires burning in BC’s southern interior may have affected 14 billion board feet of lumber, at an approximate cost of $5.6 billion. That amount, the report states, is equivalent to 75% of Canada’s softwood shipments to the US last year.

The estimates represent some three times the allowable harvest in the area. Major license holders in the southern interior include Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd. of Kamloops, Tolko Industries of Vernon, Riverside Forest Products Ltd. of Kelowna, International Forest Products Ltd. of Vancouver, Slocan Forest Products Ltd. of Richmond and Edmonton-based West Fraser Mills Ltd.

Inventories Increase

CHEMICAL PULP: SHIPMENTS UP

MONTREAL, QC — World chemical market pulp producer inventories increased by 164,000 tonnes in July compared to the previous month. At current shipping rates, it is estimated that producers held 38 days of supply at the end of July — two more than last month. Pulp producers operated at 96% of capacity — three-percentage points less than July 2002. Market shipments were up 2.1% year-over-year, and were 1.7% higher on a year-to-date basis.

Up From Last Year

NEWSPRINT: SHIPMENTS INCREASE

MONTREAL, QC — The Pulp and Paper Products Council reported that North American newsprint mills operated at 90% of their capacity in July. To date this year, mills have used 90% of their capacity compared to 87% for the same period last year.

Total newsprint shipments were down by less than 1% in July, due to a 7.5% contraction in Canadian demand. Demand in the U.S. was at the same level in July as it was last year.

North American deliveries to offshore markets were also flat year-over-year, as a drop in shipments to Latin America offset the export gains made in Asia and Western Europe.

By the end of July, North American mill inventories had decreased by 7,000 tonnes from the preceding month.

Chip Shortage

SQUAMISH MILL DOWN FOR 16 DAYS

MONTREAL, QC — Lack of wood chips forced Western Pulp to curtail its pulp mill in Squamish, BC, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 8. The 16-day outage, which is expected to cause a loss of about 13,000 tonnes of northern bleached softwood kraft market (NBSK) production, will also permit the mill to conduct routine maintenance.

Mill executives said because of the downtime, the mill is expected to run without any stoppages until August 2004.

Sawmill Closes

DOMTAR TO CEASE OPERATIONS IN SAULT STE. MARIE

MONTREAL, QC — Domtar Inc. will permanently cease its planing and drying operations in Sault Ste Marie, ON. In all, 58 employees will be affected by this decision, when operations come to an end on Oct. 17.

Activities done in Sault Ste. Marie will be brought to other Domtar sawmills in Northern Ontario.

Epa Requirements

NORAMPAC APPEALS CONVICTION, FINE

BELLEVILLE, ON — Norampac was fined $25,000 plus a victim fine surcharge after being convicted of failing to comply with a Ministry of Environment requirement to order equipment for phasing the use of Dombind as a dust suppressant on unpaved roads.

The company was found guilty on April 21, 2003 by Justice of the Peace Cathy Hickling in the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville. The fine and the victim surcharge was imposed on July 9, 2003.

A director’s order issued in April 1999 under the Environmental Protection Act sets out a series of requirements to phase out the use of Dombind, which contains dioxins. It is a concentrated liquid material that is a by-product of recycled cardboard produced at Norampac Inc.’s cardboard mill located in Quinte West (Trenton).

The Belleville court was told that the order required Norampac to obtain steam reformer technology. The Ministry said Norampac failed to comply with the requirement.

White Top Liner

SMURFIT-STONE BRIGHTENS

WEST POINT, VA — Smurfit-Stone’s Board Sales division increased the brightness level of its premium white top liner from 76 to 80.

Premium white top is produced at its La Tuque, QC, mill and offers better print contrast and better graphic reproduction as it provides a smooth print surface. It is post printable and is ideal for process, line art and high coverage solids. It is available in basis weights of 31, 36 and 42.

Mill Sold

CURTIS PAPER MILL SELLS PORT HURON

PORT HURON, MI — Curtis Papers announced that it has reached an agreement in principle for DCM Acquisition Company, LLC to acquire its Port Huron, MI, Specialty Papers Mill. The two parties have signed a Letter of Intent and expect to complete the transaction by the end of September, 2003. In addition, the parties are negotiating interim financing from DCM Acquisition Company to provide the mill operating flexibility until the transaction’s anticipated closing date.

The Port Huron mill manufactures specialty coated and uncoated papers for flexible packaging, bag papers, labels, gift wrap, and other applications.

Joint Venture

HEBEI PAN ASIA LONG-TENG PAPER

MONTREAL, QC — Pan Asia Paper Co. Pte Ltd, a 50-50% joint venture between Norske Skogindustrier ASA and Abitibi-Consolidated Inc., announced the creation of a 65-35% joint venture with Hebei Longteng Paper Corporation of China to build and operate a newsprint mill in the industrially developed Hebei Province of China, 280 km southwest of Beijing.

The name of the joint venture is Hebei Pan Asia Long-Teng Paper Co. Ltd. Construction of the mill will begin during the fourth quarter of 2003 and it is expected to start production during the third quarter of 2005 with a rated capacity of 330,000 tonnes per year. The newsprint will be produced from 100% recycled fibre. The project represents an investment of approximately $300 million US.

International

PULPAPER 2004 GEARS UP IN FINLAND

HELSINKI, FINLAND — PulPaper 2004 will take place in Helsinki, Finland, in June 1-3, 2004. The conference and exhibition organized by the Finnish Paper Engineers Association will focus on three major issues: Energy, Efficiency and Coating.

PulPaper has been arranged four times in the past, and is today established as a major meeting place for the global pulp and paper industry. Last time, in 2001, the Finnish capital receiv
ed as many as 19,421 visitors from 59 countries.

Taxes Too High

CROFTON MUST BE COMPETITIVE

COWICHAN, BC — Company CEO Russell Horner explained to the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce that North Cowichan must chop Crofton mill’s $8 million municipal tax bill in half. Otherwise, according to the local Chronicle, NorskeCanada will take its investment elsewhere.

“We want to pay our fair share, but we feel we’re being exploited,” said Horner. He went on to say that in Eastern Canada, mills pay half of what Crofton pays in school and district levies.

The council is considering alternative solutions.

PAPERBACK MURDER

Even murder mysteries can touch the world of pulp and paper. Enjoy this excerpt from P.D. James’ “Death of an Expert Witness”:

“Paper in all its manifestations was his passion. Few men, in or outside the forensic science service, knew so much about it. He handled it with joy and with a kind of reverence, gloated over it, knew its provenance almost by its smell. Identification of the sizing and loading of a specimen by spectrographic or X-ray crystallography merely confirmed what touch and sight has already pronounced. The satisfaction of watching the emergence of an obscure watermark under soft X-rays never palled, and the final pattern was as fascinating to his unsurprised eyes as the expected potter’s mark to a collector of porcelain.”

Author P.D. James is the author of nearly 20 books, most of which have been filmed for television. The recipient of many prizes and honours, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991.

Random House of Canada, 1977

AL-PAC

BOREAL CONSERVATION PROJECT SUPPORTED

EDMONTON, AB — To help maintain water quality and quantity in the boreal forest, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac) is contributing $1 million towards the Boreal Conservation Project (BCP).

BCP is a new partnership between Al-Pac and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), a Canadian wetland conservation company. The project will create a watershed-based conservation plan for a 115,000-sq. km. area of northeastern Alberta, including Al-Pac’s 58,000-sq. km. Forest Management Agreement area. The project has already begun with the identification of watersheds in the study area, and the initiation of a five-year research plan.

Alberta-Pacific’s poplar farms create a cost-effective source of wood for the mill, and take pressure off the natural forest. Local land owners have the opportunity to get involved in the company’s poplar farming program in order to diversify their farm income.


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