Pulp and Paper Canada

National News

November 1, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada



MONTREAL, QC — Kruger announced that it will shut down production on the two supercalendered paper machines at its Trois-Rivires mill. Originally shutdown temporarily, PM5 will now be shutdown for an indefinite period. This interruption will affect 65 employees. Production on PM6 resumed as planned on Nov. 12, but will be interrupted for an indefinite period as of Feb. 4, 2008, affecting 115 employees. Annual production on these two machines is 150,000 tonnes.


“The Company regrets having to make such a decision. Unfortunately, the continued increase of the Canadian dollar value and production costs, and the current market conditions leave us no other choice,” said Jean Majeau, Vice President, Corporate Affairs for Kruger.


KINGSEY FALLS, QC — Cascades announced that shareholders of Reno De Medici S.p.A. have approved the proposed merger of Cascades S.A.’s recycled boxboard business and Reno De Medici S.p.a. at an extraordinary general meeting. The transaction is expected to be completed at the beginning of January 2008 and is subject to approval by the appropriate competition authorities.

The planned combination will offer a unique portfolio of production assets for all of Europe, presenting a combined annual capacity of more that 1,100 kT.


TEMISCAMING, QC — Tembec announced that it has completed the sale of approximately 345 hectares of land near Fernie, BC. to Ridgemont Holdings for over $16 million. The sale is part of the company’s recovery plan to improve liquidity by approximately $100 million, and will not affect the company’s ability to provide fibre to its sawmills.


TEMISCAMING, QC — Tembec announced the indefinite idling of PM3 at its Kapuskasing newsprint mill and an indefinite shutdown of its Cochrane sawmill.

“The indefinite idling of PM3 is necessary due to a combination of poor newsprint market conditions and a wood chip shortage that has occurred largely as a result of the numerous sawmill curtailments in Northern Ontario,” said Chris Black, Tembec’s Senior VP, Newsprint Division. PM3 has an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes. The idling will affect 50 employees at the location.


BOYLE, AB — Maclean’s magazine has named Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, and one of Alberta’s Top 35 Employers for 2008.

“Since our company began production in 1993, we have worked hard to develop a company and culture that values our team members, promotes innovation and creativity, and is a great place to work,” says Al Ward, Al-Pac’s executive VP and COO. “This recognition as one of the best 100 places to work in Canada confirms that we are successful in this pursuit and is one that we will continue to enhance to maintain an exemplary workplace.”

Some of Al-Pac’s attributes include a company-wide profit sharing plan, comprehensive and competitive benefits, industry-leading training, workplace flexibility and subsidized community volunteering. They also provide a four-day work week, an on-site driving range, a 16-hectare trout pond, a fitness centre and walking trails.

The list was compiled by Mediacorp Canada, publisher of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, in partnership with Maclean’s.


DUNCAN, BC — Western Forest Products confirms that it has entered into an agreement to sell approximately 2,550 hectares of higher and better use private lands on southern Vancouver Island, near Jordan River. The agreement is highly conditional and subject to due diligence, says the company in a recent press release. Accordingly, there can be no certainty that the agreement will be completed. Until the conditions in the agreement have been lifted, the company will make no further comment on this matter.

Western had previously disclosed that it intends to sell its non-core assets, including these Southern Vancouver Island lands. Western had also disclosed that it believes the sale of all of the non-core assets could generate an estimated $150 to $180 million in net proceeds.


MONTREAL, QC and GREENVILLE, SC — Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater announced that they have reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow the completion of the proposed combination of the two companies. Under the terms of the agreement, which was signed and filed today in the U.S. Federal District Court in Washington, DC, the companies have agreed to divest one newsprint mill, Abitibi-Consolidated’s mill in Snowflake, Arizona. The Snowflake mill has an annual capacity of approximately 375,000 tonnes.


HALIFAX, NS — The province will invest millions of dollars in woodlot silviculture and other forest-related initiatives as part of a new program designed to help the forest industry weather what has been called a “perfect storm” of negative influences.

The increasing value of the Canadian dollar, high energy prices, plummeting housing starts in the U.S. and changes in global market conditions have caused problems and mill shutdowns Canada-wide.

As part of the new transition program, the province will invest up to an additional $6 million per year in wood buyers’ silviculture programs for small wood lots for 2007-08 and 2008-09. The investment will be reassessed after the 2008-09 fiscal year and funding will then be based on an index of market conditions.


TORONTO, ON — Greenpeace released a tissue product scorecard in the UK, giving Kimberly-Clark a failing grade of “E” for its Kleenex brand tissues. The company was cited for failing to use recycled fibres in the tissues, using instead virgin fibre from clearcut areas in Canada’s boreal forest.

Kimberly-Clark’s 2006 sustainability report notes that the company has updated its fibre procurement policy to maximize the use of environmentally responsible wood fibre.


VANCOUVER, BC — Canfor announced that it will be taking a series of curtailments at a number of its sawmills over the next few months. These curtailments represent approximately 74 million board feet of lumber production and Canfor says that this will not impact Canfor’s ability to meet its customer commitments.

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