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News (January 01, 2004)


January 1, 2004
By Pulp & Paper Canada

RECYCLINGONTARIO APPROVES FEES FOR PACKAGINGTORONTO, ON — The Government of Ontario has approved a bill that requires packaged goods producers to ante up for 50% the local government bill for curbsid…

RECYCLING

ONTARIO APPROVES FEES FOR PACKAGING

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TORONTO, ON — The Government of Ontario has approved a bill that requires packaged goods producers to ante up for 50% the local government bill for curbside recycling, which will trigger weight-based packaging fees by spring of 2004.

The plan, which was submitted in February 2003, was delayed due to complaints over the cost and complexity of the plan, and because of elections for a new government in October.

State Recycling Laws Update, a newsletter covering North American recycling policy, reports Quebec has legislation in place, and is set to copy Ontario as soon as the regulation is settled.

DEALS

BURNT TIMBER TO BE SALVAGED

CRANBROOK, BC — A deal was signed to salvage fire-damaged timber, which will benefit the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council (KKTC).

Within the past two months, the province signed agreements with the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, the Little Shuswap Indian Band and the Westbank First Nation to salvage more than 1.1 million cubic metres of burnt timber.

Under the agreement, the KKTC will be invited to apply for two non-replaceable forest licences totalling 255,000 cubic metres of timber damaged in this summer’s wildfires in the Cranbrook and Invermere timber supply areas. The salvage will occur on the sites of the Magnesite, Plumbob, Ram/Storm, Cummings and Lamb fires.

MILL

WAYAGAMACK COMPLETES START-UP

TROIS-RIVIERES, QC — Kruger Inc. has successfully started up the new PM 4 at their Wayagamack mill located in Trois-Rivires, QC.

The Metso-supplied machine began operation in November, 2003 with coating operations beginning on November 6. The start-up went smoothly and the first paper produced through the complete line was salable.

The new machine is one of the most sophisticated to date in North America. It is designed to produce in the range of 220,000 tons per year of ultra light-weight coated (ULWC) paper (28lb to 40 lb) at speeds up to 1500 m/min (5000 ft/min). Machine speed is currently set at 1210 m/min (3970 ft/min). Printing trials were run on production from the machine and the customer was very pleased with the results.

ACQUISITION

ENRON SELLS STADACONA MILL

QUEBEC CITY, QC — Stadacona Papers, a Quebec paper mill owned by Enron Corp., was sold for $205 million US to a company owned by American newsprint mogul Peter Brant, chairman and CEO of Brant-Allen Industries Inc.

Stadacona had been put up for auction by the bankrupt energy trader as part of a move to repay creditors. The final decision was made by a bankruptcy court judge in the Southern District of New York.

CLOSURES

ABITIBI SHUTS QUEBEC, TEXAS MILLS

MONTREAL, QC — Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. indefinitely closed the company’s Port-Alfred, QC, and Lufkin, TX, paper mills last December.

The shutdowns will reduce annual operating costs by at least $125 million and more than a million tonnes of downtime, affecting 580 employees at the Lufkin mill and 640 employees at the Port-Alfred mill.

Abitibi also announced the closure of two previously idled paper machines, one in Port-Alfred and one in Sheldon, TX, representing a combined annual capacity of 230,000 tonnes of newsprint.

UNION

DOMTAR BC-WORKERS STILL ON STRIKE

MONTREAL, QC — Domtar Inc.’s coated free-sheet mill in New Westminster, BC, has been idled since Nov. 18, when more than 400 Communication, Energy, and Paperworkers Union (CEP) employees went on strike.

Early negotiations failed to settle the labor dispute, and there are no forthcoming negotiations in the agenda.

The mill has lost an estimated 16,000 tons of output after a month of being shut down.

ENVIRONMENT

CEC WANTS FACTUAL RECORD FOR P&P ON FISHERIES ACT

MONTREAL, QC — The Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America (CEC) asked the top environmental officials of Canada, U.S. and Mexico (CEC Council) for a factual record to be developed for a pulp and paper submission by Sierra Legal Defence Fund.

The SLDF submission was filed on behalf of several Canadian NGOs in May 2002. It alleges that Canada is failing to effectively enforce the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act and of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations with regard to pulp and paper mills in Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

SLDF documented more than 2,400 alleged violations of the PPER at approximately 70 mills in central and eastern Canada between 1995 and 2000, claiming that very few of these were prosecuted.

FORESTRY

BEETLE INFESTATION GREW 60%

VANCOUVER, BC — The mountain pine beetle, considered to be British Columbia’s most devastating insect pest, attacked an equivalent of two million truckloads of timber in 2003.

The Council of Forest Industries released the statistics: The infestation grew by 60% this year compared to 2002. About 66 million cubic metres of timber were lost.

PAPERCLIPS

Goin’ Bananas!

Tom Johnston is an Australian banana farmer and director of Transform Australia who claims he can make paper from banana fiber that is 300-times stronger than pulped paper.

Johnston explained it all in an Australian radio broadcast.

“We’ve known that banana trees had fibre in it and people have been trying to pulp it and it won’t pulp.” But Adelaide University’s Ramy Azer came up with a prototype stock preparation line to veneer the fibre, then laminate it and re-bond it using its own sap.

“No water is used as the tree contains enough sap — there’s no glues, no chemicals, it’s all natural.”

Banana paper is best for packaging products and business cards, he said. Transform Australia is looking for investors for the world’s first banana paper mill, powered by wind and solar energy. The company needs around $2 million US to build a 10,000 tonne/yr plant in North Queensland, the banana growing region of Australia.

Sources: Transform Australia www.transformaustralia.com.au ; Australian Broadcasting Corporation www.abc.net.au


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